A autora começa por se referir a Fernando Pessoa – A Minha Pátria é a Língua Portuguesa -, justificando assim o título do seu texto, para logo referir a importância da Língua Portuguesa como língua mãe para milhões de falantes espalhados por 4 continentes. Refere-se em seguida à situação do Português nos EUA, no seio da comunidade imigrante e no ensino nas escolas secundárias e universidades.

 

The renowned Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) once wrote that his homeland was the Portuguese language: A minha pátria é a lingua portuguesa. His sentiment speaks to the powerful relationship between language and cultural identity, regardless of how many languages one speaks or where we live on this earth.

Pessoa was educated in Durban, South Africa, and was a multilingual speaker and poet who wrote, as he said, from multiple personas. In his late teens, Pessoa moved back to Lisbon and made a living as a commercial correspondent. Although his artistic form of expression was primarily in Portuguese, his creative space was infused with a cross-cultural reference of identities. Pessoa’s recognition of a language’s autonomy from place and politics was most likely an effect of his multilingual emigrant experience.

Geographic restlessness has been a character trait of the Portuguese people for centuries and the Portuguese language is now imbued with a world of influence and appeal. When a Brazilian, an East-Timorese, a Portuguese or Mozambican cross paths they will inevitably communicate in the language they share most intimately.

Approximately 240 million people in eight sovereign nations, from four different continents and diasporas, speak Portuguese as their native or official language. On the American continents, Brazil makes up the largest geographic area where Portuguese is spoken. In Europe, mainland Portugal and the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are home to Portuguese. Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, S. Tomé and Príncipe on the African continent all share Portuguese as their official language as well, and on the Asian continent, Portuguese has co-official status in East Timor and Macau.

According to the Observatório da Língua Portuguesa, Portuguese is the single widest spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of 217 million native speakers. Portuguese has the fourth largest number of native speakers in the world and is the third most spoken European language, and it is the fifth most widely used language online. Ler o artigo completo

 

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