South America is one of the richest and most diverse areas on the planet, and you can only expect there to be a similar amount diversity in terms of language spread across the continent. Well I’m pleased to say you won’t be disappointed. But just how many languages are spoken in South America, and what has influenced such a diverse array of languages upon the people living there?
If you’re looking for interpreting services in South America, it’s important to know which language you’ll need. The languages of South America are generally divided into three large groups. Firstly there are the languages of the former colonial powers. Secondly, there is the huge amount of indigenous languages, and finally there are the groups of languages spoken by smaller immigrant populations which have managed to assimilate themselves within South American culture.
As you may well know, the two most-widely spoken languages of South America are Spanish and Portugese. The former being spoken in most countries along the west coast, and the latter is the official language of Brazil. Within Brazil, however, there are more than 180 indigenous languages spoken among various tribes across the country. English is the official language established by colonisers in Guyana and the Falkland islands, French in French Guiana and Dutch in Suriname.
South America’s indigenous languages vary largely across the continent, but are divided into a few key groups: Quechuan languages (mostly spoken in the Andes), Guarani in Paraguay and other areas such as Bolivia and Peru, and the Mapuche language, spoken in areas of Chile and Argentina.
There even exists a small Welsh-speaking colony (Y Wladfa) in the Chubut Valley of Patagonia following an immigration drive by the Argentinian government in the 19th Century. [...]