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of South America

Official languages in South America

The languages of South America can be divided into three broad groups:

  • the languages of the (in most cases, former) colonial powers;
  • many indigenous languages, some of which are co-official alongside the colonial languages;
  • and various pockets of other languages spoken by immigrant populations.

Main languages[edit]

Spanish is the most spoken language of South America with Portuguese as a close second.

Other official languages with substantial number of speakers are:

  • English in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and the Falkland Islands
  • Spanish in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay
  • Portuguese in Brazil and Uruguay
  • Dutch in Suriname
  • French in French Guiana
  • Aymara in Bolivia and Peru
  • Guaraní in Bolivia and Paraguay
  • Quechua in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru
Language Speakers Country(ies) Source
Spanish 214,265,000 Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Suriname [1]
Portuguese 211,754,600 Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela [2]
Quechua 7,735,620 Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Colombia [3]
English 6,925,850 Guyana, Falkland Islands, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Suriname, Venezuela [4]
Guarani 6,162,790 Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina [5]
Talian 4,000,000 Brazil [6]
Hunsrik 3,000,000 Brazil [7]
Aymara 1,677,100 Bolivia, Peru [8]
German 1,285,800 Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela [9]
Italian 1,259,900 Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela [10]
Japanese 425,000 Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay [11]
Wayuu 416,000 Colombia, Venezuela [12]
French 319,400 French Guiana, Brazil (Amapá) [13]
Sranan Tongo 307,600 Suriname, French Guiana [14]
Pomeranian 300,000 Brazil [15]
Mapudungun 258,410 Argentina, Chile [16]
Sarnami Hindustani 164,000 Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana [17]
Dutch 126,200 Suriname [18]

Indigenous languages[edit]

Main native languages in Latin America, legend:

  Quechua   Guarani   Aymara
  Nahuatl   Mayan languages   Mapudungun

Main language families of South America (other than Aimaran, Mapudungun, and Quechuan, which expanded after the Spanish conquest).

Indigenous languages of South America include, among several others, the Quechua languages in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru and to a lesser extent in Argentina, Chile, and Colombia; Guaraní in Paraguay and to a much lesser extent in Argentina and Bolivia; Aymara in Bolivia and Peru and to a lesser extent in Chile; Wayuu in northern Colombia and northwest Venezuela; and Mapudungun in small pockets of southern Chile and Argentina.

In Bolivia, three languages—Quechua, Aymara, and Tupi Guarani—are co-official alongside Spanish. In Paraguay, Guarani shares joint official status with Spanish. In Colombia, the languages of the country’s ethnic groups are constitutionally recognized as official languages in their territories; more than 60 such aboriginal languages exist today. Ecuador uses Spanish, Northern Quechua, and Shuar as official languages for intercultural relations. In Peru, Quechua and Aymara, as well as other indigenous languages, are co-official in the areas where they are predominant. There are many other languages once spoken in South America that are extinct today (such as the extinct languages of the Marañón River basin).

In Brazil, there are around 135 indigenous languages confirmed. The regions with the most speakers are northern and southern Brazil, where there is a larger concentration of native people. Indigenous populations have been trying to keep their traditions of their homeland, with the help of Funai, the agency responsible for the protection of the native people.

Rapa Nui is a Polynesian language spoken on Easter Island, Chile.[19]

Language Speakers Countries Source
Quechua 7,735,620 Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Colombia [3]
Guarani 6,162,790 Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina [5]
Aymara 1,677,100 Bolivia, Peru [8]
Wayuu 416,000 Colombia, Venezuela [12]
Mapudungun 258,410 Argentina, Chile [16]

Classification[edit]

