Uruguayan language

uruguayan flag

The Eastern Republic of Uruguay is a country that belongs to South America, whose capital is Montevideo. It has a population of about 3.5 million inhabitants (99th) and an area of ​​176,215 km 2 (89th). Its human development index is very high (55th) and its official currency is the Uruguayan peso. But what language is spoken in Uruguay?

What language do they speak in Uruguay?

Uruguay does not have any official language.

However, the most widely spoken language and thus de facto national language is Spanish.

The main immigrant languages ​​are Italian (88,000 speakers), Galician (37,000), German (27,000), Portuguese (24,000) and Russian (14,000). In addition, on the border with Brazil, a language that mixes Spanish and Portuguese has been formed, known as portuñol.

language uruguay spanish portuñol portuñol

In the educational system, English is taught from primary education. For a few decades, English has gained popularity and is common in the business world.

The Spanish language

Uruguayan Spanish is the variant of River Plate Spanish spoken in Uruguay. In Montevideo and the surrounding area and in the southern part of the country, the Uruguayan River Plate variant is spoken, which presents small differences in vocabulary and intonation. In the rest of Uruguay, the yeísmo is less pronounced and the pronoun «tú» replaces «vos» (although the verb conjugation is maintained, for example «tú querés» instead of «tú Quiero»).

It has influences from several languages, among which are:

  • From Italian, since there are quite a few Italian communities (especially in Montevideo and Paysandú), in addition to its proximity to Argentina, where the influence of Italian is much greater. Examples of lexicon are: cucha, fainá, festichola, nona, pibe…
  • From Brazilian Portuguese, of which Rocha’s accent is a good example. It even merges with Spanish, creating the famous portuñol (in the towns of Rivera and Artigas).
  • From the French, due to the French immigration experienced by Uruguay in the 19th century. Examples of vocabulary are boulevard, driver and high school.
  • From indigenous languages, which disappeared leaving little trace, as in some toponyms or in the names of flora and fauna. Among these languages ​​are Bohán, Chaná, Charrúa and Guaraní.

Share which languages ​​are spoken in Uruguay.

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