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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 nine 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 Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies program will introduce you to the language, literature and culture of Portugal, Brazil 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 in 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 & Luso-Brazilian 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, such as Spain, Argentina, and Namibia!

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

Course Schedule 2015/16 - New online placement test

The fall and winter schedule is now online.

Exciting new courses for 2015/16: focusing Portuguese and Mozambican literature

AP/POR 3660 3.00 Readings in Mozambican Literature: Re-telling History through Fiction

This course focuses on the significance of the Mozambican short-story in defining a national literary tradition. It is based on historically and socially contextualized readings of Mozambican short stories. Note: Students are given the option of writing their essays in Portuguese or in English. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/POR 3660 3.00.

AP/POR 4620 3.00 From Camões to Pessoa

Through the 16th-century literature of Luis de Camões and the 20th-century literature of Fernando Pessoa, this course explores two high points in Portuguese literary development as well as the development of Portugal as a nation. Prerequisite: AP/POR 3000 6.00. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Prerequisite: AS/POR 3000 6.00. Course credit exclusion: AS/POR 4620 3.00.

View schedule.

  News & Events

Sat, July 11, 1:00-4pm Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Poet-Tree Project Celebration at York

Saturday, July 11, 1:00-4pm - Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Poet-Tree Project Celebration at York: Founders Assembly Hall Founders College, main level. Check out the Poet-tree video

Professor Maria João Dodman has published an article

Professor Maria João Dodman has published an article titled "'Nem comem senão desse inhame' : The Significance of Food in the Early Days of Brazil" in Luso-Brazilian Review ( Vol. 52.1, 2015.

This article explores the thematic of food in the early texts that document the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil. In the absence of gold and precious stones, food availability in the new fertile land becomes as good as gold, able to compete with the riches of the Spanish empire. Yet, food, food rituals, table manners and behaviours also signal European attitudes regarding civility and culture, and as such mark new world people as barbaric and in need of justifiable colonization. Ironically, Indigenous resistance and subversion also resort to food, providing local knowledge, ingenuity and moments of dissidence.

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

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

  News about The Portuguese Language

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