  • Macro-Chibchan
    • Chibchan
      • Chibcha-Duit, Tunebo, Arhuaco, Cuna-Cueva, Guaymi-Dorasque, Talamanca, Rama-Guatuso
      • Misumalpan, Paya, Xinca, Lenca
      • Shiriana
    • Paezan
      • Choco, Cuaiquer, Andaki, Paez-Coconuco, Colorado-Cayapa, Warrau, Mura-Matanawi, Jirajira, Yunca, Atacameno, Itonama
  • Andean-Equatorial
    • Andean
      • Ona, Yahgan, Alacaluf, Tehuelche, Puelche, Araucanian
      • Quechua, Aymara
      • Zaparoan
        • Omurano, Cabela
      • Cahuapana
      • Leco, Sec, Culle, Xibito-Cholon, Catacao, Colan
      • Simacu
    • Jibaro-Kandoshi, Esmeralda, Cofan, Yaruro
    • Macro-Tucanoan
      • Tucano
        • Auixira
      • Catuquina, Ticuna, Muniche, Auaque, Caliana, ‘Maku’, Yuri, Canichana, Mobima
      • Puinave
    • Equatorial
      • Arawak
        • Chapacura-Uanhaman, Chamicuro, Apolista, Amuesha, Araua, Uru
      • Tupi
        • Ariqueme
      • Timote, Cariri, Zamuco, Guahibo-Pamigua, Saliban, Otomaco-Taparita, Mocoa, Tuyuneri, Yuruneri, Trumai, Cayuvava
  • Ge-Pano-Carib
    • Macro-Gê
      • Ge, Caingang, Camacan, Machacali, Puri, Pataxo, Malali, Coropo, Botocudo, Chiquita, Guato, Fulnio, Oti
      • Bororo
      • Caraja
    • Macro-Panoan
      • Tacana-Pano, Moseten, Mataco, Lule, Vilela, Mascoy, Charrua, Guaycuru-Opaie
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Source:[20]

Other non-indigenous languages[edit]

  • Municipalities in which Talian is co-official in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, highlighted in red: Bento Gonçalves,[21] Caxias do Sul,[22] Flores da Cunha,[23] Nova Roma do Sul,[24][25] and Serafina Corrêa.[26]

  • Municipalities in which East Pomeranian dialect is co-official in Espírito Santo, Brazil: Domingos Martins,[27][28][29] Itarana,[30][31] Laranja da Terra,[27][29] Pancas,[27][32][33] Santa Maria de Jetibá,[27][34][35] and Vila Pavão.[27][36][35]

In Brazil, Italian and German dialects, specifically Talian, East Pomeranian, and Hunsrik, have co-official status alongside Portuguese in about a dozen cities and are mandatory subjects in schools in other municipalities. The states of Santa Catarina[37][38][39] and Rio Grande do Sul have Talian officially approved as a heritage language in these states,[40] and Espírito Santo has the East Pomeranian dialect,[41] along with the German language as cultural heritage.[41][42][43][44][45][46]

English is an official language in Guyana, and its creole form is the country’s most widely spoken language. English is also the official language in the territories of the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

French is the official language in French Guiana, an overseas region of France. Dutch is the official language in neighboring Suriname.

Italian is spoken by communities in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Brazil.[10][47]

German is used by some in Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Colombia.[9][48]

Welsh is spoken and written in the historic towns of Trelew and Rawson in Argentine Patagonia.[49]

There are also small clusters of Japanese speakers in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia (including Okinawans from the island of Okinawa). Brazil currently holds the largest Japanese community outside Japan.[50][11]

Caribbean Hindustani is spoken by the Indo-Guyanese and the Indo-Surinamese.[51] In Suriname, the language is known as Sarnami Hindoestani and is still widely spoken. However, in Guyana, where it is known as Aili Gaili,[52] the language is nearly extinct as a spoken language, with only words and phrases still remaining.[53]

Javanese is spoken by the Javanese Surinamese who form about 14% of the country’s population.[54]

Sranan Tongo, an English-based creole, serves as one of the lingua francas of Suriname, alongside Dutch.[14]

Other non-indigenous languages spoken include Arabic,[55] Chinese,[56] Romani,[57] Haitian Creole,[58] Romanian,[59] Greek,[60] Polish,[61] Ukrainian,[62] and Russian.[63]

See also[edit]

  • Languages in censuses
  • Indigenous languages of South America
  • List of unclassified languages of South America
  • List of extinct languages of South America
  • Extinct languages of the Marañón River basin

