Peru language

peruvian flag

The Republic of Peru is a country located in South America, whose capital is Lima. It has a population of more than 32 million inhabitants (43rd) and an area of ​​1,285,216 km 2 (19th). Its human development index is high (89º) and its official currency is the Sol. But what language is spoken in Peru?

What language do they speak in Peru?

Peru has an official language, Spanish.

However, Peru has several co- official languages: the aboriginal languages, in the areas where they predominate (among which Quechua and Aimara stand out). In theory, every Peruvian can communicate with any authority using their own language, through an interpreter. But the reality is different, since the public administration does not have personnel who speak all the indigenous languages ​​of Peru. This use of one’s own language extends to the courts, official business and in the media.

These indigenous languages ​​are spoken mostly in the Central Andes and in the Amazon rainforest. Apart from Quechua and Aymara, there are other Andean languages, such as Jacaru (730 speakers) and Cauqui (9). In the Amazon region there is more variety, of which the Aguaruna (53,400) and the Asháninca (4,000) stand out.

The most widely spoken immigrant language in Peru is Chinese, with 100,000 speakers. Other languages ​​are Japanese, German, Italian, Arabic and Hindustani. In addition, tourism is influencing the learning of English in tourist areas.

The Spanish language

Spanish is spoken by 86.5% of the population (of these , 7.9% as a second language). It is the predominant language in the media, in government, in education and in commerce. Spanish dominates urban areas, especially the coast of the country. Most of these Spanish speakers are monolingual. It has 4 dialects (Equatorial, Peruvian Riverside, Andean and Amazonian).

dialects spanish language peru

The Quechua language

Quechua (Runa Simi) encompasses a set of languages ​​spoken in the western part of South America. Peru is the only country where Waywash Quechua (group 1) is spoken. Wámpuy Quechua (group 2) is also spoken in Peru, but it is not exclusive to the country.

In total, this macrolanguage is spoken by 14.3% of the population. If we detail the number of speakers for each of the 32 Quechua languages, they are the following (in the 3rd column, percentage that does not speak another language):

Quechua language Number of speakers % monolingual Cluster
Both-Pasco 90,000 twenty% (1) Waywash
apurímac east 200,000 40% (2C) Wampuy
Arequipa-La Union 18,600 54% (2C) Wampuy
Ayacucho 900,000 33% (2C) Wampuy
Cajamarca 30,000 (2A) Wampuy
Cajatambo, North Lima 7,000 40% (1) Waywash
Chachapoyas 7,000 1% (2A) Wampuy
Chaupihuaranga 20,500 40% (1) Waywash
Chincha 6,000 (1) Waywash
Chiquian 10,000 40% (1) Waywash
north conchucos 250,000 26% (1) Waywash
south conchucos 250,000 32% (1) Waywash
Corongo, Ancash 4,000 43% (1) Waywash
Cuzco 1,500,000 twenty% (2C) Wampuy
Huallaga 40,000 66% (1) Waywash
Huamalíes, Dos de Mayo/Huánuco 72,400 28% (1) Waywash
Huaylas, Ancash 336,000 6% (1) Waywash
Huaylla-Wanca 25,000 (1) Waywash
Jauja Wanca 25,000 (1) Waywash
North Junin 60,000 12% (1) Waywash
Lambayeque 20,000 (2A) Wampuy
Margos-Lauricocha-Yarowilca 83,400 17% (1) Waywash
Napo 10,000 (2B) Wampuy
Pacaraos 250 (1) Waywash
Panama 50,000 twenty% (1) Waywash
north pastaza 2,000 (2B) Wampuy
southern pastaza 1,550 twenty% (2B) Wampuy
Fist 500,000 twenty% (2C) Wampuy
San Martin 15,000 13% (2B) Wampuy
Santa Ana de Tusi Pasco 10,000 (1) Waywash
Sihuas, Ancash 6,500 46% (1) Waywash
Yauyos 6,500 (1) Waywash
Total 4,556,700 24%

Quechua languages ​​in which the percentage of monolinguals is unknown are marked with a “-“.

quechua language peru provinces

The Aymara language

Aymara (Aymar aru) is spoken by 2.1% of the population. It is spoken mainly in the departments of Moquegua, Puno and Tacna. UNESCO considers the situation of the language in “vulnerable”. It is written with the Latin alphabet plus some additional letters (ä ch ch’ chh ï k’ kh ñ p’ ph q’ qh t’ th ü).

Aymara language peru provinces

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