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What language is spoken in Brazil? A brief history

by Pilar Dujan | January 30, 2024
what language is spoken in brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth-largest in the world. It holds many tourist attractions within its borders: beautiful and lively cities like Rio de Janeiro, a fun and colorful culture, the stunning beaches in Brazil, and even the Amazon. You will never get bored in a trip to Brazil! Read about the best time to visit Brazil to make the most out of your trip.

But what language do they speak in Brazil? What are some easy phrases you can learn for your next trip to South America? Keep reading to find out. But remember that, if you're one of the eligible nationalities, you will need to apply for the Brazil visa before traveling.

What language is spoken in Brazil?

In Brazil the language spoken is Portuguese. It’s the sixth most spoken language in the world, and Brazil is the most populous Portuguese-speaking country. 

Although Portuguese is the most widely spoken language in Brazil, it’s not the only one: research shows that there’s about 210 languages spoken in the country, most of them being native languages. The rest were brought in by immigrants. In some regions, native languages have been made co-official alongside Portuguese

When did Portuguese become the official language of Brazil?

Portuguese became Brazil’s official language in 1758. However, it originally arrived in the year 1500, when the first Portuguese explorers landed in Brazil and the colonization period began. 

Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Is the language of Brazil the same as in Portugal?

No: the language spoken in Brazil is called Brazilian Portuguese because it has certain differences with European Portuguese (spoken in Portugal and some of its former colonies, like Angola or Mozambique). 

The differences between European Portuguese and the Brazilian variant can be seen in several aspects, like pronunciation and grammar. European Portuguese is also more formal and traditional than the language of Brazil.

The language spoken in Brazil is more different than the Portuguese spoken in the other former colonies. They are mostly located in Africa, which is closer to Portugal, and they’ve also been less impacted by other languages compared to Brazil. 

Common phrases to help you on your trip

Visiting a new country, especially if they speak in a different language, can be stressful. To help you navigate the culture of Brazil with ease, learn these phrases in the language of Brazil:

  • Oí/Olá: Hello
  • Bom día: Good morning
  • Boa tarde: Good afternoon
  • Boa noite: Good night
  • Sim: Yes
  • Não: No
  • Por favor: Please
  • Obrigado/a: Thank you
  • De nada: You're welcome
  • Desculpa: Sorry/Excuse me
  • Não sei: I don’t know
  • Não entendo: I don’t understand
  • Você fala inglês?: Do you speak English?
  • Eu não falo português: I don’t speak Portuguese
  • Onde fica a casa de banho?: Where is the bathroom? 
  • Que horas são?: What time is it?
  • Quanto custa?: How much does this cost?