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spanish at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  2. ^ Portuguese at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  3. ^ a b Quechuan at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  4. ^ English at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  5. ^ a b Guarani at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  6. ^ Venetian at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  7. ^ Hunsrik at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  8. ^ a b Central Aymara at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access,
    Southern Aymara at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  9. ^ a b German, Standard at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  10. ^ a b Italian at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  11. ^ a b Japanese at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  12. ^ a b Wayuu at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  13. ^ French at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  14. ^ a b Sranan Tongo at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  15. ^ Saxon, Low at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  16. ^ a b Mapudungun at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  17. ^ Sarnami Hindustani at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  18. ^ Dutch at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  19. ^ Rapa Nui at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  20. ^ Greenberg, Joseph H. “The general classification of Central and South American languages”, in: Men and cultures; selected papers of the 5th international congress of anthropological and ethnologicalsciences, Philadelphia, September 1956 PP. 791-4
  21. ^ “Câmara Bento – Projeto do Executivo é aprovado e Talian se torna a língua co-oficial – Jornal Cidades da Serra”. 24 September 2016. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016.
  22. ^ “Lei confirma o Talian como segunda língua oficial de Caxias do Sul”. 30 March 2019. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019.
  23. ^ “Leouve – Talian é língua cooficial de Flores da Cunha”. 15 June 2016. Archived from the original on 15 June 2016.
  24. ^ Lei Nº 1310 de 16 de outubro de 2015 – Dispõe sobre a cooficialização da língua do “talian”, à língua portuguesa, no município de Nova Roma do Sul”
  25. ^ O Talian agora é a língua co-oficial de Nova Roma do Sul, município de Nova Roma do Sul
  26. ^ “Município de Serafina Corrêa Vereadores aprovam o talian como língua co-oficial do município”. 30 March 2019. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019.
  27. ^ a b c d e Espírito Santo investe na preservação da língua pomerana, in “Registros Escritos”, fifth paragraph.
  28. ^ “A escolarização entre descendentes pomeranos em Domingos Martins” (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  29. ^ a b “A co-oficialização da língua pomerana (third paragraph)” (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  30. ^ Município de Itarana participa de ações do Inventário da Língua Pomerana, Prefeitura Municipal de Itarana
  31. ^ «Lei Municipal nº 1.195/2016 de Itarana/ES». itarana.es.gov.br
  32. ^ “Pomerano!?” (in Portuguese). Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  33. ^ “No Brasil, pomeranos buscam uma cultura que se perde” (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  34. ^ “Lei dispõe sobre a cooficialização da língua pomerana no município de Santa maria de Jetibá, Estado do Espírito Santo” (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  35. ^ a b Cooficialização de línguas no Brasil: características, desdobramentos e desafios, third page.
  36. ^ “Vila Pavão, Uma Pomerânia no norte do Espirito Santo” (in Portuguese). Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  37. ^ “LEI Nº 14.951” (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  38. ^ “Rotary apresenta ações na Câmara. FEIBEMO divulga cultura italiana” (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  39. ^ “Fóruns sobre o Talian – Eventos comemoram os 134 anos da imigração italiana” (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  40. ^ “Aprovado projeto que declara o Talian como patrimônio do RS” (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  41. ^ a b “O povo pomerano no ES” (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  42. ^ “Plenário aprova em segundo turno a PEC do patrimônio” (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  43. ^ “Emenda Constitucional na Íntegra” (PDF) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  44. ^ “ALEES – PEC que trata do patrimônio cultural retorna ao Plenário” (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  45. ^ “TITUS Didactica: German Dialects (map)”. titus.uni-frankfurt.de.
  46. ^ “Pommern in Brasilien – LernCafe – Online-Journal zur allgemeinen Weiterbildung”. www.lerncafe.de.
  47. ^ Bernasconi, Giulia (30 January 2012). “L’ITALIANO IN VENEZUELA”.
  48. ^ “German, Colonia Tovar”. Ethnologue. Retrieved 2022-02-06.
  49. ^ Welsh at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  50. ^ “Japan, Brazil mark a century of settlement, family ties | The Japan Times Online”. 2008-01-15.
  51. ^ Frawley, William (2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: 4-Volume Set. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 481–482. ISBN 978-0-19-513977-8.
  52. ^ “Language”. Caribbean Hindustani. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  53. ^ “The Linguistic Legacy of Indian-Guyanese”. Stabroek News. 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  54. ^ “Suriname – The World Factbook”. www.cia.gov. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  55. ^ Arabic at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  56. ^ Chinese at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  57. ^ Romani at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  58. ^ Haitian at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  59. ^ Romanian at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  60. ^ Greek at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  61. ^ Polish at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  62. ^ Ukrainian at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
  63. ^ Russian at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020) closed access
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External links[edit]

