Learn all about the history and current situation of the languages and local dialects spoken in every region of Colombia.
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.
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 to be varieties or dialects of the same language. Best estimates recorded 70 languages that are spoken in-country today—most of which belong to the Chibchan, Tucanoan, Bora–Witoto, Guajiboan, Arawakan, Cariban, Barbacoan, and Saliban language families. There are currently about 850,000 speakers of native languages.
Sixty-five indigenous languages that exist today can be regrouped into 12 language families and 10 languages isolated, not yet classified.
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, Awacuaiquer, Cofán, Guambiano, Kamentsá, Páez, Ticuna, Tinigua, Yagua, Yaruro.
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Travel Guide of Colombia: Colombia Travel Guide – Amazonas – Antioquia – Arauca – Atlántico – Bolivar – Boyacá – Caldas – Caquetá – Casanare – Cauca – Cesar – Chocó – Córdoba – Cundinamarca – Guanía – Guaviare – Huila – La Guajira – Magdalena – Meta – Nariño – Norte de Santander – Putumayo – Quindio – Risaralda – San Andrés y Providencia – Santander – Sucre – Tolima – Valle del Cauca – Vaupés – Vichada