The Portuguese in the US: did you know?

Here are some numbers that demonstrate the presence of Portuguese-American in the United States according to the 2018 American Community Survey.
Do you know anyone of Portuguese origin in the US? The Portuguese have been in this country for a while and have contributed quite a bit to this country.

The Portuguese-American community

Lusophone authors Mia Couto and Julián Fuks in The NYT’s The Decameron Project

The Decameron Project  by the New York Times features two Lusophone writers whose stories were translated into English and are part of a rich collection of 29 literary texts about the pandemic.

Mia Couto, Portuguese writer
Mia_Couto.jpg: Luis Miguel Martins from Portugalderivative work: MachoCarioca / CC BY-SA (

Portuguese author Mia Couto wrote An obliging robber, beautifully written and illustrated, and worthwhile reading. Read it in the Portuguese here.

Brazilian author Julián Fuks shares with the readers his  A time of death, the death of time story. I bet you will related to what he wrote!

About The Decameron Project by The New York Times: “As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, we asked 29 authors to write new short stories inspired by the moment. We were inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” written as the plague ravaged florence in the 14th century.”

Morte e vida Severina – Death and life of a Severino

Assista ao desenho animado Morte e vida Severina, Auto de Natal Pernambucano  (Death and life of a Severino, Auto of Pernambucan Christmas), a versão audiovisual da peça teatral de João Cabral de Melo Neto, publicada originalmente em 1956 e adaptada para os quadrinhos pelo cartunista Miguel Falcão.

Em preto e branco,  o desenho animado narra a jornada de Severino, um retirante nordestino, que migra do sertão para o litoral pernambucano em busca de uma vida melhor. Morte e vida Severina é uma das grandes obras da literatura brasileira.

“– My name is Severino,
I have no Christian name.
There are lots of Severinos
(a saint of pilgrimage)
so they began to call me
Maria’s Severino.
There are many Severinos
With mothers called Maria,
So I became Marias’s
Of Zacarias, deceased.”
Morte e Vida Severina by João Cabral de Melo Neto (Translated by Elizabeth Bishop)


Americans in Brazil

In the 1800s Americans were invited to settle in Brazil and bring ideias for the technical and agricultural development of the South American country. They were offered land and slaves to develop farms and businesses. 
Read here
 how  the Confederate loyalists ended up in Brazil in the late 1800s.

Villa Americana em 1906.
Villa Americana em 1906. Public domain/Domínio público.


Heranças africanas na língua portuguesa

A miscigenação linguística é responsável pelo idioma rico e variado que falamos hoje no Brasil — o país com o maior número de falantes da língua portuguesa no mundo. O português do Brasil tem grande número de palavras de herança africana. Neste artigo você vai aprender quinze palavras usadas pelos brasileiros que têm origens no continente africano. Leia o artigo aqui.

Variantes da língua: Portugal x Brasil

Artigo interessante sobre as variações linguísticas entre o português falado em Portugal e no Brasil:

Watching movies: using subtitles to learn Portuguese

The Lusophone world has produced lots of great movies and documentaries which can expose you to the Portuguese language and and its rich cultures.  Click here for suggestion of movie features worth-watching.

The website Semantica has some excellent tips for learning language while watching movies and videos:

Using subtitles to learn Portuguese

I hear from so many people that are either
(a) unable to wean themselves from using subtitles, or
(b) not taking advantage of the power of subtitles.

There is actually a specific way to use subtitles to learn Portuguese and it’s not that obvious. Using movies, tv shows, and YouTube to teach you the language is by far, the most effective self-teaching method that you can use. The combination of images and the language IN CONTEXT creates an impression in your mind that is lasting and easily recalled.

Here’s the method:

1-Choose a SHORT video clip.

Focus on a 20 second – 2-minute piece and nothing more until you are advanced. It’s important that you not get too lost or overwhelmed.

2-Subtitles in English: ON

Make sure you fully understand what is happening and what was said in your language first.

3-Subs in Portuguese: ON

Re-watch it with the Portuguese subtitles on and try to read them OUT LOUD.


Now take the training wheels off. Listen. One more time and now you speak the lines.

It’s really a big advantage getting to see the words written on the screen. Portuguese is spoken exactly as it’s written, and once you know the sounds that the letters make you can’t go wrong. Soon, you will find that it’s possible to write emails and chat online. This is a huge added bonus!