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Portuguese Language

Why Study Portuguese?

Portuguese was the first global language in the history of our modern world-system. It was the language of European expansion and continues to be, today, the fifth language in the world according to the number of its users: around 300 million people.

In its different varieties, Portuguese is also the first language of the Southern hemisphere and the third in the Western world. In Latin America, Portuguese is used by more than half of its population, in Brazil, and by growing communities of speakers in many other countries of the region. In Africa it is the official or national language in five independent nation-states: Angola, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. To be sure, it is also spoken in Europe, not only in Portugal but also in large communities all over the EU and, in an important variety directly related with its historical matrix it is spoken in Galicia, one of the autonomous regions of Spain which, in linguistic terms, includes part of northern Portugal and Asturias. Finally, in Asia, and after having been used for many centuries as a lingua franca, the language is officially spoken in East-Timor and Macau (in the coast of China) as well as, historically, in India (Goa, Daman, Angediva, Diu, etc). It is, consequently, a language present in some of the most important emerging markets of the global economy, both nationally, in Brazil and Angola, and in regions of China and India.

Portuguese is also spoken in African, Luso and Brazilian communities in the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany, Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Luxembourg, Paraguay, South Africa, Namibia, Congo, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland, etc. As the fourth most learned language in the world, it has presently more than 30 million students in those countries.

Portuguese Placement Exam

If you have studied Portuguese either formally or informally, lived in a Portuguese-speaking country, or grown up in a Portuguese-speaking household, you must take a placement exam before being allowed to register for any POR course. For admittance into POR courses in the fall, please contact Dennis Harrod to schedule an exam prior to the beginning of the fall semester. If you register for classes without taking the exam and you have prior Portuguese experience, you will be asked to take the exam to ensure that you are placed in the appropriate class. You must present your student ID to take all language placement tests.