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Portuguese is spoken by over 250 million people worldwide, making it the 4th most widely spoken mother tongue on a global level - see Exhibition "Economic Potential of the Portuguese Language".

It is the official language in eight countries. It is the working language of twelve international organizations. It is also the language used by numerous Lusophone communities around the world - Canada, USA, Germany, France, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, Venezuela, Luxemburg  - and in territories like Macau and Goa.

The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Portuguese Studies program will introduce you to the language, literature and culture of Portugal and the entire Lusophone world across all continents.

Develop and enrich your command of Portuguese through intensive training in listening, reading, writing and speaking. It is an established and historically rich language, from music to literature, from Humanities to the Sciences.  Portuguese speakers are in demand in a variety of disciplines and a wide range of fields.

Discover the fascinating social and cultural context of the Portuguese-speaking world. Our program is the gateway to a deeper understanding of an array of warm and welcoming Lusophone cultures around the world!

Our challenging courses explore a range of topics, from the variety of the Portuguese language to an examination of several themes in literature, culture, film and music, including a high component of experiential education courses.  Our courses offer a range  of  interdisciplinary options and perspectives; from the early modern period to contemporary postcolonial times.

Why learn Portuguese and take courses in Portuguese Studies?

Current data indicate that Portuguese is growing in importance not only worldwide, but also in Canada. A recent article in the Toronto Star identified the acute need for Portuguese-speaking professionals.

The growing importance of Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries also attest to the rising value of the language and the need for bi-lingual, bi-cultural professionals.

Did you know that...Sabias que...:

Interesting facts about Portuguese and the Lusophone world

  • Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Some of the countries with the largest discoveries of hydrocarbon (Mboe) are members of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
  • The best CSI in the world is Portuguese (Professor Duarte Nuno Vieira)
  • Portuguese is the 5th most used language on the Internet. It enjoyed the 4th largest growth rate.
  • Portuguese is the 3rd most used language in social networks and in the business of oil and gas!
  • It is the 1st foreign language in the education system of several countries!

Participate in a Study Abroad Progam

Students are encouraged to participate in York International's study abroad and summer internship Programs in a Portuguese-speaking country. York University has established programs with several universities in Brazil and added the Universidade Nova de Lisboa as its newest partner in 2011.

Find out more about international opportunities and funding for students offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

For more information please refer to the study abroad section.

  Course News

Experiential Education Course - POR 4010 Language in Context: Portuguese in the GTA!


This advanced Experiential Education language course engages students in a learning process blending theory and coursework with practical, hands-on, real-life experience. Students refine their language skills, especially those specific to professional environments. The experiential education component enables students to participate in a wide variety of community-based projects assigned by the community partner in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisites: AP/POR 3000 6.00 or permission of the Department. Course credit exclusions: None.

Our Community partners/learning sites:

Course Schedule 2014/15 - New online placement test!

The fall and winter schedule is now online.

New Exchange Program

York University has developed a new exchange program with Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

  News & Events

new Student Tânia Da Silva awarded scholarship from the prestigious Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals

tania da silvaThe Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies program congratulates our student Tânia Da Silva for receiving a scholarship from the prestigious Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals! Tânia was awarded in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement.

Congratulations, Tânia, on this accomplishment!

For more information on the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals visit

Participate in the creation of the York University TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Poet-Tree installation. Win Prizes

This "Poet-Tree" project of creative and photo captures of real life installations at various locations, websites, or in physical sculptural and movement formats, seeks to bring together poetry and voices from across the diverse regions of the Americas to celebrate the sports and the spirit of the culture of each place, and in particular to the connections across the Americas to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

Send in original poems or verses of your own, or of your favourite poet from one of the 41 represented countries competing in the Toronto 2015 Pan American / Parapan American Games. Include your name and email to be entered to win a monthly prize (February – July 2015). Poems can be in any of the languages spoken in the 41 countries.

Learn More

Portuguese Speaking Hour - Mondays - 1:30 - 2:30

Do you want to improve your current language skills?
Do you need extra practice?

If you are currently enrolled in Portuguese language courses or are simply curious to learn more about Portuguese, then this opportunity is for you, and it's free!

Portuguese Speaking Hour
Mondays, 1:30-2:30 pm
MC 215

Everyone is welcome!

  News about The Portuguese Language

Watch Profs. Maria João Dodman, Inês Cardoso and students discuss the Portuguese Studies program Prof. Maria João Dodman, discusses her research Portuguese Studies Program Brochure why learn portuguese -- pdf Poet Tree Project for Pan-am Games