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What language is spoken in Brazil?

Although there is only one official language in Brazil, we find many different languages. Therefore, in this article we talk about the different languages ​​currently used and their history.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Official language

The only official language of Brazil is Portuguese, the language used by 200 million of Brazilians. Therefore, Brazil is the only country in America with this official language. Small differences can be observed between some areas, especially in accents and vocabulary, so there are several dialects.

The history of this language in Brazil begins in the 16th century, when the Portuguese begin to colonize the territory. However, during the first years, the tupi, known as general language (general language), since the majority of the population was indigenous.

It is in the eighteenth century when Portuguese becomes an official language and other languages ​​are prohibited. This language is influenced by the African languages ​​of the former slaves and by the indigenous. Therefore, today, Brazilian Portuguese and Portugal are quite different.

You can see a clear relationship between Spanish and Portuguese. In the following examples you will find words translated into both languages:

SpanishBrazilian Portuguese
Good MorningBom dia
GoodnightBoa noite
Thank youObrigado
SorryWith license
YesSim
NoNo

Indigenous languages

Before colonization, around 1,300 languages ​​coexisted in Brazil. Unfortunately, there are currently only about 170 left, in addition to several dialects, as most have been extinguished. In addition, a high percentage runs the risk of disappear, because they are spoken by a low number of people.

There are two large trunks into which the different native languages ​​are divided: the tupi and the macro-jê. In addition, there are other families like the aruak, he karib, he cloth and the toucan.

The only municipality in which there are several co-official languages ​​is Sao Gabriel da Cocheira, in Amazonas. Here the Portuguese coexist, the nheengatú, he toucan and the baniwa. Across the country, only 17.5% of indigenous people do not speak Portuguese.

The indigenous languages ​​with the highest number of speakers and the number of people who use it are the following:

LanguageNo. of speakers
Ticuna34,000
Guarani Kaiowá26,500
Caingang22,000
Xavante13,300
Yanomami12,700
Guajara9,500
Sateré-mawé8,900
Terêna8,200
Nheengatu7,200
Tucano7,100
Kayapó6,200
Makuxi5,800
The nheengatu or general Amazon language is a language that developed from the s. XVIII from the tongue tupinambá. It is used in communication between different tribes.

One of the existing indigenous tribes, the Urubú-Kaapor, has its own sign language that everyone knows, because in each town there is at least one deaf person. Therefore, most are bilingual, as they also have a spoken and written language.

Other languages

In addition to Portuguese and indigenous languages, in Brazil we find other languages. In the south there are some communities in which German is used. The same goes for Italian, which employs 500,000 people in Rio Grande do Sul.

Among the most studied modern languages, we find English, especially in private schools. As for the Spanish, a large part of the population understands and is able to speak it, thanks in part to the similarities with Brazilian Portuguese.

If you are interested in learning Brazilian Portuguese, you can find several online courses or mobile applications that help you study, some of them for free.

User Questions

What language is spoken in Rio de Janeiro?

In Rio de Janeiro a dialect of Brazilian Portuguese known as carioqués, in which the s it is pronounced as the x. Some people also speak Spanish or English, especially in tourist areas.

What is the business language in Brazil?

The predominant language is Portuguese. However, if they do business with foreigners, they are likely to know English or Spanish.

Is there the Brazilian language?

No, because the language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese. However, to differentiate it from the form used in Portugal, it is usually called Brazilian Portuguese.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Languages ​​by countries"so you can continue reading:

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