Will Portuguese become an international language?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Asks this article in Portuguese. It then gives this incorrect chart showing languages by number of speakers:


Bengali and Indonesian / Malaysian are notably missing from there. Neither of them are spoken by 250+ million but Bengali is quite close. Bengali is actually one of the best examples of why citing a language's number of speakers to assert its worth may not be a good idea.

Now to the article: it begins with a bit about the total number of speakers, then the number of online users (80 million or so), some strategy by Portugal and Brazil to promote the language, then some unsourced but not very hard to believe statements on its increasing popularity in some countries:
As a foreign language of priority, Portuguese is sought in countries such as Senegal, Namibia and South Africa in the African continent, countries like Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia (in 2013 Portugal will be the theme country of the International Bogota Book Fairy, one of the largest in the world), Mexica and Venezuela in South America. In Asia, there is an extraordinary development of Portuguese teaching in China (studied in 25 universities, 16 of which are degree courses), Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.
With all of them but the countries in Asia it's easy to find a neighboring country contributing to this: Namibia has Angola, Senegal has Guinea-Bissau, South Africa has Mozambique with its capital just across the border. The Asian countries would have a more general interest: trade with Brazil, resource development in Angola and the like.

The article is too long and lacking in entirely fresh information to be worth the time to translate any more - Google Translate does a fine enough job.

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