World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Languages of Peru

Article Id: WHEBN0003464169
Reproduction Date:

Title: Languages of Peru  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Culture of Peru, Sport in Peru, Languages of South America, History of Peru, Peruvians
Collection: Languages of Peru
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Languages of Peru

Languages of Peru
Official languages Spanish
Minority languages Quechua, Aymara
Sign languages Peruvian Sign Language

Peru is a multilingual nation. Its official language is Spanish. In the zones where they are predominant, Quechua, Aymara and other aboriginal languages also have official status. (Political Constitution, art. 48) The most common languages are Spanish, to a lesser extent, Quechua and Aymara languages, not to mention numerous minor Amazonian languages, such as Urarina.[1]


  • Original languages 1
    • Number of speakers 1.1
    • Families and language isolates 1.2
  • Foreign languages 2
    • Spanish language 2.1
  • Notes 3
  • External links 4

Original languages

Indicated on the map with the distribution of individual native language Quechua by districts.[2]
Map of the distribution of the Aymara-speaking population limited to three southern departments with significant Aymara population: Puno, Moquegua, Tacna.[3]
Indicated on the map with the distribution of individual native language Castilian on areas of Peru[4]

The aboriginal languages of Peru are spoken mainly in the central Andes and in the Amazon forests. A considerable number of languages were once spoken on the northern coast and in the northern Andes, but other than some in the northern highlands (Cajamarca, Inkawasi-Cañaris and Chachapoyas), all others have died out - Mochica is thought to have gone extinct in the 1950s.

The only aboriginal Andean languages in use in the highlands today are those of the Aymara families (the latter including Jaqaru/Kawki). The Amazon region, however, is home to a

There are currently fourteen defined language families in Peruvian territory, in addition to many more isolated and unclassified languages, such as Urarina.[3]

It is known that the number of languages that were used in Peru easily surpasses 300; some observers speak of 700. Yet from the time of European conquest, epidemics and periods of forced work (in addition to the influence of the hegemonic Spanish language), fewer than 150 can be counted today. The following is an incomplete list of languages spoken today, and a number that became extinct in the twentieth century or that are endangered.

Number of speakers

In the Peruvian Amazon over forty languages, which are usually grouped into 14 families and diversifying about 120 recognizable local varieties are spoken.[5]

Population by mother language over 5 years
Languages 1993 2007
Total percentage[6] Total percentage[7]
Castilian 15.405.014 80.27% 20.723.489 83.92%
Quechua 3.177.938 16.56% 3.262.137 13.21%
Aimara 440.380 2.29% 434.372 1.76%
(other Aboriginal language) 132.174 0.9% 223.941 0.91%
(foreign language) 35.118 0.18% 21.097 0.09%
(Unanswered / deaf) 117.979 28.905

Families and language isolates

Foreign languages

In addition to the above, in Peru there is a large community of immigrants, of which few keep their languages. Within those, there are the Japanese and the Chinese (Cantonese dialect), for example and in smaller numbers, the Germans (central Andes), Italian, the Arabic speakers, and the Urdu speakers retain their native languages in Peru. The last two are products of the recent wave of immigrants from Palestine and Pakistan. Lately also have much influence is the English by the number of tourists and American and British residents.

Spanish language

In Peru, the most common language is Spanish, which is spoken by the majority of Peruvians (83.92% of the total population). Spanish is used in the media, in the government, etc.


  1. ^ [4]
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Regarding the total respondents.
  7. ^ Regarding the total respondents.

External links

  • (Spanish) – Aboriginal languages of Peru
  • (Spanish) Center of Peruvian Studies
  • (Japanese) – ペルー トルヒージョ 2003年12月31日(水)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.