Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

World Portuguese Language Day – May 5, 2024

World Portuguese Language Day, celebrated on May 5 every year, is dedicated to highlighting the Portuguese language. It plays a role in bringing the Portuguese people together and in preserving their culture and identity. Portuguese is one of the most widespread languages in the world. It has more than 265 million speakers across the globe and is the most widely spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere. This makes the Portuguese language the sixth most spoken language in the world. Let’s take a look at the history, rich culture, and the effect of the Portuguese language on the rest of the world.

History of World Portuguese Language Day

The Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (C.P.LP.), an intergovernmental organization, set the date of May 5 as World Portuguese Language Day. C.P.L.P. has been in official partnership with UNESCO since 2000. However, it was only in 2019, in the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, that they decided to proclaim May 5 as World Portuguese Language Day.

The roots of the Portuguese language are based in Galician. This was the native language of the community that dwelled in the north of Portugal and the northwest of Spain. Galician was a mix of local dialects and common Latin. After years, the language evolved and around the 14th century, Portuguese emerged as the descendant language. People who speak the Portuguese language are called Lusophone. Today, the majority of Lusophones live in Brazil.

One of the interesting things about the Portuguese language is that there are regional variations in the Portuguese language, with differences in word usage and meanings. Another thing to note about the Portuguese language is that it only had 23 letters until 2009 because the letters “K,” “W” and “Y” were not a part of the Portuguese language. It was only in 2009 that the Portuguese-speaking countries came together to sign a new “Orthographic Agreement” and introduced these letters. Many English words have their origins in the Portugal language. Some words include ‘mosquito,’ ‘cobra,’ ‘fetish,’ ‘monsoon,’ ‘mango,’ ‘macaw,’ ‘coconut,’ and ‘breeze.’

World Portuguese Language Day timeline

The Birth of Modern Portuguese

The Portuguese language descends from the Galician language.

Establishing the World Portuguese Language Day

The C.P.L.P. establishes World Portuguese Language Day.

The UNESCO Proclamation

UNESCO’s General Conference proclaims May 5 as the World Portuguese Language Day.

The First World Portuguese Language Day

UNESCO celebrates the first World Portuguese language day.

World Portuguese Language Day FAQs

What are the top three languages spoken in Portugal?

The top three languages spoken in Portugal are Portuguese, Mirandese, and English.

Why is the Portuguese language important?

Portuguese is so widely spoken because of its position as the language of Brazil, where, in the early 21st century, some 187 million people spoke it.

Which countries speak Portuguese?

Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe are the countries that have Portuguese as their official language.

World Portuguese Language Day Activities

  1. Learn the language

    The best way to celebrate World Portuguese Language Day is by learning the Portuguese language. You could create interest in watching subtitled movies and make the learning fun. Share your vocabulary with family and friends to spread the love.

  2. Watch movies

    Do learning and reading make you drowsy and sleepy? We get you, buddy. Try watching Brazilian and Portuguese movies such as “City of God,” “Central Station,” “Arabian Nights,” and “Once upon a time in Rio.”

  3. Share your story

    If you have the chance to visit any of the Portuguese countries, take this as an opportunity and share the interesting things you found about their culture on social media. You could initiate a lively platform celebrating the Portuguese people.

5 Awesome Facts About The Portuguese Language That You Need To Know

  1. It’s official in nine countries

    The Portuguese language is the official language of nine countries, including Portugal and Brazil.

  2. It is right behind English

    The Portuguese language is the fastest-growing European language in the world, after English.

  3. It has an Arabic influence

    The Islamic rule of Portugal in the eighth century has left an Arabic influence on the language.

  4. A word with 29 letters

    The longest word in the Portuguese language has 29 letters in it.

  5. Grammar in Portuguese

    Each verb tense in Portuguese has six different endings.

Why We Love World Portuguese Language Day

  1. It’s a culture to explore

    Portuguese countries boast a vibrant culture that you cannot rival. World Portuguese Language Day honors and celebrates this culture.

  2. It has a rich history

    Portugal was the birthplace of some of the world’s first explorers. This includes Vasco de Gama, Bartholomew Diaz, and Alvares Cabral, all of whom have an important place in world history.

  3. It is a meaningful holiday

    World Portuguese Language Day is one of those holidays that celebrates the culture, people, history, and the whole aesthetics of a nation. So, it is a meaningful holiday that we can celebrate.

World Portuguese Language Day dates

2024May 5Sunday
2025May 5Monday
2026May 5Tuesday
2027May 5Wednesday
2028May 5Friday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.