  • Nicolai, Renato (2006). “Vocabulários e dicionários de línguas indígenas brasileiras”.
  • Petrucci, Victor A. (2007). “Línguas Indígenas”.
  • South American Indigenous Language Structures
  • SAPhon – South American Phonological Inventories
  • Sound comparisons for various South American languages
  • Diachronic Atlas of Comparative Linguistics (DiACL)

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Frequently Asked Questions About what are the two primary languages in latin america

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic what are the two primary languages in latin america, then this section may help you solve it.

What is the Latin American continent’s official language?

Spanish

What are the two languages that are most commonly spoken in Latin America and why?

The reason Latin America is so named is because the Spanish and Portuguese colonized the region in the 1500s and kept it that way until 1800, making Spanish and Portuguese the most widely spoken languages there today.

What is the second most widely spoken language in Latin America?

The most widely used languages in Latin America (aside from…)

  • Nearly 400 million people speak Spanish in Latin America, with 40 million more Spanish-speakers in the United States. …
  • Everyone knows about the other ?big one?: Portuguese.

What are the two main languages that were introduced to Latin America from Europe?

Where linguists disagree, however, is on the origins of the indigenous languages of South America. We know that colonizers/conquerors/invaders brought b>Spanish and Portuguese/b> to South America, as well as English, French, Dutch, German, and a number of other European languages.

Which three languages dominate in Latin America?

Latin America is the area of the Americas where Romance languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French, which are descended from Latin, are spoken.

Which languages are spoken most frequently in Latin America?

Nearly 210 million people in South America speak Spanish, with the majority living in Colombia (approximately 47.2 million), making it the most widely spoken language in the continent by a small number of million speakers.

Which language is most widely spoken in Latin America?

Spanish is the most spoken of all languages in South America. Due to the Spanish explorers influence, countries such as Argentina and Columbia hold over 80 million Spanish speakers combined. But they are not the only nations in South America which are home to Spanish speakers.

What language is most popular in America?

2. Spanish. With over 41 million speakers nationwide, the Spanish language and culture are well-known in a variety of different regions, from California to New York. Spanish is unquestionably the second most widely spoken language in the U.S. after English.

Which two languages originated with the Romans?

the division of the Roman Empire’s languages, with Latin predominating in the West and Greek in the East.

What language has the most Latin?

Italian is considered to be a conservative language; compared to the other four Romance languages—French, Romanian, Spanish, and Italian—it is the one that is closest to Latin.

Which Latin dialect was the first?

Old Latin, which is attested in both inscriptions and some of the earliest extant Latin literary works, such as the comedies of Plautus and Terence, is the earliest form of Latin that is known to have existed. It was spoken from the Roman Kingdom to the later part of the Roman Republic period.

What dialect did Jesus use?

The majority of religious scholars and historians concur with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus primarily spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic. By the 7th century B.C., the Aramaic language had spread widely and would eventually become the common tongue in much of the Middle East due to trade, invasions, and conquest.

Which three Latin languages are there?

Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian are three popular Romance languages that will be examined in this article to find out more about where they are spoken, how many people speak them, and how regional dialects have changed over time.

A language was it used by Adam and Eve?

According to Jewish tradition (as found in the midrashim) and some Christians, Adam (and possibly Eve) spoke an Adamic language in the Garden of Eden.

How would one express God in Aramaic?

The Aramaic word for God is alôh-ô ( Syriac dialect) or elâhâ (Biblical dialect), which comes from the same Proto- Semitic word (*?ilâh-) as the Arabic and Hebrew terms; Jesus is described in Mark 15:34 as having used the word on the cross, with the ending meaning “my”, when saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou …

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