Languages of Colombia

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More than 99.2% of Colombians speak the Spanish language; also 65 Amerindian languages, 2 Creole languages and the romani language are spoken in the country. English has official status in the San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina Islands.[1][2][3]

The overwhelming majority of Colombians speak Spanish (see also Colombian Spanish), but in total 101 languages are listed for Colombia in the Ethnologue database. The specific number of spoken languages varies slightly since some authors consider as different languages what others consider are varieties or dialects of the same language, the best estimates recorded that 70 languages are spoken in the country today. Most of these belong to the Chibchan, Tucanoan, Bora–Witoto, Guajiboan, Arawakan, Cariban, Barbacoan, Saliban, language families. There are currently about 850,000 speakers of native languages.[4][5]

Sixty-five indigenous languages that exist today can be regrouped in 12 language families and 10 languages isolated, not classified so far. [1]

The languages are: the great linguistic family Chibchan, of probable Central American origin; the great South American families Arawakan, Cariban, Quechuan and Tupian; seven families only present at the regional level (Chocó, Guahibo, Saliba, Macu, Witoto, Bora, Tucano). The ten isolated languages are: Andoque, Awa-cuaiquer, Cofán, Guambiano, Kamentsá, Páez, Ticuna, Tinigua, Yagua, Yaruro. [1]

Sign Languages[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Languages of Colombia" (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Jon Landaburu, Especialista de las lenguas de Colombia" (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Map of the languages of Colombia" (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Languages of Colombia". Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Native languages of Colombia" (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 March 2014.