About | Why Study Portuguese | Other Activities


Students displaying the o-h-i-o arm signal


The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University offers exciting academic opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels for students interested in Luso-Brazilian culture and Portuguese language and linguistics. The strengths of OSU's Portuguese program lie in our cutting-edge and versatile language program, our B.A. in Portuguese that emphasizes the cultural, economic, and political complexities, as well as the transatlantic dimension, of the Lusophone world, and our distinguished program in Portuguese linguistics, especially in the areas of phonetics, morphology, and pragmatics.

Why Study Portuguese at OSU?

OSUs innovative Portuguese language program and challenging, interdisciplinary minor and major in Portuguese can enhance any academic program. Your expertise in this vital language will set you apart. Consider these reasons for learning Portuguese at OSU:

  • Portuguese is spoken in eight countries on four continents: Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, and São Tomé and Principe.
  • It is the 7th or 8th most spoken language in the world. There are as many native speakers of Portuguese as of French and German combined.
  • Portuguese is the language of 25 percent of the population of the Southern Hemisphere. It is spoken by nearly 40 percent of the population in countries bordering the southern Atlantic rim region, around which eight metropolitan areas use the language.
  • There are an estimated 1,000,000 Brazilians currently living in the United States, many of them undocumented.
  • More than a third of Latin Americas population lives in Brazil and speaks Portuguese.
  • World Bank data shows Brazil having the 10th largest GDP worldwide, and the largest in Latin America.
  • After English, Portuguese is the most common language in the world used on Web sites and in blogging.
  • Ohio is the sister state of Paraná, Brazil, and facilitates international cultural and business contacts.

Knowledge of Portuguese can complement courses of study in a number of disciplines, such as Spanish, Political Science, International Studies, International Business, Latin American Studies, and Comparative Studies.


Tram in Portugal, Photo credit: Pixabay

Other Activities

Oi Brasil! The Oi Brasil! is a student organization that aims to promote awareness of Brazilian and Luso-cultures through language, music and dance. An active member of University-wide Council on Hispanic Organizations (UCHO) and tied closely to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Oi Brasil! also functions as a forum for the diverse academic fields that work with Brazil and the Luso-world. The club meets on Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm for "bate-papo" or informal conversation tables. It is an opportunity to practice your Portuguese, "matar as saudades" and get to know others with similar interests.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons