|português moçambicano, português do Moçambique|
L2 speakers: 30% of the population of Mozambique (1997 census)
Several variables factor into the emergence of Mozambican Portuguese. Mozambique shares the linguistic norm used in the other Portuguese-speaking African countries and Portugal. Mozambican Portuguese also enriches the Portuguese language with new words and expressions.
According to the 1997 census, 40% of the population of Mozambique spoke Portuguese. 9% spoke it at home, and 6.5% considered Portuguese to be their mother tongue.
Portuguese is a post-colonial language. Imposed during the colonial era, Portuguese was selected as the official language of the new state as it was ethnically neutral. It was also the common language of the elites who received their post-secondary education in Portugal. Portuguese played an important role in the rhetoric of the independence movement, being seen as a potential vehicle for the articulation of a national identity.
Mozambique has extraordinary enthnolinguistic diversity, with no one language dominating demographically. Portuguese serves as a lingua franca allowing communication of Mozambicans with fellow citizens of other ethnicities, including especially white Mozambicans. Of those Mozambicans who speak Portuguese, the majority are non-native speakers, thus spoken with accents of African languages. The lack of native speakers is due, in part, to the exodus of massive number of white Mozambicans to places such as Portugal, South Africa, and Brazil and to the fact that the country is far from the rest of the Lusosphere. This left very few native speakers of Portuguese in Mozambique. But in cities like Maputo, it is the native language of majority of residents.
The standard Mozambican Portuguese used in education, media and legal documents is based on European Portuguese vocabulary used in Lisbon, but Mozambican Portuguese dialects differ from standard European Portuguese both in terms of pronunciation and colloquial vocabulary.
The growth of Portuguese as Mozambique's national language is happening in tandem with the increasing importance and appeal of English. English is an official language of every nation that borders Mozambique, creating incentive for English instruction, and the government has increased provision of English in schools.
Standard European Portuguese is the norm of reference in Mozambique. In terms of pronunciation, however, Mozambican Portuguese shows several departures, some of which are due to the influence of other languages of Mozambique:
The above tendencies are stronger in vernacular speech and less marked in cultivated speech, thus the pronunciation of first-language speakers sound more European Portuguese and the enumerated conditions listed above except latter.
There are many words and expressions borrowed from indigenous languages of Mozambique into Portuguese. Examples include:
Mozambican Portuguese also borrowed words of Arabic origin, because of national Islamic presence.
One also finds neologisms in Mozambican Portuguese such as
Many of these words came to Portugal, which was settled by returning Portuguese refugees after Mozambican independence. These words were also brought to Brazil again by Portuguese refugees after independence.