English that is spoken throughout the world differs greatly. Most times some words used in one dialect of English are unintelligible in the other. Therefore, before we dive into the English-speaking countries in South America, we must first understand the language itself.

American English

Although different kind of English is spoken all across America, there are enough similarities to group them as one group of “American English”
American English has grown alongside its country.

During colonial times, a rift was created that diverges the American language from the British. But it developed true identity when the continent was settled.

There are visible differences between American English and British English. Here you can have a quick understanding of major aspects of American English. 


American English differs from all other kinds of English in regards to pronunciation. For instance, British English tends to drop certain sounds like r in car or h in he. While American English fully pronounces both the letters.


Sometimes, the same things have different names in different kinds of English languages. For example, what we know in American English as an apartment, as the British know as a flat. A couch is known as a sofa, and corn is a grain.


Spellings are also what sets different kinds of English language apart. For instance, color and color are not only pronounced similarly but also refer to the same thing. But one spelling is right for a particular region and the other for the other region.


The grammar of American English is also different from the others. One major difference is the form of verbs used after a noun for instance, while American English says the government is, British English says the government is.

English Speaking Countries in South America

With over 5.4 million speakers, English is one of the most spoken immigrant languages used in South America.  The majority of these speakers reside in Argentina, Colombia, and Guyana. 


There is only one country in South America that has English as an official language and that is Guyana.

Guyana lies somewhere in the north of the South American continent. Its borders touch Venezuela, Brazil, Surinam, and the Atlantic Ocean.

According to the geography of the country, it is divided into three major parts:

  • The Coastal Lowlands
  • Uplands
  • Forested Central lands

Its population consists of mixed nations and makes it highly diverse. This is because the ancestors of the countries were escaped of free slaves that were Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, Lao, and Brazilian.

The climate of Guyana is very tropical i.e. it remains mostly humid and hot. There are some rainy durations from May-August and November-January.

You will observe that Guyana is very clean, and it should be as it has the reputation of being the cleanest tropical forest in the world. That is what makes it ideal for all kinds of wildlife.

Not only does it have the largest number of bats and fish but is also home to the world’s largest jaguar, cat, river turtles, otters, rodents, snakes, and eagles.
It is also blessed with a beautiful waterfall.  At Kaieteur Falls offer once in a lifetime experience with about 30,000 liters of water flowing creating a misty sight.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago are twin islands just the northeastern side of Venezuela. They don’t exactly fall under South America but are situated close by.
These islands also have English as their official language.

The islands are very prosperous and beautiful site. However, tourism is not their strong suit thus the natural beauty remains unexploited and unspoiled.
The climate is tropical, both the islands enjoy northeast trade winds.

The temperature ranges from 18°C being the lowest and 34°C being the highest. The country has a beautiful diversity, where people from different descends live in a harmony that is rarely seen elsewhere.

Trinidad is the industrial hub of the country. It is where most local activity occurs. It is also the larger island. It is mainly known for petroleum and natural gas production.
Tobago, on the other hand, is known better for tourism. Of the two, this is more preferred by the tourists.

Other Countries Where English is Spoken but isn’t the Official Language

English has now long been the lingua franca. It is the language of international business and the language of the internet population. To stay updated and in touch with the rest of the world, there is no way but to know English.

These are the South American countries where English is spoken even though it is not their official language.


Brazil has a population of about 209 million people. Among them, almost 10,542,000 are English speakers. You can easily find people that speak the language around Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro.


Among the population of 43.9 million people living in Argentina, 2,752,681 speak English. English has managed to become a part of these people’s daily lives. With cable and internet, it has become important to know the language.


From the 49 million people that live in the country of Colombia, 2,012,950 are English speakers. However, English is not the preferred language and it left at the door of the classroom.


Chile has 1,585,027 English speakers from a population of 18.2 million. It is widely spoken where tourism is concerned, however, it is not deemed essential. In some regions the percentage of English speakers in higher than the others.


Suriname consists of only 680,000 English speakers. If English is the only language you know, you can easily get by in Suriname as most locals know and speak the basic language. There is hardly a chance of linguistic trouble.


English is not the official language of many countries in South America. Yet, there are still many speakers found in different countries.

English is a very complex language that has many different dialects and much rich history. The American language has its own set of characteristics that set it apart from the other English languages.

South American English shares the same commonalities as do all the American English dialects throughout South America. And while only one country and the twin Islands have it as an official language, English is still spoken widely in other countries as well.

Read More:

English Speaking Countries in South America