Belize is a country, belonging to Central America, whose capital is Belmopan. It has a population of 400,000 inhabitants (177th) and an area of 22,966 km 2 (147th). Its human development index is high (106th) and its official currency is the Belizean dollar. But what language is spoken in Belize?
What language do they speak in Belize?
Belize has one official language, English (spoken by 240,000 people).
However, the country has several recognized minority languages, which are:
- Belizean Creole: 130,000 speakers.
- Spanish: 187,000 speakers.
- Q’eqchí: 17,600 speakers.
- Mopán: 10,600 speakers.
- Yucatec: 2,520 speakers.
- Mennonite Low German: 9,360 speakers.
- Garifuna: 8,440 speakers.
- Chinese: 2,600 speakers.
Belize is, therefore, a country with a high rate of bilingualism (more than half of the population), being normal to speak the two (or even the three) most widely spoken languages of the country (English, Spanish and Belizean Creole). This fact is caused, in large part, by being a small multiethnic nation, surrounded by Spanish-speaking countries.
The English language
English (English) is the most widely spoken language in the country, as well as the language of administration, government, public education and most media. Belize is the only country in Central America with that language as an official, since it was a former British colony. 76.7% of English speakers are native.
The Spanish language
Spanish was banned from schools in the days of the British Empire, but today it is taught as a second language to those whose mother tongue is not Spanish . 88.2% of Spanish speakers are native.
Belizean Creole language
Belizean Creole (Kriol ) is a creole language based on the English language and with influences from African languages (due to slavery). Today it also has influences from Spanish, Mayan and Garifuna languages.
Share which languages are spoken in Belize.