Nheengatu is a Tupi-Guarani language spoken in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. It is estimated that there are around 200,000 speakers of Nheengatu, making it one of the most widely spoken indigenous languages in the Americas. Nheengatu has its roots in the Tupi language, which was spoken by the native people of Brazil before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century. Tupi was the lingua franca of the Brazilian coast and was spoken by tribes from all over the country. When the Portuguese arrived, they quickly began to learn Tupi in order to communicate with the locals. However, over time, the two languages began to diverge, with Nheengatu becoming its own distinct language. Nheengatu is written using the Latin alphabet and has a relatively simple grammar. It is a flexive-marking language, meaning that verbs are conjugated to show who is doing the action. For example, the verb “to eat” is conjugated as follows: Eu como (I eat) Tu comas (You eat) Ele come (He eats) Nós comemos (We eat) Vós comais (You all eat) Eles comem (They eat) Nheengatu is also a pro-drop language, meaning that pronouns are often omitted when they can be understood from context. For example, the sentence “Eu como” (I eat) can also be said simply as “Como”. Nheengatu is spoken in a number of different dialects, which can vary significantly from one another. The most well-known dialect is that of the city of São Paulo, which has been heavily influenced by Portuguese and other languages. Nheengatu is an important language in Brazil, not only for its speakers but also for its history and culture. It is one of the few indigenous languages that is still spoken widely today and is an important part of Brazil’s identity.

Language locales, regions and scripts

Nheengatu, Brazil, Latin
Nheengatu, Brazil
Nheengatu, Latin
Nheengatu, Colombia
Nheengatu, Venezuela