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From a small 12th-century kingdom in the far-western corner of Europe called Portugal, the Portuguese language spread to all corners of the globe (Brazil, Africa, Asia, and North America) during the Age of Exploration (15th-16th centuries). Portuguese, the unifying sound of Lusophone identity, is the sixth most spoken language in the world with a total of 236 million speakers. It is used in more than 34 countries and is the official language of eight nation-states in three continents (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe). Brazil alone has more than 190 million speakers (700,000 of which live in the United States).

UO students can take beginning and intermediate Portuguese in the Department of Romance Languages. Watch this video to learn more about our Portuguese instructors and UO students’ experience studying Portuguese at the UO and abroad.

For more information, contact Bene Santos, supervisor of the Portuguese program, at, or call (541) 346-4046.  Visit the Portuguese Courses page to see what PORT classes are currently being offered.


A focus on Brazil
With a special focus on Brazilian-Portuguese, the RL dept. offers first-and-second year classes, which can be used to fulfill the B.A. language requirement for all UO degrees. Students acquire not only language skills but learn about the history, traditions, and present-day cultural production (e.g., carnival, soccer, popular music forms, modern architecture, and recent economic power) of Brazil, the biggest Portuguese-speaking nation, and the 6th largest economy in the world. Thanks to an UISFL grant from the Department of Education the RL department is also offering third-year Portuguese courses.

How Portuguese will enhance your undergraduate studies
Undergraduates pursuing the Romance Languages Major can use Portuguese as one of their two required languages.  Given the similarity of Portuguese to other Romance Languages, students with a solid knowledge of French, Italian, or Spanish can benefit from an accelerated course of basic Portuguese (PORT199). Students who have completed the two basic years of Portuguese instruction can continue their studies by taking advanced courses (PORT399) with a special focus on literature, advanced grammar, and current social and political issues in Brazil. These courses can also count towards a Latin American Studies major or minor along with LAS courses focused on Brazil that will be implemented later this year, as well as a lecture and a film series.

Students are encouraged to participate actively in the weekly Portuguese Coffee Hour, film screenings, and planning events such as the “Brazilian Immersion Day.”  Several attractive study abroad options are offered through CIEE and SIT in which students can participate in a summer or a full academic year exchange program experience in various locations in Brazil or Portugal.

Directed by local filmmaker David Nieto Wenzell, director of La llamada (2012)