Languages of Brazil

Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas. The Brazilian Portuguese has its own character. It differs in pronunciation and orthography and grammar a slightly modified from the European version. The ( Brazilian ) Portuguese is the only official language, and for at least 97 % of the population native language. The Native American languages ​​are spoken by only about 0.1 % of the population, these include Guaraní, Makú, Tupi and Gifts, where the last two are mainly distributed in the Amazon region, where the influence of the Europeans remained low. In the coastal areas of the Indian languages ​​have been practically completely. Guaraní had in colonial times greater importance and is only just failed to be the official language of the country. A total of 188 different languages ​​and dialects are spoken in Brazil.

Due to immigration, there are many minority languages ​​in Brazil. Up to 1.5 million Brazilians speak German as their mother tongue; where participants and descendants of the emigration wave from Pomerania sometimes the Pomeranian (Low German ) dominate much better during her high German reached no native speaker level. A particularly strong Pomeranian minority lives in the state of Espírito Santo. In addition, about 500,000 people speak Italian, 380,000 Japanese and 37,000 Korean. It must be considered that in the linguistic minorities the number of speakers is calculated very optimistic. These ethnic groups belonged partly to the early settlers and their descendants, understand almost exclusively Portuguese. In the villages that were regarded as centers for immigrants, have often been articulated Brazilian dialects of the language immigrants. Examples are Talian, Brazilian, Italian, or the Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, Brazilian German.

Until the 20th century there were (especially in the south) all the communities in which exclusively German or Italian was spoken, especially as the German emigrants and their descendants a good infrastructure of schools, clubs and the like possessed and mostly in relatively closed colonies survived. As a nationalization campaign was carried out during the authoritarian regime of the Estado Novo (1937-1945), the German community came under increasing pressure since the state has promoted the assimilation process. The entry of Brazil in World War II provided the appropriate occasion to prohibit the languages ​​of enemy states and close German and Italian schools, after which the Portuguese found its way even in these localities.

Truly representative and robust figures for the number of German speakers in Brazil there is not. Estimated to live in Brazil, however, about two to five million people of German descent, of which about 850,000 to 900,000 are likely to be bilingual ( German and Portuguese) and could thus be regarded as a German native speaker. This population is concentrated mainly on the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul in the south of the country and here tends to be small, non- sea-side cities. Examples are Pomerode, Santa Rosa de Lima or Treze Tilias in which large parts of the population still speak German. While this region was still mainly German early 20th century, was the German language through assimilation and oppression, or even prohibition in the middle of the 20th century - especially during the Second World War - replaced by Portuguese. Over the years, the situation has changed significantly, so that today the German language is particularly promoted as a cultural heritage and the region around Blumenau even serves as a tourist figurehead, although just the German language is only spoken still limited. German infrastructure in the form of newspapers and schools there is limited, but there in the public domain German is virtually non-existent, as the sole official language is Portuguese and the damage caused by suppression of the German language group in Brazil was too large and persistent to be reversible.

English as a foreign language is not as well established as in European countries. Although English is usually taught in the schools, the language summarizes slowly walking in Brazil. Even in the big cities, it is not self-evident that people speak or understand English. Usually, the Brazilians understand but at least rudimentary Spanish, even if they do not speak the language itself. As a result of increased economic cooperation of Latin American countries in the Mercosul the importance of Spanish is preferred over the English still increase. In the border areas with other South American countries, the so-called Portunhol began to emerge, a mixed language of Portuguese and Spanish, which facilitates understanding. Especially in the border area with Paraguay this hybrid language is often encountered. This is mainly because the border town of Ciudad del Este is an important trading center for the Brazilian street vendors ( " Sacoleiros ").

German language in Brazil

Municipalities with German as a second official language

Sort by states:

  • Itueta (only in the district of " Vila Nietzel " )
  • Pomerode
  • Antônio Carlos
  • Dreizehnlinden ( Treze Tílias )

Communities where German classes is compulsory

  • Nova Petrópolis
  • Blumenau