Costa Rica

Costa Rican language

Costa Rica's flag

The Republic of Costa Rica is a country belonging to Central America, whose capital is San José. It has a population of 5 million inhabitants (123º) and an area of ​​51,100 km 2 (126º). Its human development index is high (63rd) and its official currency is the Costa Rican colon. But what language is spoken in Costa Rica?

What language do they speak in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has only one official language, Spanish. However, the Costa Rican country ensures the maintenance and cultivation of the national indigenous languages, as dictated by its constitution (art. 76). These languages ​​are:

  • Malecu (guatuso): spoken by about 800 people in the province of Alajuela, in the northwestern area.
  • Cabécar: spoken in the Talamanca mountain range (which is the highest elevation in southern Central America) and in the South Pacific area.
  • Bribri: in the same regions as the cabecar, as well as in the province of Limón.
  • Guaymí: in the province of Puntarenas, in the southeast area (border with Panama).
  • Bocota (Buglere dialect): It is strongly related to Guaymí, and is located in the same territories.

The objective is to protect these indigenous languages, since recently, at the beginning of the 21st century, two of them have become extinct: Térraba and Boruca. Both were spoken in the southeast of the province of Puntarenas.

language map languages ​​of costa rica

In the Caribbean area (the east coast) Limonense Creole English is spoken, or also known as Mekatelyu, originally from immigrants from Jamaica. In the southeast of the country (San Vito) there are various colonies of Italian immigrants, who over time have mixed the language with Costa Rican Spanish, creating a variant of the area (Cotobruseño Italian). Even in public schools Italian is taught as one more subject. Also noteworthy is the presence of German and Chinese colonies (Mandarin and Cantonese).

French is a compulsory subject in several schools , and compulsory in the Third Cycle of basic education. Also, the language has a presence in various French colonies. Due to Lebanese immigration, there is a presence of Arabic. And Portuguese owes its presence to Brazilian immigrants, and is beginning to enjoy a certain popularity in schools.

The Spanish language

Spanish is the language of practically the entire Costa Rican population, and it is present in all areas. It has various variants throughout the country, with phonetic changes. The most common dialect is that of the Central Valley, since it is where the majority of the population lives. This variant is distinguished from the rest in Central America, and bears many similarities to the Spanish of the city of Bogotá (Colombia). Street slang is known as pachuco.

map variants dialects Spanish Costa Rica Costa Rican

Share the languages ​​spoken in Costa Rica.

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