Wednesday, 10 February 2016

latino-diversity: Most spoken mother tongues in...


Most spoken mother tongues in Brazil and Argentina by state and province after Portuguese and Spanish

Brazil and Argentina were two countries in Latin america that were heavily settled by immigrants in the post-colonial era. Most of these immigrants came from Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Netherlands and the British Isles), but a significant number also came from the Levant (Lebanon, Syria) and East Asia (Japan). Despite heavy assimilation processes, specifically in Brazil, the languages and cultures still survived by means of their descendants. The two most spoken ancestral languages Italian and German have formed their own distinct dialects particularly in Brazil. Both Italian and German have influenced various regional dialects of Portuguese and Spanish. Italian has particularly been a great influence on Rioplatense Spanish, which is the most spoken dialect in Argentina and Uruguay.

Newer waves of immigrants have also brought their languages with them to Brazil and Argentina in recent year, most of these immigrants come from other South American nations such as French Guiana (French Creole), Bolivia (Quechua, Aymara); but also from over-seas regions of Eastern Europe (Romani, Slavic languages, and Hungarian) and East Asia (Chinese and Korean).

In Northern Brazil colonial remnants of the Dutch and French survive.

Despite efforts of assimilation and historical genocide of Indigenous people by the colonial-era European colonizers, their languages have too managed to survive and thrive in both Argentina and Brazil. This is especially true of North-Western Argentina where European colonial settlement and post-colonial immigration was minimal compared to other regions in the country. Quechua a language descending from the Incas is prominent in this Andean region. Various Indigenous languages have also survived in Brazil's Amazon, greatly thanks to its remoteness. Lastly, the Guarani language family, is one that prospers in both Argentina and Brazil. Guarani has been a very important language in both countries and was used as a lingua-franca in Brazil for much of its history. Guarani is also one of the official languages of neighboring Paraguay, where it is spoken by most of the population, which includes not only native Guarani’s but also the Mestizo, White, and Afro-Paraguayan populations of the country.

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