Languages of South America
- the languages of the (in most cases, former) colonial powers
- many indigenous languages, some of which are co-official alongside the colonial languages
- and various pockets of other languages spoken by immigrant populations that have survived assimilation by the majority languages
Other official and majority languages in specific countries are:
- Dutch in Suriname
- English in Guyana and the Falkland Islands.
- French in French Guiana, an overseas department of France.
Indigenous languages of South America include, among several others, Quechua languages in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador; Guaraní in Paraguay and, to a much lesser extent, in Bolivia; Aymara in Bolivia, Peru, and less often in Chile; and Mapudungun is spoken in certain pockets of southern Chile and, more rarely, Argentina.
In Bolivia, Quechua, Aymara, and Tupi Guarani are co-official alongside Spanish. In Paraguay, Guarani shares joint official status with Spanish. In Colombia, the languages of the country's ethnic groups are constitutionally recognized as official languages in their territories; more than 60 such aboriginal languages exist today. In Peru, Quechua, Aymara, and other indigenous languages are co-official in the areas where they are predominant. There are many other languages once spoken in South America that are extinct today (such as the extinct languages of the Marañón River basin).
In Brazil, there are around 135 indigenous languages confirmed. The regions with the most speakers are northern and western Brazil, where there is a larger concentration of native people. Indigenous populations have been trying to keep their traditions of their homeland, with the help of Funai, the agency responsible for the protection of the native people.
|Quechua||8,900,000||Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador|
|Guarani||4,900,000||Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina|
|Aymara||2,800,000||Peru, Bolivia, Chile|
Linguistic Classification of Central and South America
- Jibaro-Kandoshi, Esmeralda, Cofan, Yaruro
Most South American countries mandate the regular study of one or more of English, French, German or Italian. These countries often have advanced cultural language institutes for those respective languages centered in their major cites.
In Brazil, Italian and German dialects, specifically Talian, Pomeranian and Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, have co-official status alongside Portuguese in about a dozen cities, and are mandatory subjects in schools in other municipalities
- Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
- Guarani at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Central Aymara at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015), Southern Aymara at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Greenberg, Joseph H. "The general classification of Central and South American languages", in: Men and cultures; selected papers of the 5th international congress of anthropological and ethnologicalsciences, Philadelphia, September 1956 PP. 791-4
- "Japan, Brazil mark a century of settlement, family ties | The Japan Times Online". 2008-01-15.