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The indigenous languages of America

Many different languages are spoken in America. English is the main language in North America. Spanish and Portuguese dominate in South America. All of these languages came to America from Europe. Before colonization, other languages were spoken there. These languages are known as the indigenous languages of America. Until today, they haven't been explored substantially. The variety of these languages is enormous. It is estimated that there are about 60 language families in North America. In South America there could even be as many as 150. Additionally, there are many isolated languages. All of these languages are very different. They exhibit only a few common structures. Therefore, it is difficult to classify the languages. The reason for their differences lies in the history of America. America was colonized in several stages. The first people came to America over more than 10,000 years ago. Each population brought its language to the continent. The indigenous languages are most similar to Asian languages. The situation regarding America's ancient languages isn't the same everywhere. Many Native American languages are still in use in South America. Languages like Guarani or Quechua have millions of active speakers. By contrast, many languages in North America are almost extinct. The culture of the Native Americans of North America was long oppressed. In the process, their languages were lost. But interest in them has increased in the last few decades. There are many programs that aim to nurture and protect the languages. So they could have a future after all…

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