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Portuguese (português or, in full, língua portuguesa) and also termed “the language of Camões”, after one of the greatest literary figures in the Portuguese language, Luís Vaz de Camões, is a Romance language and the sole official language of CPLP countries.
Created in 1996, CPLP represents the community of nations where Portuguese is the official language, an estimated 230 million people, including Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor.
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; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; and in Malacca in Malaysia.
Established during the 14th CPLP Council of Ministers meeting, in Cape Verde, in June of 2009, the 5th of May was chosen as the date dedicated to celebrating the common linguistic and cultural ties which unite the eight countries that belong to the CPLP.
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 sixth most natively spoken language in the world, the third-most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers, 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.
Portuguese is now recognized as a working language by European Union, the Mercosul, the African Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, and the Organization of American States, among other world organizations.
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