Tuesday 15 June 2021

How Many Languages does Costa Rica Speak?

Costa Rica’s official and predominant language is Spanish*. The variety spoken is Costa Rican Spanish, is a form of Central American Spanish.

not-speaking-spanish-in-costa-rica-mainA Creole-English language, Jamaican patois (also known as Mekatelyu), is spoken along the Caribbean coast.

About 10.7% of Costa Rica’s adult population (18 or older) also speaks English, 0.7% French, and 0.3% speaks Portuguese or German as a second language.

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The Quakers community, who settled in Monteverde in the early 1950s, speaks an older dialect of English, using thou instead of you. Mennonite immigrants to the country also speak Plautdietsch.

Costa Rica is also home to at least five living local indigenous languages spoken by the descendants of pre-Columbians. Those languages are:

  • Maléku: Also known as Guatuso, spoken by around 800 people in north-eastern Alajuela Province. This language, along with Rama, belongs to the Votic branch of the Chibchan language family.
  • Cabécar: Spoken in the Talamanca mountain range and in the southern Pacific region, Cabécar is the sister language to Bribri in the Isthmic branch of the Chibchan language family.
  • Bribri: Bribri is spoken on the Atlantic slope of the country, including Limón Province, the Talamanca mountain range, and the south Pacífic region. Together with Cabécar, it forms the Viceitic subgroup of Chibchan languages.
  • Guaymí: Spoken in various indigenous territories to the southeast of Puntarenas Province, bordering Panama. Together with Buglere, it belongs to the Guaymic subgroup of the Chibchan languages. Also known as Ngäbere or Movere.
  • Buglere: Spoken in the same territories as Guaymí, the language to which it is most closely related. It is also known as Bocotá.

Immigration has also brought people and languages from various countries around the world.

Costa Rican Sign Language is also spoken by the deaf community.

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Costa Rican Spanish slang is known as “pachuco”.

Traditionally, Costa Rica has had no policies in favor of multiculturalism. The greatest advance in this respect came with the amendment of Article 76 of the Constitution of Costa Rica, which now states: “Spanish is the official language of the Nation. However, the State will oversee the maintenance and cultivation of indigenous national languages.”

*Spanish is the official language in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Player, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Source  Wikipedia, Google

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