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Portuguese (português{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} or, in full, língua portuguesa{{#invoke:Category handler|main}})Unknown extension tag "ref" is a Romance language and the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe.<ref name="CPLP">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, and Macau. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India;<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka, in the Indonesian island of Flores, and in Malacca in Malaysia.

Portuguese is a part of the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia. With approximately 215 to 220 million native speakers and 260 million total speakers, Portuguese is usually listed as the fifth most natively spoken language in the world, the third-most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and a major language of the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the most spoken language in South America and the second-most spoken in Latin America after Spanish, and is an official language of the European Union, Mercosul and the African Union.

Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes once called Portuguese "the sweet and gracious language" and Spanish playwright Lope de Vega referred to it as "sweet", while the Brazilian writer Olavo Bilac poetically described it as "a última flor do Lácio, inculta e bela{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}" (the last flower of Latium, rustic and beautiful). Portuguese is also termed "the language of Camões", after one of the greatest literary figures in the Portuguese language, Luís Vaz de Camões.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

In March 2006, the Museum of the Portuguese Language, an interactive museum about the Portuguese language, was founded in São Paulo, Brazil, the city with the greatest number of Portuguese language speakers in the world.<ref name="NOVA">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The Museum is the first of its kind in the world.<ref name="NOVA" />


Portuguese language sections
Intro   History    Geographic distribution    Dialects    Vocabulary    Classification and related languages    Phonology    Examples of different pronunciation    Grammar    Writing system    See also    Notes    References    External links   

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