I really like the Portuguese language, but if I want to be understood in all Portuguese speaking countries (e.g. Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique), would it be enough to speak "Portuguese" Portuguese? If not, would learning Brazilian Portuguese be a better alternative, given the huge soap opera industry in Brazil.
The answer is yes, but you will have to speak a bit slower to most Brazilians, since they are not so used to listening to Portuguese with "Portuguese accent".
The other way around is easier because Portuguese people are used to listen to Brazilian accent in soap operas.
In Angola, Mozambique, etc. differences also exist but the understanding might be a bit easier due to several cultural and historical reasons.
There are also some minor differences in word spelling and meaning between country's but if you learn Portuguese in any Portuguese speaking country it should be easy to overcome those differences. With the orthographic agreement recently settled these changes are fading away.
There will still be differences in pronunciation and even specific words in each country, specially in colloquial language, but that's the beauty of a language, it's live and dynamic.
There are actually very nice, lets call them, regional terms in each countrys:
Portuguese / Angola: http://casadeluanda.blogspot.nl/2008/03/dicionrio-angolano-de-m-z.html Portuguese / Brazil: https://br.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070303161905AAE1LZG Portuguese / Brazil: http://www.paraladasecretaria.com/diferencas-portugues-de-portugal-vs-portugues-do-brasil/ (a very nice article, unfortunatly in Portuguese, where some minor gramar explanations and some idiomatic expressions)
These are just 2 examples. But I am sure you can find them also for Mozambique, S, Tome and Princepe, Guine Bissau, Cape Verde, India (Goa), Timor and Macau.
I'm from Brazil. I lived 12 years in Portugal. In Portugal I met many Africans, Portugueses of course and people from countries where speaks Portuguese.
Have many differences between the Portuguese Language ( Brazilian, Angolan, Portugal ). When someone ask me this questions I use to explain the same difference between the English from different countries like USA, UK, Australia. Exist difference but you can communicate.
Normally the Portuguese people will understand better the Brazilian because in television in Portugal have a lot of soap opera from Brazil and news. The Brazilians have less contact with the Portuguese from Portugal but still understandable.
Some words in Portugal are rude in Brazil but are understandable when you are from overseas.
The Portuguese spoken in Mozambique is a little closer to Portuguese spoken in Portugal. You will be understood here if you are trained in 'classic' Portuguese.