My language is my homeland...(Fernando Pessoa) Versão para impressão

My language is my homelandMany a poet and many a writer has written, over the centuries, about the Portuguese language and all deserve our utmost esteem and accolades, because to speak about our language is to speak deeper than our thoughts and our feelings.  Indeed, Fernando Pessoa, a prolific writer who wrote under three heteronymous (Alvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis and Alberto Caeiro) once said that the Portuguese language was more than his mother tongue; in fact he called it his homeland.


Once a major mercantile lingua franca that travelled with the Navigators’ caravels to open new worlds to the World, it is no wonder that it’s spoken globally. And the Unites States is no exception, where thousands of Portuguese communities, from just a few families living in small towns to large Diaspora groups in America’s mega-cities, use Portuguese daily – to clinch business deals, to softly whisper prayers or sing sweet lullabies. All these simple acts of communication have a strong ethnic imprint that is shared by citizens from countries as poles apart as Brazil, Timor-Leste, Angola or Cape Verde. Together, 8 nations have Portuguese as their official national language and an estimated population of over 250 million people.

In today’s global markets, knowledge of the Portuguese language is increasingly perceived as an economic value for doing business, with culture (namely literature, music and gastronomy) being a much sought after complement to facilitate socialization. Indeed, to learn Portuguese is also to access an 8-century old culture with strong Western Europe influence allied to from as diverse a place as Macau (China), Goa (India) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

Portugal’s Government – responsive to this added-value – is strongly promoting the learning of Portuguese language, not only to the benefit of Portuguese descendents eager to keep in touch with their linguistic and cultural roots, but also to all those keen to learn a major European language that is spoken worldwide.


Drª Fernanda Costa
Coordenadora CEPE-EUA
Coordenação do Ensino Português - Estados Unidos da América