What Language Does Brazil Speak?

Brazil is among the most biodiverse places across the globe and is known for its stunning linguistic and cultural diversity. 

Along with its cultural diversity, it is home to several official and indigenous languages. But what language does Brazil speak? 

Several languages are spoken by the people in Brazil, that ranges from Portuguese, which is Brazil’s official language, to different minority languages. 

To get a clear idea about the different languages spoken in Brazil, read on further. Brazil Official Language 

Around 228 languages are spoken in Brazil, out of which 217 languages are indigenous, and other languages came with the immigrants. 

Portuguese is the national and official language of Brazil, and around 99% of the people in Brazil speak the Portuguese language. 

More than 214 million individuals speak Portuguese in Brazil. Approximately 99.5% of the population speaks it as their first language. (Source: Tomedes)

Sr.No. Popular Languages % of Speakers 
1Portuguese 99% 
2German 69% 
3Italian 65% 
4Indigenous languages 0.02% 

Source: Wikipedia 

Brazil Indigenous Languages 

Even though Indigenous languages are not the most spoken ones, Brazil comprises around 217 indigenous languages.

What Language Does Brazil Speak - Overview

According to the World Population Review, the following are a few indigenous languages spoken in Brazil.

Sr.No. Languages Speakers 
1Talian 4,000,000
2Hunsrik 3,000,000
3German 1,500,000
4Calo 400,000
5Pomeranian 300,000
6Italian 50,000
7Ticuna 35,000
8Xavante 19,000
9Kaingang 18,500 
10Kaiwa18,000
11Terena 15,800
12Macushi 15,000
13Guajajara14,000
14Nhengatu 10,300
15Plautdietsch8,000
16Mundurukú8,000
17Kayapó7,270
18Wapishana6,500
19Sateré-Mawé6,220 
20Mbyá Guaraní6,000
21Yanomami 6,000 
22Baniwa 5,810
23Chiripa 4,900 
24Tucano4,500 
25Yanomamo 4,000
26Karaja 3,060 
27Kulina 3,000
28Pakaasnovos2,720 
29Xerente 2,570
30Canela 2,500 
31Karipuna Creole French 2,400 
32Kraho 2,180 
33Waiwai 2,020 
34Apurina 2,000
35Parecis1,800 
36Kadiweu 1,590 
37Matses 1,500 
38Hupde 1,500 
39Kanamari 1,330 
40Palikur 1,290
41Maxakali1,270 
42Marubo1,250
43Aplngariko 1,170 
44Trio 1,160
45Gaviao do Jiparana 1,120 
46Waimiri Atroari 1,120 
47Kuikuro Kalapalo 1,110 
48Jamamadi 1,080
49Surui 1,010
50 Late 1,000
51Kayabi 1,000

Source: World Population Review

  1. Kaigang language is spoken in the Kaigang nation, comprising 30,000 people, and only 60% of them speak the Kaigang language. 
  1. Macushi is the largest Cariban language and is spoken by approximately 30,000 people in Brazil and Guyana. 
  1. Satere, the indigenous people of Brazil, speak the Tupi language, and 4,500 people speak Tucano in Brazil.
  1. Around 15,000 Terena people in the Mato Grosso do Sul speak Terena, an Arawakan language.
  1. Approximately 9,600 Xavante people in Eastern Mato Grosso speak Xavante, a Gê language. 
  1. Nheengatu is one of the common languages of the indigenous people residing in Brazil and is spoken by several African-descended people, Africans, and Europeans on the coast. 

Minority Languages Spoken In Brazil 

Now that we have seen the official and native languages spoken in Brazil, here is a quick overview of a few minority languages spoken in Brazil. 

  1. Japanese: Although Japanese is not the official language spoken in Brazil, it is home to large communities of Japanese ex-pats.

 Out of 1.4 million Brazilians having Japanese descent, 28% of them comprise non-Japanese ancestry. (Source: Wikipedia)

  1. Spanish: As per the National Migratory Registry 2020 of Brazil, there are approximately 6,342,000 individuals who speak Spanish in Brazil, and it is the mother tongue of around 742,000.
  1. French: French is another minority language spoken in Brazil. About 30,000 French individual resides in Brazil, out of which a maximum number of them live in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. (Source: Tomedes)
  1. English: English is taught as the second language in Brazil, and it is one of the common proficiency in the major cities of the country. 

About 5% of the Brazilian people speak English to some extent.

According to Spanish Academy, English is one of the common languages adopted by Brazilians, and there were around 10,921,000 English speakers, out of which only 121,000 people in Brazil used it as their first language in 2020

Brazilian Sign Language

Along with different languages spoken by people in Brazil, there is Brazilian sign language known as Libras, which is used by the deaf communities. 

It is mostly used in the Urban region of Brazil and is also known as the Lingua Brasileira de Sinais. 

Brazilian Sign Language

It is an independent language and is recognized by the Government as a form of communication for interpretation and professional translation. 

In 2022, approximately 3 million people used Libras to communicate. The language was officially recognized by the Government in 2002. (Source: Hand Talk)

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Conclusion: Brazil People Speak Portuguese

Even though Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, it is home to a plethora of minority languages. 

Based on the different communities and regions, you will come across different vocabulary, pronunciations, and dialects of Portuguese, which is the official language of Brazil. 

I hope the article helped you to get a clear idea about the languages spoken in Brazil. Let us know your thoughts and queries, if any, in the comments section below. 

FAQs

Which are the top three languages spoken by the people in Brazil? 

Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, and English are the top languages spoken by the people in Brazil.

Is Brazil more Portuguese or Spanish? 

With about 99% of the individuals speaking Portuguese as the primary language, Brazil is a mainly Portuguese-speaking country in the region of South America. 

Which are the immigrant languages of Brazil? 

Dutch, Catalan, Korean, Japanese, Turoyo, and Vlax Romani, along with mainstream European languages such as Polish, Italian, Ukrainian, and German, are a few immigrant languages of Brazil. 

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