Thursday, March 07, 2013
That estimate comes from the Conselho de Administração do Observatório da Língua Portuguesa in Lisbon, which sees Portuguese moving from its current 250 million speakers to 350 million by the end of the century. That works out to a bit over a million extra speakers per year. For comparison, French is increasing by about 7 million with an estimated 700 million speakers by 2050. Portuguese will also depend to a large extent on whether it is capable of catching on as a popular second language, as it is still studied by few people compared to its economic clout (basically the opposite situation of Italian), which basically means its fate will be decided by Brazil, and to a much lesser extent Angola/Mozambique as well as Portugal.