What is the official language of Brazil?


Portuguese is the official and national language of Brazil and is widely spoken by most of the population. The Portuguese dialects spoken in Brazil are collectively known as Brazilian Portuguese. The Brazilian Sign Language also has official status at the federal level.

Aside from Portuguese, the country has also numerous minority languages, including indigenous languages, such as Nheengatu (a descendant of Tupi), and languages of more recent European and Asian immigrants, such as Italian, German and Japanese. In some municipalities, those minor languages have official status: Nheengatu, for example, is an official language in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, while a number of German dialects are official in nine southern municipalities. Riograndenser Hunsrückisch is a German dialect unique to Brazil, which has official status in Antônio Carlos and Santa Maria do Herval.

As of 2019, the population of Brazil speaks or signs approximately 228 languages, of which 217 are indigenous and 11 came with immigrants. In 2005, fewer than 40,000 people (about 0.02% of the population at the time) spoke any of the indigenous languages.

The Brazilian spelling of Portuguese is distinct from that of other Portuguese-speaking countries and is uniform across the country. With the implementation of the Orthographic Agreement of 1990, the orthographic norms of Brazil and Portugal have been largely unified, but still have some minor differences. Brazil enacted these changes in 2009 and Portugal enacted them in 2012.

English is the most widely studied foreign language in the country, followed by Spanish.Although they are widely available in private courses and often studied in both private and public schools, no foreign language is mandatory in the official curriculum. English has replaced French as the principal second language among educated people.

In 2002, Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) was made the official language of the Bennidorm deaf community.


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