Portuguese is a truly global language. With more than 240 million speakers spread across every continent, it is the 6th most widely spoken language in the world — more people speak Portuguese than French, German, Italian, or Japanese. It is the official language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Mozambique; it also retains a historical presence in Macau (China), East Timor (Southeast Asia), and Goa (India).
In addition, there are large communities of Portuguese speakers in many other countries. Over a million citizens of the United States are native speakers. In Utah alone, more than thirty thousand people speak Portuguese.
Foremost among Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations, Brazil is also the largest country in South America, the world’s 5th largest country, its 9th largest economy, and the second largest industrial power in the Americas. Due to Brazil’s prominence on the global stage, Portuguese is considered one of the most strategically significant languages on the international scene.
Most importantly, however, the Portuguese language serves as a gateway to the rich diversity of Lusophone history, music, literature, cinema, and art. From Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India at the end of the fifteenth century to Brazil hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, Portuguese has long enjoyed a far-reaching cultural influence around the globe.