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What Languages Do Latin Americans Speak?

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Latin America typically refers to the nations of South and Central America, but technically it refers to all the countries that once belonged to the empires of Spain and Portugal during the discovery of the American continents. As such, it also includes many of the Caribbean island nations, as well as Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. Because of the heritage of these nations, Spanish and Portuguese are most commonly spoken, but there are many other languages in the region as well.

Spanish, as it is spoken in the Americas, is not the same Spanish as spoken in Spain. They are different dialects of the same language, and Spanish in Latin America is referred to as Latino America, and Spanish in Spain is referred to as castellano. Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Latin America, and it is the primary language in every South American country except Brazil, Suriname and French Guyana, as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba and several other islands.

Portuguese is spoken throughout South America, but it is the primary language of only one nation: Brazil. Brazil is the most populous and largest country in South America, so even though Portuguese is not the primary language elsewhere on the continent, almost half the population of South America speaks it. Though the Portuguese spoken in Brazil differs from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal, it is not considered a different language.

Other Languages
English is widely spoken in Latin America, especially in areas that are popular tourist destinations, in cities and among young people. It is not a native language of any Latin American nation. French is spoken in certain areas of Latin America, including Haiti and French Guyana, where it is the primary language. Due to large native populations in the South American interior, as well as a melting pot of languages in the Caribbean, it is difficult to say how many other languages and dialects are spoken in Latin America, but other languages include Jamaican Creole, Mayan and Quechua, the language of the Incas. Dutch is also spoken in the Latin American region, in both Suriname in South America and on some Caribbean islands. However, Dutch is spoken in countries that were not part of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, so according to that definition, these nations are not part of Latin America.

Source: traveltips.usatoday.com

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