This article focuses on a study of historical emigration from the 1960s onwards, showing the importance of intercultural interaction. Due to the poverty, hunger and precarious living conditions that existed in Madeira Island, many young people saw emigration to South Africa as a means of escaping a difficult life. Arduous jobs due to their limited qualifications, as well as legal constraints and an inability to understand the language, were just some of the barriers encountered by these emigrants. By interviewing 15 persons from different generations of emigrants (first and second-generation), it was possible to gather information about the reality Madeirans have faced in South Africa. The graphematic transcription of semistructured interviews plays a very important role in the effective recording of these data, guaranteeing their comparability, analysis and discussion. The compilation of the empirical corpus, with the informed consent obtained from the interviewees, respecting their privacy and guaranteeing their anonymity allows us to perform a sociocultural and linguistic study. The study took into account intercultural personal reports of informants coming from different locations of the Island, age groups, genders, and schooling. Even though the impact of the South African culture, language and society was noticeable, the presence of the Portuguese language, music, religion, tradition, and Madeiran food were very strong, due to the fact that the Portuguese community was united.