Portugal in the period of discoveries and colonization created a linguistic contact with native languages and people of the discovered lands and pidgins were formed. Until the 18th century, these Portuguese pidgins were used as a lingua franca in Asia and Africa. These creoles are spoken, mostly, by inter-racial communities (Portuguese people with natives).
Later, the Portuguese pidgins were expanded grammatically and lexically, as they became creole languages. Today, these languages are known as "Portuguese creoles". The Portuguese creoles or Portuguese-based creoles are the ones that have almost all lexical content bases on Portuguese, while grammatically they are very different.
Portuguese creoles were purportedly once widely used in Asia, though probably more frequently as trade languages than as mother tongues. They survive today in Hong Kong and to some extent in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and a portion of the west coast of India. In Africa, Portuguese creoles are used by more than 450,000 people in Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, the Cape Verde Islands, and some Gulf of Guinea islands (Annobn in Equatorial Guinea, where it is losing ground to Spanish, and Sõo Tomé and Príncipe, where more than four-fifths of the 125,000 inhabitants speak creole dialects). In Brazil a Portuguese creole was once widespread, extending even to Suriname, where Portuguese Jews and their slaves fled in the 17th century; the creole is now virtually extinct.
Creole Portuguese in the Far East
The Portuguese language was in XVI-XVIII centuries the trade language of the Indian Ocean shores. Although the portuguese influence on weakened rapidly, the Portuguese language survived. Even today there are communities that continue speaking Creole Portuguese languages without even being in touch with Portugal for years or centuries.
- Cafundo Creole
- Fa D'ambu
- Malaccan Creole Portuguese
- Crioulo, Upper Guinea
- Pidgin, Timor
- Korlai Creole Portuguese