How many South American Countries Speak Spanish?
By: Shahzad Bashir
Are you an avid traveller and want to travel to South American countries? Then you must know which languages are spoken by them. Why? Because in a foreign land if you don’t know the language then you can’t discover the memorizing locations and other important things that are a landmark of the country. For this, you must communicate with the local people. Therefore, you must learn the language that they speak to make your trip memorable. So, if you are planning your trip to South America, you must know different dialects of Spanish spoken in each country. Spanish spoken in Latin America is different from Spanish spoken in Europe. For instance, in Latin America, this is pronounced as it is in Castilian Spanish and z is pronounced like an s. One of the best advantages of learning Spanish is that you can visit most South American countries without any communication barrier.
Let’s dive into the South American countries that speak the Spanish language.
Argentina is a beautiful country with natural resources. You will find beautiful glaciers and deserts both in this country. Do you know that the highest peak of the Andes, which is the longest mountain range in the world, is present there? A whopping 41.7 million people speak Spanish as their first language and 1 million people speak it as their second language. The important thing to note is that Spanish spoken in Argentina is different from the Spanish spoken in other countries of Latin America like Mexico and Peru. The dialect of the Spanish language spoken in Argentina is called Porteno Spanish. People living in Buenos Aires spoke it in a very impressive way. It is greatly influenced by Italian immigrants that migrated there in the 20th century. These people bring with them their rich culture. Therefore, Argentinian Spanish was greatly influenced by Italians. Thus, they adopted the slang way of speaking. You must be wondering how you can recognize the Argentinian Spanish from the rest of South American countries. In Argentinian dialect, the sh sound is pronounced with ll and y sounds. In other Spanish speaking countries, these sounds are pronounced with ye sound. If you want to learn Spanish in Argentina then you can enrol yourself in Spanish speaking courses. The best place to learn Spanish in Argentina is its capital Buenos Aires and Mendoza. In these cities, you can learn the different dialects of Argentinian Spanish easily.
Do you know that the people of Bolivia speak several aboriginal languages? Here the question comes. Do they speak the Spanish language? The answer is the majority of people speak Spanish as their first language. Approximately, 75% of the population speaks this language. It is also used for official purposes and it is stated by the law of the country. Apart from the Spanish language, they speak 36 different languages. Out of these 36 languages, three of the languages are extinct. These languages have impacted the Spanish language immensely and resulted in the formation of many interesting phrases. The Spanish language spoken in Bolivia is understood by travellers easily. One of the important words for travellers is Quechua. It is a word used for feet. It is pronounced in the same way as it is written. Although English is a universal language, just like other countries of South America, English is not spoken in Bolivia in daily conversation. Therefore, travellers need to know the Spanish language. People opt to visit Bolivia as it is the cheapest country in South America. Moreover, if you want to learn the Spanish language then it is the best place for you. The slang and pronunciation of Spanish spoken in Bolivia are different from other South American countries.
If you want to take a rest from laborious life then Chile is a viable option for you. It is famous for its world-class wines and high quality of life. Almost all Chileans speak the Spanish language so it is given the name of christened Chilean Spanish. Just like Argentina, there are many dialects of Spanish that is spoken in Chile, for instance, the dialect of the Spanish language which is spoken in the north-central region is different from the Spanish which is spoken in the Southern parts of the country except the South part which is along with the border of Argentina. Many people think that Spanish spoken in Chile is like the dialect which is spoken in Andalucia Spain. This dialect is one of the fastest of all. Therefore, it is very difficult to learn. If you want to understand the Spanish spoken in Chile then you must ask them to slow their pace of speech. Two word that you must know if you are travelling in Chile is Cachai, which means you got it. The other word is huevon, which means brother or mate. If you speak these two words often in your conversation in Chile then they will suspect that you are a local.
