I happen to know that in France or in the UK or in Germany for example, a very few people are 100% French or 100% English or 100% German. I mean a lot of immigrants went into those countries to have a better life during the last centuries, my mother is italian for example and a lot of my friends have their origins from an other country (Vietnamese or Portuguese for example).
Antonio, thanks. I am from California, America, and a good portion of my family live in England as my grandmother is from England. And this is what nationalities make me up: English, Danish, French, Scottish, German, Canadian and American.
And I totally agree that before 1600 or so, it is extremely hard to say where our ancestors came from. But also, at the same time, nationalism was becoming prevalent, so you might have had two ancestors from Italy migrate to England and be absorbed into English nationalism. Anyways, we are who we are, and nothing less.
I think as long as you like a language, you can learn it whether you want to be linked with the culture or not. It can be just a hobby like any other.
Though, later, you'd better try and speak with some natives.
You can finally turn out to be interested in the culture once you know it better, you never know.
That's what happened to me with Japanese. I started learning it thinking it was just for myself, but now, I do want to go to Japan when I can afford it.
Yeah, if I started learning Portuguese, I would naturally want to speak to people who are Portuguese-speakers.
But there are people who are interested in the Classics, and they never really get a chance to speak with others in Greek and/or Latin.
I think that language in itself is boring, or CAN get boring, so to compensate, one finds ways to make it exciting. For me, I try to learn about the history of people and the history of the languages I like. Also, I find it enjoting to make languages as a hobby. However, the most fun is trying to speak foreign languages to someone who does not speak your language (which, unfortunately, I have only been able to experience briefly on two occasions or so).
Clark, why don't you go in Portugese chatrooms ? You can find Portugese-speaking who don't speak your language.