The official languages of South American countries reflect the colonial history of the continent. Most people immediately know the two most spoken languages of the continent, but are surprised to learn that five languages are actually official languages in one or more countries.
Although spoken in only one country, Brazil, Portuguese has the largest number of speakers in South America.
Spanish, spoken in a lot more countries, comes a a close second.
Finally, the Guyanas provide the last 3 official languages:
– English is the official language of Guyana (and the Falkland Islands)
– Dutch is the official language of Surinam
– French is the official language of French Guiana, an overseas department of France
Of course, a lot more languages are spoken in South America:
Indigenous languages, such as Quechua, Guaraní and Mapudungun, an hundreds of others spoken by ethnic groups, particularly in Brazil.
Immigrant languages, such as Hindi, Javanese, Italian and German (with even pockets of German dialects), Japanese, etc.