To your surprise, Colombia is the only South American country that has coasts attached to the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The majority of people speak the Spanish language in Colombia as compared to other countries in South America. Although some other languages are spoken in this country, Spanish is spoken for official purposes. One important thing about Spanish spoken in Colombia is that it is precise and clear from all Latin Spanish-speaking countries. Every word in this language is spoken at a slow pace. Therefore, you can understand it easily. Bogota, which is the capital, is the best place to learn Spanish in Colombia. Just like Castilian Spanish spoken in Europe, z is pronounced as s and not like th in Colombia. People usually speak with slang. One phrase that is commonly used is Que chevere. It means cool. You must learn this phrase because Colombian people like to know what you think of their country.
You will be amazed to know that Paraguay is the only country in South America that is not a favourite tourist destination. Therefore, no tourist hotels and transport support tourism in Paraguay. You must be thinking then why you should visit Paraguay. There is a huge Atlantic Forest that passes from Brazil to Argentina through Paraguay. Therefore, it holds great importance for environmentalists and biologists. They take on wildlife conservation projects. So, they must learn Spanish because they will not find any English speakers. Approximately, 87% of the People in Paraguay speak Spanish along with another national language known as Guarani. This dialect of Spanish is influenced by the Argentine provinces of Misiones and Formosa. It has taken many loanwords from the Gurani language that has influenced its lexicon. Moreover, the Spanish that the people of Paraguay speak also show some features of north Spain. One of the reasons is that most of the Paraguay population is from the Basque country.
When we talk about the Amazon rainforest what comes into our mind. It is Ecuador which is a diverse Spanish speaking country. Did you know that due to diversified life in areas like the Galapagos Islands, the famous scientist was able to develop the theory of evolution? The report by InterNations suggests that Ecuador is the best country for expats due to their high quality of life. Therefore, if you want to move to Ecuador, you must learn the Spanish language. Whopping 15.9 million people in Ecuador speak different regional dialects of Spanish. These dialects are Equatorial Coastal, the Amazon and the Andes. The equatorial coast and Andes are the most populous areas; Therefore, Spanish is widely spoken in these areas. The difference in dialects is because of schooling standards and social class despite the region. Some people are of the view that Ecuadorian Spanish is the cleanest language because it is spoken slowly in a natural tone. If you want to learn the Spanish language then you can learn from immersive courses that are offered for travellers in this country.
The Spanish language came to the Peru region in 1532 by conquistadors. Around 80% of the population speak this language. Four types of Spanish dialects are spoken there. These are Amazonic Spanish, Peruvian Coast Spanish, Andean-Spanish and Andean-Costal Spanish. Out of these dialects, Andean Spanish is the Peruvian dialect which is like the Spanish that is spoken in Bolivia and Ecuador. Peru is the land of Nazca lines and Machu Picchu. People like to visit this land for adventure and excitement. If you are a foodie person then Peru is a viable option for you because here you can witness different cuisines that you cannot taste in any other country. This is the reason Peru is known as the capital of Latin cooking. To learn and practice Spanish in Peru, you must interact with locals. Moreover, you can also explore the rich civilization of Peru if you learn the Spanish language.
Venezuela is scored lowest in the ranking of world peace index. Therefore, it is a travelling spot for many adventurous people. To save yourself from any risky situation, you must learn the Spanish language. Although 40 different languages are spoken in Venezuela, Spanish is the most spoken language. It was brought by Spanish colonists from the Canary Islands, Andalusia, and Galicia. Different dialects of the Spanish language spoken in Venezuela are mutually intelligible. Therefore, it becomes difficult for them to recognize it. The important thing to note is that Venezuelan Spanish is recognized for shortening the words.
Around 3.4 million people in Uruguay speak the Spanish language making Spanish the official language of the country. It is related to Rioplatense Spanish and its name is derived from the Rio de la Plata basin and surrounding areas. European immigration has also influenced this language. Moreover, you can witness the Italian influence on food-related items.
Are you ready to make your trip to South American countries? You are quite familiar by now with how many South American countries speak the Spanish language. Learning the Spanish language will not only make your trip enjoyable but will also save you from risky situations. You can learn the Spanish language by enrolling yourself in a course or if you don't have time to enrol then you can learn from an iPod or the internet.