Languages in Brazil

The Portuguese spoken in Brazil is just like, however not the identical, because the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. It has been influenced over the centuries by indigenous, Amerindian languages. It has the identical alphabet because the English language (Latin) with the addition of accent marks over some letters in sure phrases. 


Variety of Brazilian Languages

In response to, probably the most broadly consulted stock of the world’s languages used right now, there are 238 listed particular person languages and dialects listed for Brazil. Nevertheless, solely 218 of those live and 20 don't longer exist. Of the dwelling languages, 202 are indigenous and 16 are non-indigenous. As well as, 7 are institutional, 30 are growing, 27 are sturdy, 57 are in hassle, and 97 are dying.

Brazil’s language range may be very shocking and fascinating. There are a number of indigenous communities and people who're capable of converse or perceive multiple language. Additionally, it is not uncommon to seek out full communities talking a number of languages. A number of the principal indigenous languages are Guarani, Arara, Bororo, Canellla, Kaingang, Terena, Tucano and Nheengatu. Attending to know this number of languages represents an actual problem for a lot of linguists. The target for a lot of initiatives of indigenous faculty schooling is to maintain these languages alive.

The official language coverage

Portuguese is the official and broadly spoken language by 99% of the Brazilian inhabitants, greater than 211million audio system (primarily based on the newest United Nations estimates, January 2019). Since Portuguese is the official language, authorities departments, companies, colleges, and the media use it day-after-day.

As Cabral, de Araujo, and Da Silva (2016) declare, applications to indigenous academics on the excessive faculty stage are being provided by each Division of Training in the states with indigenous populations. Some public universities, in these states, have additionally intercultural indigenous applications. There are states which have multiple intercultural program, notably these with massive numbers of indigenous peoples, as is the case for the States of Mato Grosso, Amazonas, and Pará. It's anticipated that this diploma program can admit graduates of the Excessive Faculty Trainer Coaching (Excessive Faculty Magisterium).

The dominant language teams and their attitudes in the direction of the linguistic minorities

Massini-Cagliari (2004) claims that almost all of Portuguese audio system marginalize language minorities in Brazil. She believes that language minorities in Brazil have by no means been acknowledged as reliable and even as current by the media. She affirms that the principle TV channels all the time think about the opinions of nearly all of individuals of their applications. On this sense, linguistic minorities in Brazil are ‘statistically non-significant’ for them. Their selection shouldn't be solely financial, but in addition ideological. The media (together with TV, radio, and newspapers) have all the time embraced the thought of Brazil being a linguistically homogeneous big.” (p. four)

The standing of the linguistic minorities

Minority languages of Brazil are made up of immigrant and indigenous languages. Probably the most widespread immigrant languages embody these from Asia and Europe. Some Asian languages spoken in Brazil are: Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Macanese (a Chinese language-Portuguese creole language). European languages spoken in Brazil embody: German, Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, and Pomeranian. A lot of the indigenous languages of Brazil are concentrated within the northern areas of the nation. Probably the most broadly spoken of those (with greater than 10,000 audio system) embody: Kaingang, Ticuna, Kaiwa Guarani, and Macushi.

The precise extent and diploma of bilingualism

 As acknowledged by the location Povos Indígenas no Brazil, it is not uncommon to seek out indigenous peoples or people in conditions of bilingualism, trilingualism and even multilingualism. In the identical communities, it's attainable to return throughout people who converse solely the indigenous language, others who converse simply Portuguese and others nonetheless who're bilingual or multilingual. Among the many individuals of the Negro River basin, males typically converse between three and 5 languages, or much more – a few of them converse eight or ten. Moreover, languages, for them, are components that represent their private identification. A person should, for instance, converse the identical language as his father, that's, share with him the identical ‘linguistic group’. Nevertheless, he has to marry a girl who speaks a distinct language, in different phrases, who belongs to a distinct ‘linguistic group’.

The language of schooling

 The language of instruction in colleges and universities is Portuguese. Nevertheless, Indigenous peoples have the problem to study Portuguese in the event that they need to defend their social, financial, and political rights. Silva (2009) considers that the Brazilian authorities is attempting to impose all language minorities an official language: Portuguese. In response to him, “the discount of the variety of indigenous languages in Brazil was the results of bodily extermination and of linguistic plans and insurance policies carried to those peoples, which had been made concrete in formal faculty schooling.” (p. four)


Linguistic issues confronted by the nation

In response to Vitorelli’s 2014 examine, the variety of languages by the point Portuguese sailors’ arrival in Brazil was estimated at round 1,200 completely different languages. So many languages have been misplaced because the starting of colonization. In addition to, among the current languages are getting extinct or are beneath severe risk of disappearing within the quick run. There are few insurance policies to protect these endangered languages

As well as, Vitorelli (2014) explains that though the indigenous languages in Brazil are protected, they're restricted to their very own communities. He provides that Brazil has adopted legal guidelines that will allow efficient safety of the Indians and their tradition. Nevertheless, the strict interpretation of those legal guidelines, adopted by Brazilian Courts, is leading to restrictions of the rights of the Indians, amongst them, the fitting to specific themselves in their very own language. Jalil and Moura (2011) state that some essential linguistic challenges that Brazil faces are poor high quality and little entry to bilingual schooling to kids and language minority communities, little trainer schooling with regard to bilingualism and bilingual schooling, and lack of curriculums, methodologies, and supplies for bilingual schooling.


  • Brazil from A to Z: Linguas (Languages of Brazil). (2016, Could 2). Brazilian Expertise. Retrieved from languages-of-brazil/
  • Brazil Languages. (2018, Could 1st). Retrieved from
  • Brazil inhabitants. (2019, January 18). Worldmeters. Retrieved from
  • Cabral, A. S., de Araujo, W. B., & Da Silva, V. (2016). Indigenous Language Insurance policies in Brazil.  John Benjamins Publishing Firm, p. 45-59
  • Jalil, S. A., & Moura, S. (2011). An summary of Bilingualism and Bilingual Training in Brazil. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
  • Massini-Cagliari, G. (2004). Language coverage in Brazil: monolingualism and linguistic prejudice. Kluwer Tutorial Publishers, Vol, Three(1), p. Three-23
  • Languages of the world. (n.d.). Ethnologue. Retrieved from
  • Languages, Povos Indígenas no Brazil. (2018, march 22). Retrieved from
  • Rolim, P. M. (2019, January 22). Private Interview.
  • Silva, A. (2009). Discuss proper, indian! Language insurance policies and indigenous peoples in Brazil. CiteSeerX, p. 1-15
  • Vitorelli, E. (2014). Linguistic minorities in courtroom: the exclusion of indigenous peoples in Brazil Language and Legislation. Linguagem e Direito, Vol. 1(1), p. 159-173
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