The Lusophone World
This blog reports on happenings related to Portuguese speaking communities in the UK.
It looks closely at the Lusophone speaking communities within London. It is estimated that London holds the largest Portuguese speaking community outside of Portugal.
Portuguese speakers are mainly those originally from Portugal and its ex-colonies –
Lusophone countries include Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macau and others in various parts of the world, including India’s Goa and Kerala states, and the town ofMelaka in Malaysia. The Community of Portuguese Language Countries is an international organization consisting of the eight independent countries where Portuguese is an official language. These countries are also referred to as the “Lusosphere”.
A Lusophone is someone who speaks the Portuguese language, either as a native, as an additional language, or as a learner. As an adjective, it means “Portuguese-speaking”. The word itself is derived from the name of the ancient Roman province of Lusitania, which covered the mid-southern area that is today the Republic of Portugal and part of Spain.
Nevertheless, the Galician-Portuguese language originated in the province and later Kingdom of Gallaecia, from where expanded to the south as the muslims retreated from the Iberian Peninsula, so may be also referred as “Galaicofonía”, “Galegofonía” or “Galeguía” instead of Lusofonia, specially in America. The notion of Lusophonic reaches beyond the dictionary definition of “Portuguese speaker”.
It extends to refer to people who are culturally and linguistically linked to Portugal, either historically or by choice. The term does not have an ethnic connotation, in that a lusophone may not have any Portuguese ancestry at all. The Lusophone world is mainly a legacy of the Portuguese empire, although Portuguese diaspora communities have also played a role in spreading the Portuguese language and Portuguese culture.
Even after the empire’s collapse, the corresponding countries continue to exhibit both cultural and political affinities and a broad cultural diversity, expressed in the existence of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, created in 1996. (source Wikipedia).
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