Portuguese language in Africa

The PALOP (Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa), highlighted in red

Portuguese is spoken in a number of African countries and is the official language in six African countries: Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe and Equatorial Guinea. There are Portuguese-speaking communities in most countries of Southern Africa, a mixture of Portuguese settlers and Angolans and Mozambicans who left their countries during the civil wars. A rough estimate has it that there are about 14 million people who use Portuguese as their sole mother tongue across Africa,[1] but depending on the criteria applied, the number might be considerably higher, since many Africans speak Portuguese as a second language, in countries like Angola and Mozambique, where Portuguese is an official language, but also in countries like South Africa and Senegal, thanks to migrants coming from Portuguese-speaking countries. Some statistics claim that there are over 41.5 million Portuguese speakers in the continent. Africa is, therefore, the continent with the second-most Portuguese speakers in the world, only behind the Americas. Like French and English, Portuguese has become a post-colonial language in Africa and one of the working languages of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Portuguese co-exists in Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Principe with Portuguese-based creoles (Upper Guinea and Gulf of Guinea Creoles), but Portuguese continues to be the official language of these countries. Additionally, Portuguese has become the national language of Angola, as it is so widely spoken in every segment of society, and serves as the home language of the majority of the Angolan population, particularly in the big towns and cities. A few native African languages continue to be spoken, but are losing ground to Portuguese. In Mozambique, in addition to Portuguese as the official language, it is fast becoming the lingua franca. And as in Angola, Portuguese is the dominant spoken language in the urban areas of the country. In the five former African Portuguese colonies, Portuguese is the language of: commerce, the government, courts, schools and mass media.

In Africa, the Portuguese language experiences pressure and possibly competition from French and English. Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe are all members of La Francophonie and Mozambique is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and has observer status at La Francophonie. Conversely, Equatorial Guinea has announced its decision to introduce Portuguese as its third official language, in addition to Spanish and French, and has been accepted as a member CPLP. Mauritius and Senegal have also joined the CPLP as associate observer members.

  1. ^ "The Future of Portuguese". BB Portuguese. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia · View on Wikipedia

Developed by Nelliwinne