Portuguese (português or língua portuguesa [ˈɫĩɡwɐ puɾtuˈɣezɐ]) is a Romance language and the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It also has co-official language status in Macau, Equatorial Guinea and East Timor. As the result of expansion during colonial times, Portuguese speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India, and in Malacca in Malaysia.
Portuguese is a part of the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several dialects of colloquial Latin in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia. With approximately 210 to 215 million native speakers and 240 million total speakers, Portuguese is usually listed as the seventh most spoken language in the world (or sixth, being very close to Bengali in native speakers), the third most spoken European language and the 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 Castilian, as well as an official language of the European Union and Mercosul.
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" (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.
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. (from Wikipedia)