Brazil is a dream country for many travelers. The largest state in South America is famous for the carnival and beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls and many more natural and cultural attractions and interesting places. The official language of Brazil is Portuguese and it is the only Portuguese-speaking country in this part of the world.
Three hundred colonial years
In 1500, Pedro Alvares Cabrala, a Portuguese navigator, landed on the shores of South America, in whose track record, among other achievements, from that moment on, the discovery of Brazil was listed. On April 24, 1500, he and his team set foot on the coast of South America and named the coast Terra de Vera Cruz.
After 33 years, large-scale colonization of Brazil by the Portuguese began. The colonists who came from Europe actively cultivated coffee and sugarcane, mined gold and sent ships loaded with valuable timber to the Old World.
In 1574, a decree was passed prohibiting the use of slave labor by local Indians, and labor began to be imported from Africa. In parallel with the colonization, the spread of the language took place. It will become a state official in Brazil later, but so far both local residents and imported Africans have had to learn to speak Portuguese.
The country gained independence in 1822 and it was officially called the Republic of the United States of Brazil.
- Despite the fact that the country is home to a huge number of emigrants and more than 170 languages and aboriginal dialects are used, Portuguese is the only official state language in Brazil.
- It is used in everyday life by the absolute majority of the country's citizens.
- The rest is spoken by less than one percent of the republic's residents.
- The only exception is the municipality of San Gabriel da Caxueira in the state of Amazonas. Here the second official language is adopted - Nyengatu.
The Nyengatu language is spoken by about 8000 inhabitants of the north of Brazil. It serves as a means of ethnic self-identification of some tribes that have lost their own dialects in the process of colonization.
The one but not the one
The modern versions of the Portuguese language in Europe and Brazil are slightly different. Even in Brazil itself, phonetic and lexical inconsistencies can be distinguished between the dialects of the northern and southern provinces. This is largely due to borrowings from the languages of local Indian tribes and the dialects of slaves brought to South America in the 16th-17th centuries from the black continent.
How to get to the library?
When traveling to Brazil as a tourist, be prepared for the fact that there are very few people in the country who speak English. In the best case, you can explain yourself with the porter in a good hotel. The way out of the situation will be the Russian-Portuguese phrasebook and the ability to emotionally gesture, and the innate Brazilian sociability will be more useful than the ideal knowledge of languages.