While the vast majority of people in Brazil speak Portuguese, this large South American country is linguistically diverse with hundreds of spoken languages including indigenous languages, immigrant languages, and unique regional dialects. There are about 228 languages spoken in Brazil. This includes Portuguese and 11 other foreign or immigrant languages and 217 indigenous languages.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese and it's also the most widely spoken language in the country. The dialect of Portuguese spoken in Brazil is called Brazilian Portuguese. About 99% of people in Brazil speak Portuguese.
Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas but it differs from European Portuguese as it's been influenced by German and Italian in the South and the country's indigenous languages.
Portuguese came to dominate Brazil when the Portuguese arrived in 1500. At the time, there were 6 million indigenous people speaking about 1,000 languages. Amerindian languages gradually disappeared when their speakers were decimated or integrated.
Many areas have adopted official languages in addition to Portuguese, usually in response to large immigrant or indigenous populations. For example, German has co-official status in the cities Santa Maria de Jetibá and Pomerode. Talian is an official language in thevstates of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina.
Brazil is home to many minority and indigenous languages.
There are 217 reported indigenous languages spoken in Brazil. Most of these languages are spoken in Northern Brazil. Today, there are only about 10,000 to 40,000 native speakers of these languages combined.
Nheengatu was the common trade language for many indigenous people of Brazil as well as Africans, Europeans, and African-descendant peoples along the coast. It was spoken by most people in the area until the late 1800s. It's recently experienced a resurgence in popularity.
Indigenous languages also spoken in Brazil include:
Brazil has a large number of people who speak two or more languages. English is the most frequently studied and spoken foreign language in Brazil followed by Spanish. In the 1940s, German was the most widely used second language in Brazil thanks to a large influx of German immigrants.
The most common immigrant languages in Brazil are: