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Lisbon Skyline, Portugal The Portuguese language is a member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages . It is the mother tongue of about 170 million people, chiefly in Portugal and the Portuguese islands in the Atlantic (11 million speakers); in Brazil (154 million speakers); and in Portugal's former overseas provinces in Africa and Asia (about 5 million speakers). Although the Portuguese spoken in Portugal differs to some extent from the Portuguese spoken in Brazil–with reference to pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary–the differences are not major.

 •The Portuguese of Portugal
 •The Portuguese of Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil A distinctive phonetic feature of Portuguese is the nasalization of certain vowels and diphthongs, which can be indicated by a tilde (~) placed above the appropriate vowel. The acute (´) and circumflex (ˆ) accents serve to make clear both stress and pronunciation, and also to distinguish homonyms (for example, e “and,” but é “is” ). The grave accent (`) is a guide to pronunciation. It can also indicate a contraction, as in às, which is a combination of a “to” and as “the” (feminine plural). A c with a cedilla ( ç) is pronounced like c in English place when used before the vowels a, o, and u.*

*Information from Encyclopedia.com