Language Diversity: Brazil

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Language Diversity: Brazil

Key Takeaways

  • Portuguese (98%), English (5%), Spanish (3%), and German (1.9%) are the four most spoken languages in Brazil.
  • Foreign content on TV and OTT in Brazil is largely dubbed. However, theaters in Brazil usually show foreign films with subtitles when they are meant for only adult.
  • 89% of box office collections, 80% of the top 10 films on Netflix (currently), 70% of the top 10 TV shows on Netflix (currently) are of foreign origin. However, the majority of content on TV (free-to-air and Pay-TV) is local.
  • Anime, romance, and reality TV, all primarily international content, doubled viewership in 2020 on Netflix Brazil.


The following report provides the top four languages spoken in Brazil and insights and trends on foreign language video entertainment in Brazil.

Most Commonly Spoken Languages in Brazil

  • According to Tilti, "one of the leading providers of language and localization services in Europe," the four most spoken languages in Brazil are

Most Important TV Outlets in Brazil

  • The nine most important TV outlets in Brazil comprise seven free-to-air channels and two paid channels:

Audience Share of Important Channels (Kantar, 2016)


Paid TV

  • Band News: N/A
  • Globo News: N/A

Most Watched Channels

  • "Most watched TV channels in Brazil in May 2020, by household rating" (May 2020):

Broadcast Languages and Translation

  • Dubbing is typically preferred over subtitling in Brazil.
  • Most popular TV channels in Brazil broadcast in Portuguese. "Foreign programs in Brazil are invariably dubbed in Brazilian Portuguese on broadcast TV, with only a few exceptions."
  • Foreign films shown in movie theaters typically offer both dubbed (preferred for children's movies) and subtitled (preferred for adult movies) versions.
  • International programs on Netflix--"90% of Brazilian SVoD households subscribe to Netflix"-- are now mostly dubbed, unlike earlier when only children's programs were dubbed.
  • According to Fabio Nunes, "production manager for Brazilian localization studio Delart, which dubbed all the episodes of Netflix’s Stranger Things and Narcos into Brazilian Portuguese, 'It used to be only kids’ movies were dubbed … now virtually everything is dubbed. The public demands it.'"
  • In Brazil, "the Portuguese-dubbed version of 'Lupin,'" a foreign Netflix TV show, accounted for 89% of the viewership.
  • An increasing share of Netflix viewers "are opting for voiceovers, which is easier on the eyes after a long day of work at a computer and lets the viewer multitask with a phone in hand."

Popularity of International Content


  • Brazilian cinema has 11% share of the Brazilian box office, overall. Correspondingly, foreign films have an 89% (100%-11%) market share of the box office.

OTT (Netflix)

  • The top TV shows and movies on Netflix in Brazil:
  • Among the top 10 movies in Brazil, eight are international films and two are local films--My Mom is a Character, Carnaval.
  • Among the top 10 TV shows in Brazil, seven are international TV shows and two are local TV shows-- Chiquititas, As Aventuras de Poliana, Monica & Friends.

TV Broadcasts

  • Most of the content on Brazilian free-to-air TV channels is local.

Trends Around Types of International Content

Animation and Romance

  • Brazilians watched twice as much anime and romance on Netflix in 2020 than they did in 2019.
  • International animation titles, "Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back — Evolution, The Seven Deadly Sins: Imperial Wrath of the Gods and Blood of Zeus" were favorites.
  • Among the four most popular romantic films on Netflix, three were foreign films: "The Kissing Booth 2, To All The Boys: P.S I Still Love You, and Love, Guaranteed."
  • This trend was driven by children (animation) and young adults (target audience for romantic films) spending more time at home during the pandemic.

Korean, Turkish, and Mexican Entertainment

  • Driven by an urge to travel, entertainment from across the globe--Korean (#Alive), Turkish (The Protector), and Mexican (Dark Desire)--was sought after in 2020 on Netflix Brazil.
  • Korean content achieved record viewership in 2020, up by 120%, and Dark Desire, the Mexican thriller, was in the top 10 for 51 days.

DIY Cooking Videos and Reality Shows

  • "Sugar Rush and Nailed it!", both international shows, were among favorite cooking programs sought by Brazilians.
  • This was largely driven by home confinement and the absence of house help during the pandemic.
  • Viewership of reality shows doubled in 2020. "Too Hot to Handle, Floor is Lava, and Love is Blind"--all international shows--were among the top four reality TV shows on Netflix Brazil, as viewers sought to escape from their own realities during the pandemic.

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