Main Dialects of Rio Grande do Sul


The dialectal variants in Rio Grande do Sul may be set in three main groups. Their characteristics are:


Creole (Gaucho)

Spoken in the Pampa area (Southwest), the Gaucho is a hybrid composition, based on Portuguese and Spanish grammar, yet mixed with many indigenous words, most from the Tupi-Guarani and Quechua stem. The pronunciation is close to South American Spanish.

Example: Mui guapo, pero le dô un manetaço mientras não me vê.

Mui is the Spanish or Old Portuguese word for “very”.
Guapo is a creolean term meaning “brave, courageous”.
Pero is “but”, in Spanish. In Portuguese it would be “mas”, also used in Gaucho.
Le is the corresponding pronoun for “him”, used before the verb by Gauchos and Brazilians.
is the Portuguese verb for “to give”, in the 1st person of singular in the simple present tense. A variation of the Portuguese conjugation “dou”.

is the phonetic spelling for the difference between the pronunciation of the Spanish “un” and the Portuguese “um”. It means “a” or “an”.
is a variation of the Platinian Spanish word “manotazo”; a “punch”. It comes from the Spanish word for hand: “mano”.
in Spanish means “while”, and it corresponds to the Portuguese “enquanto” (also used).
is the Portuguese word for “not” or “no”.
corresponds to the English word “me”, and also is used before the verb.
is the Spanish verb for “to see”, conjugated in the 3rd person of singular, in the simple present tense.

Thus, the sentence means “Very courageous, but I punch him while he can’t see me”. Also, could be said like “Mui guapo, mas dô-le un manotaço enquanto não me vê

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Spoken in the North and Northeast (Serra area), it’s based on the Venetan dialects. Its name, Talian, comes from the Venetan pronunciation of “Italiano”, and it is the official language in some cities. The pronunciation is very similar to that of Italian.

Example: Noantri qua parlando e bevendo simaron.

Noantri is the dialectal form for “we”. In Italian, “noi”.
is the Italian word for “here”.
is the continuous tense for the Italian verb “parlare” (to speak/talk).
is the conjunction “and”, equal in Portuguese and Italian in this case.
is a dialectal form for the verb “bere” (to drink).
is the way Venetian immigrants used to pronounciate the creolean word “chimarrão”, a typical drink in the region.

Thus, the sentence above means “We (are), here, talking and drinking chimarrão”.



Variations of the Platt, Westphalian and, mainly, Hunsrück German dialects (see German language), are spoken in the Valleys’ Area (Central) and in the Northern parts of Rio Grande do Sul. It is based on the German grammar and its pronunciation sounds like the Austrian German or regions nearby Poland. The “g”, “b” and “d” when initials usually sound like “k”, “p” and “t” respectively.

Example: Die Gurien brigen in dem Potrier.

Die is a plural article in German.
is the German plural form for “guri”, a creole word from Tupi-Guarani, and means child.
is the German conjugation for the verb “brigen”, a dialectal form for the verb “brigar”, from Portuguese, which means “to fight”.
In dem
is the German way to indicate location.
is a dialectal form for the Portuguese word “potreiro”, which means “stable”.

Thus, the sentence means “The boys fight in the stable”. The words Gurien, brigen, and Potrier are, respectively in place of the originally German words “Jungen”, “kampfen” and “Pferdehändler”.

However, there are still other dialects spoken by the indigenous populations, all derived from native languages; the African dialects, which came with the black slavery, are still used in reminiscent black religions rituals. Also, many of other descendents, such as, Dutch, Chinese, Swedish, Polish, still speak their mother tongues at home and in closed communities. Many cities in Rio Grande do Sul are, in fact, bilingual.

Felipe Simões Pires (


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