7 thoughts on “Eye Candy: the languages of Brazil

  1. Interesting indeed. Makes one wonder if along the more populated sections of the borders between the Spanish and Portuguese they have a form of “Span-guese” or “Portu-nish” similar to the “Span-glish” spoken along the US-Mexico border. Much of the Brazilian border in the Amazon jungle is sparsely populated so I could see why Spanish wouldn’t be a dominant language there. Remember this is most likely a Brazilian government document and they want to point out how ubiquitous Portuguese has become.

    • Interesting theory, but the truth is that, for whatever reason, people in Brazil (even in the borders) don’t speak much Spanish.

    • I’m interested in knowing, since you are from Brazil I would guess, if the people from the border regions of the Spanish countries that surround Brazil speak much Portuguese? Or is this slaughtering of the English and Spanish languages only a phenomenon common along the US / Mexican border?

    • Well, to the best of my knowledge, people in Brazil (and surrounding countries) don’t speak much of one another’s languages.

    • There is a sizeable number of people who speak Portuguese as first language in Paraguay. But that is due to a fairly recent wave of migration, dating back to the 1960s.

      Ethnic Brazilians, known as “brasiguaios”, comprise almost 10% of the local population, own 14% of the land and live mostly in the area near the border with Brazil. For many in Paraguay, it is regarded as a threat to national security. However, those settlers brought in agricultural expertise and are now responsible for a large swath of the Paraguayan GDP.

  2. This map may give the wrong impression that those languages are dominant in the areas where they are marked. In fact, Portuguese is overwhealmingly predominant everywhere in Brazil, even in the areas where those other languages are shown.

    Altough some indigenous languages are spoken in wide areas, as the map shows, the number of speakers of some of then is no greater than a few dozen in contrast to hundreds of thousands of Portuguese speakers in the same area.

    It is also interesting to observe that the map is restricted to Portuguese and indigenous languages. There are pockets of speakers of other European languages, such as Italian and German, in some cities in the South.

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