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Catherine of Bragança Center for Portuguese Studies


Where is Portuguese spoken?

Did you know that Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, with approximately 260 million speakers? It’s the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as the co-official language of East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau.  

As a Romance language (or a language derived from Vulgar Latin), Portuguese shares a linguistic background with other European languages, such as French, Italian and, especially, Spanish.

Aside from their geographical proximity and intertwined historical and cultural background, Portugal and Spain are connected by linguistic similarities. These similarities go back to the origins of Galician-Portuguese, a language spoken throughout the Middle Ages in the northwest area of the Iberian Peninsula. This means that any beginner student of Portuguese with some knowledge of Spanish will almost immediately realize that dozens of words and verb conjugations are almost identical in both languages. 

Why study Portuguese?


Portuguese is widely spoken in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. In fact, Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere. Considering that we are living in a globalized world that requires multidisciplinary and multilingual skills, learning Portuguese may open doors to new and emergent markets outside the United States.

Portuguese is also one of the working languages of international organizations including: International Monetary Fund, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the European Union, Mercosul and the Organization of Ibero-American States. 

Moreover, the existence of a large community of Portuguese and Brazilian immigrants in the United States is another reason to learn Portuguese. In states such as New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and California, the Portuguese and Brazilian communities play a crucial role in boosting local economies. Portuguese-run small and medium businesses have been thriving over decades, despite using Portuguese as their main (and sometimes only) language. 

Last but not least, learning Portuguese – the language used by the poet Luís de Camões to describe the heroic deeds of the 15th-century Discoverers – constitutes a chance for students to come into contact with an artistically rich culture that found its greatest expression in literature. Portuguese and Brazilian writers, such as Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, Machado de Assis or Clarice Lispector, gave life to fascinating literary works appreciated by people all over the world. The same could be said about other figures who revolutionized the arts through painting, sculpture or architecture. 


What to expect from our courses?

The beginner courses offered by the Center for Portuguese Studies aim to provide students who are learning Portuguese for the first time with the necessary tools to communicate in daily life situations. By the end of a beginner course, students will have learned how to introduce themselves, how to describe people and objects using regular and irregular verbs, articles, and adverbs. Students will also have learned how to write basic texts such as e-mails to friends or relatives. The purpose of our intermediate and advanced courses is to help students improve their writing and speaking skills in a way that they will be able to express themselves using more complex grammatical structures. Broadly speaking, our instructors are committed to preparing students, regardless of their level, to communicate in a foreign language that can be decisive in their professional lives.


 Office Information


Paulo Rodrigues Ferreira​ 

Queens Hall, Room 100
65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, New York 11367

Phone: 718-997-5660
Fax: 718-997-5669​ ​​



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