Honduran language

Honduran flag

The Republic of Honduras is a country belonging to Central America, whose capital is Tegucigalpa. It has a population of more than 9 million inhabitants (95º) and an extension of 112,492 km 2 (101º). It has a medium human development index (133º) and its official currency is the Honduran lempira. And what language is spoken in Honduras?

What language do they speak in Honduras?

Honduras has only one official language, Spanish, spoken by practically the entire population.

In addition to Spanish, several indigenous languages ​​coexist with the official language (number of speakers in parentheses): Garífuna (98,000), Misquito (29,000), Sumo, Mayangna or Tawahka (1,000), Paya or Pech (1,000), Tol, Tolupán or eastern jicaque (500), chortí (50). The following map shows its regional distribution.

languages ​​and indigenous languages ​​of Honduras

Great efforts have been made to preserve these indigenous languages, many of which do not have a large number of speakers. The clearest example was in 2013: after 4 years of work, the Dictionary of the Languages ​​of Honduras (DLH) was published, which compiles five thousand words in Spanish with their translation into the 6 languages ​​mentioned above plus Caribbean English. It can be downloaded for free on the Cervantes Virtual page.

Other examples of notable studies on languages ​​are «I know you, mosco – Dictionary of Honduran popular thought» by Juan Ramón Saravia and the «Honduran Dictionary» by Alberto de Jesús Membreño Vásquez. In the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) 2,782 Honduranisms are included (400 of them demonyms).

As for the most widely spoken immigrant languages, there are Arabic (42,000), Armenian (1,300), Cantonese Chinese (1,000) and Turkish (900).

The Spanish language

Spanish is the language spoken by almost the entire population, about 9 million citizens. Its form is a variant of Castilian, called Honduran Spanish (also Honduran Castilian). One of its characteristics is the use of two singular pronouns in the second person: you and you. «Vos» would be used between family and friends, also when two people are from the same academic or work position. Some choose to use it with children and adolescents, while others prefer to use “you”. In the advertising, academic and commercial field, the “you” variant is preferred.

The Garifuna language

Garífuna is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Honduras, by some 98,000 inhabitants. It is an Arawak language. It arose as a result of a mixture of two African slave ships that were shipwrecked together with the Caribbean Indians, originating the Black Caribs.

A peculiar characteristic of this language is that the vocabulary of women and that of men is different (although not all of it, part of it is). The words used by women come from the Arawak language, while that of men has Caribbean origin.

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