Portuguese is the official language of Brazil.
It is spoken by nearly the entire population and is virtually the only language used in newspapers, radio, television, and for all business and administrative purposes, with the exception of Nheengatu, an indigenous language of South America which has gained the co-official status alongside Portuguese in the municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira.
Moreover, Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas, making the language an important part of Brazilian national identity and giving it a national culture distinct from its Spanish-speaking neighbors.
Brazilian Portuguese has had its own development, influenced by the Amerindian and African languages. Due to this, the language is somewhat different from that spoken in Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries, mainly for phonological and orthographic differences. These differences are somewhat greater than those of American and British English.
As of 2008, Portugal is considering reforming its own language to accommodate linguistic developments in the Brazilian Portuguese since the two languages diverged.
Minority languages are spoken throughout the vast national territory. Some of these are spoken by indigenous peoples: 180 Amerindian languages are spoken in remote areas. Others are spoken by immigrants and their descendants.
There are important communities of speakers of German (mostly the Hunsrückisch, part of the High German languages) and Italian (mostly the Talian dialect, of Venetian origin) in the south of the country (Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), both largely influenced by the Portuguese language.