The poet Fernando Pessoa once wrote that “My homeland is the Portuguese language”. And today, more than 200 million people, spread out throughout Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, share that homeland, called Portuguese Language.
Portuguese is currently the fifth most spoken language in the world and an official language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor. It is also used in Macau, territory under Portuguese administration until 1999, and in Goa. It is also the base of around twenty Creole languages and an important minority language in countries such as Andorra, Luxemburg, Namibia, Switzerland and South Africa, due to the numerous Portuguese communities in those countries.
It is this universality of the Portuguese language that unites Portuguese, Brazilians, many Africans and some Asians, through the recognition of the Portuguese language as a common cultural heritage. Due to not having a continuous territory, but vast separate regions spread over several continents, and the fact that it is not exclusive to one community, but is felt as its own, equally, in distant communities, the language manifests a great internal diversity, depending on the regions and groups that use it.
A language of culture like the Portuguese language, bearer of a long history which is both the raw material and product of several literatures and an instrument of global affirmation of several societies, is not exhausted in the description of its linguistic system: a language such as this lives in history, in society and in the world.
It has an existence motivated and conditioned by the great human movements and, at present, through the existence of the groups that speak it.
This means that the Portuguese spoken all around the world, meanwhile harmonized by an important Orthographic Agreement, continues to be felt as a single language, a vehicle of communication by excellency and perhaps the most powerful of the ties uniting the countries that use it.