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Official Languages Of Bolivia

Official Languages Of Bolivia
bolivia official languages
(Last Updated On: September 18, 2023)


Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America that shares its borders with Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. It has a population of 11 million. Santa Cruz de la Sierra is the biggest city in the country. Sucre is the constitutional capital whereas La Paz is the legislative and executive capital. Bolivia is a multiethnic and multilinguistic country. The Andean region of the country was a part of the Inca Empire before the Spanish colonized Bolivia. After getting independence from Spain, the people of Bolivia continued to promote their own culture and languages. The country has a high ranking in the Human Development Index. It is rich in various minerals including silver and copper.

Languages in Bolivia:

Spanish is the language with the highest number of native speakers in Bolivia. But several dozen indigenous languages are also spoken in the country. A few immigrant languages like Plautdietsch are also spoken in Bolivia. But according to the constitution of the country, Spanish and 36 indigenous languages are the official languages of Bolivia. Some of the languages mentioned in the constitution have already gone extinct.

The languages of indigenous people were mentioned in the constitution so they can be protected and preserved. There are many native speakers of these languages in Bolivia. All over Latin America, various native languages went extinct after colonization of the region. The popularity of Spanish did not help the case of the regional vernaculars. But Bolivia is one of the few countries in the region where multiple indigenous languages are still spoken by a significant percentage of people. As a result, the country has recognized these vernaculars in the constitution.

Although there is no nationwide bilingual education system in Bolivia, various schools follow a bilingual curriculum to help students from different backgrounds. The efforts of such educational institutions have kept various languages alive in the country. The education ministry during the tenure of President Evo Morales opened various centers where indigenous tongues are being taught.

bolivian language
bolivia language

Bolivian Spanish:

75% of the population of Bolivia speaks Spanish either as their mother tongue or their second language. It has been the most popular language in Bolivia since after the Spanish colonization. It also enjoys official status in the country. Various Spanish dialects are spoken in the country. Out of all of them, Andean Spanish is spoken by the majority. But Camba Spanish and Chapaco Spanish are also spoken by a significant percentage of the population. Every dialect from Andean Spanish to Valluno Spanish has been influenced by regional and foreign languages like Guarani, Portuguese, and Arabic.


The Quechua language also enjoys official status in Bolivia. With more than 2 million speakers, it is the most popular indigenous language in the country. It is primarily spoken by the Quechua people. It has nearly 10 million speakers in the world. Several Quechua languages are also spoken in Peru. It was the main language family during the Inca Empire, which is what contributed to its popularity. The Spaniards also promoted its use.

bolivian language
bolivian language


The second most popular indigenous language in Bolivia is Aymara. It is primarily spoken by the Aymara people who live in the Andes region. Nearly 17% of Bolivians speak Aymara. The language is also spoken in Peru, where it also enjoys official status. It is also a recognized minority language in Chile. Aymara share a lot of features with Quechua. Many linguists believe that the two are related but that claim has not been proven. The similarities between the two languages can be attributed to the fact that they frequently come in contact with each other. They have not only been influenced by each other but also by Spanish.


The third most popular native language in Bolivia is Guarani, which is native to South America. It enjoys official status in Paraguay where it is the first language of the majority of the population. It is also spoken in certain regions of Brazil and Argentina. It has approximately five million native speakers in the world. It is protected by the Bolivian constitution. According to some linguists, it is one of the most elegant languages in the world.

bolivian language

Translation of Bolivian Languages:

When it comes to Spanish, people think that it is the same all over the world. But in truth, there are multiple varieties of Spanish in every country where it is spoken. So, you cannot turn to a Spaniard for the translation of Bolivian Spanish. You will need the services of a native expert if you want accurate results. The same can be said if you need the translation of other Bolivian languages. However, it won’t be easy to find an indigenous translator on your own.

There are multiple ethnic groups in Bolivia and they all speak their own languages. You must find the right expert if you want to get a hundred percent accurate translations. So, instead of trying to find a native expert on your own, you should get in touch with an agency that only hires qualified professionals. They will be able to connect you with a translator who can provide you with accurate translations of an indigenous vernacular. A company with great reviews, good rates, quick turnaround time, and native language experts on its team will be able to deliver quality translations to you every time. So, do your research before you decide to hire someone for the translation of any of the 37 Bolivian languages.

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