|Brazil Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Description[edit | edit source]
Portuguese is the official and national language of Brazil and is widely spoken by most of the population. The Portuguese dialects spoken in Brazil are collectively known as Brazilian Portuguese. The Brazilian Sign Language also has official status at the federal level. As of 2019, the population of Brazil speaks or signs approximately 228 languages, of which 217 are indigenous and 11 came with immigrants. 
Because of the importance of the Roman Catholic Church to Brazil’s history, you may find several other languages in Brazilian records. These include Latin, German, Italian, Polish, and other languages of European ethnic immigrants. Also, some records may be in Japanese.
Portuguese grammar may affect the way names appear in genealogical records. For help in understanding name variations, see Brazil Personal Names.
Word List(s)[edit | edit source]
Most materials used in Brazilian research are written in Portuguese, but you do not need to speak or read Portuguese to do research in Brazilian records. However, you will need to know some key words and phrases to understand the records.
For word list and help researching in Brazilian records, see:
Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]
Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]
See the FamilySearch tutorials on "Reading Portuguese Handwritten Records"
The following books and English-Portuguese dictionaries can also aid you in your research. You can find these and similar material at many research libraries.
Vieyra, Anthony. Dictionary of Portuguese and English languages. London: 1827. FHL 1181694 item 5 The Family History Library has only part two, English- Portuguese.
Additional language aids, including dictionaries of various dialects and time periods, are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog in the "Subjects" search for BRAZIL- LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGES or PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE- DICTIONARIES.
Additional Resources[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Languages of Brazil," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Brazil, accessed 2 March 2021.