Portuguese is the most widely spoken language in Brazil and the official language of the country, with around 204 million residents speaking the language. Brazil is the world’s most populated Portuguese-speaking country by far, and the largest country in South America, both by land area as well as by population. Brazil is home to nearly 210 million people, out of which nearly 98% percent use Portuguese as their primary language. Brazil is known for being the only predominantly-speaking country in all of South America. Before the colonization of Brazil in the 1500s, there were dozens of indigenous languages spoken all over Brazil. After the Portuguese arrived in 1500, however, they brought their own language which began to emerge as Brazil’s primary language, a trend which has stuck to this day.

From Portuguese Dominance to Multicultural Tongues: Exploring Brazil’s Language Landscape

Despite the fact that Brazilian Portuguese and the Portuguese spoken in Portugal are mutually intelligible, certain differences between the two do exist. One of the main differences between the two variants of the language is pronunciation. Brazilians speak vowels longer and wider, while the Portuguese don’t pronounce the vowels as much.

Other languages that can be heard in Brazil include German, Spanish, English, Italian and some other previously mentioned indigenous languages which existed before the European colonization started taking place. Some of these include Ticuna, Kaiwa Guarani and Kaingang, which have continued to be in use to this day.

German Immigrants and Italian Roots: The Influence of European Languages in Brazil

German language is spoken by about 1.9% of Brazil’s population, but despite the seemingly low percentage, German is the second most widely used language in Brazil. This is mainly due to the fact that many German immigrants arrived to Brazil in the 1940s, when the number of German speakers became particularly strong. Many German immigrants have continued to use their language within the country over time, which is why German has managed to retain its status of a commonly-spoken language in Brazil to this day. German is also taught in schools in certain municipalities in the country. Italian has found its way into Brazil similarly as German, as it was also brought in by immigrants in the 20th century. The Italian language does have a limited presence in the country, but it has not been conserved as well as the German language.

Spanish is widely understood by many Brazilians due to language similarities and the country’s close geographical proximity to Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish is not very widespread due to the fact that it is often overtaken by English in terms of popularity. English is often taught as a second language in Brazilian schools, with many Brazilians also taking private English classes. English fluency is most common among the major city centers, with approximately 3% of Brazilians who speak English, out of the estimated 5% of those who speak a second language.

Italian is the most commonly spoken language in Italy, as well as its official language. Although not listed by the constitution as the official language, several courts have made legal decisions identifying the language as such. Italy has a multicultural population of over 60 million residents who speak many different languages, ranging from minority languages to regional dialects. Italian, as aforementioned, is the most widely spoken and the official language of the country, spoken by around 85 million people all over the world. Italian also serves as one of the working languages of the Council of Europe.

The Rich Roots of Italian: From Tuscan Dialect to a Romance Language

The Italian language is considered a Romance language and is closely related to Latin, more so than any other Romance language. Italian has its roots in the Tuscan dialect of the Italo-Dalmatian subgroup, which is part of the Indo-European language family. The Tuscan dialect was used by writers and the upper class of the Florentine society during the 1100s, such as the famous author Dante Alighieri, who is often credited for standardizing the language.

Apart from Italian, a number of minority languages are spoken in Italy, such as French, Greek, German, Albanian, Sardinian, Croatian, Occitan, Slovene, Friulian, Catalan, Ladin, and Franco-Provencal. Out of these languages, Sardinian belongs to its own group within the Romance languages, with around 1 million people speaking Sardinian, most of which live on the island of Sardinia. Sardinian has been influenced by Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Byzantine Greek, and pre-Latin languages, and is considered to be an indigenous language and very closely related to Latin. Sardinian is further divided into two varieties: Logudorese and Campidanese. As per UNESCO, both varieties are considered endangered, as Italian gains more prominence.

Other languages are spoken in Italy, 31 of which UNESCO considers to have varying degrees of vulnerability: Griko, Gardiol, Vastese, Toitschu, and Molise Croatian, to name a few.

Minority Languages in Italy: Preserving Griko, Gardiol, Vastese, Toitschu, and Molise Croatian

Griko is the language of the Griko people, who are believed to have descended from the Southern Italy’s Ancient Greek communities. This language belongs to the Hellenic language group and has between 40,000 and 50,000 second language speakers. Gardiol is spoken in the twon of Guardia Piemontese in the Calabria region, and is considered to be a dialect of the Occitan language. Vastese is considered to be a separate language and not a dialect of Italian, and is only spoken by the inhabitants of the town of Vasto, with the majority of the native speakers being between the ages of 80 and 90. Toitschu, also known as Walser German, is spoken throughout Italy’s Piedmont and Aosta Valley regions and is considered to be a dialect of Alemmanic. However, it is not mutually intelligible with Standard German or Swiss. Molise Croatian is a dialect of Serbo-Croatian, spoken by the Italian Croats in the Campobasso province. It has less than 1,000 native speakers.