What Language Is Spoken In Peru?

peru native language
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Peru Language

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. The country borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the southeast, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Peru also claims territories in Antarctica where it has made its capital at Lima. In terms of language, Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua. However, there are several other indigenous languages that are widely spoken throughout various regions across Peru.

If you want to learn more about Peruvian language and other facts about this fascinating country, keep reading!

A Brief History of Peru

Peru is located in Western South America and is bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. The country has a long history dating back to the Inca Empire. However, the Spanish conquered the Incas in the 16th century and Spanish became the primary language spoken in Peru.

Today, there are still many indigenous languages spoken throughout the country as well as neighboring countries in Latin America. The government of Peru has recently recognized three extinct languages: Quechua, Aymara, and Ashaninka.

These are now considered official languages that must be taught in schools. Spanish is still considered the most important language for communication among different ethnic groups because it provides greater opportunities for economic mobility.

The Spanish language also contributes to maintaining national unity. Spanish speakers constitute approximately 75% of the population while 10% speak indigenous languages.

native language of peru,

Evolution Changes in 20th and 19th Century Peru

In the 20th century, the linguistic landscape of the Madre de Dios region in Peru bore the imprints of both ancient and more recent historical influences. Indigenous people, representing diverse language families, had been the native speakers of numerous languages in the area for centuries. However, the Spanish conquest in the 18th century significantly impacted the linguistic dynamics, introducing Spanish as a foreign language and influencing the local linguistic fabric.

The indigenous population, with its rich linguistic heritage, became part of a complex tapestry shaped by both historical continuity and external forces, contributing to the linguistic diversity within the broader Peruvian population.

In the 19th century, European languages began to leave a lasting impact on the linguistic and cultural landscape of Peru. Influences from Spanish, in particular, shaped the development of Andean Spanish and became deeply ingrained in Peruvian society. Modern publications from institutions like Cambridge University Press delve into linguistic aspects and historical narratives, offering insights into the evolution of language in Peru. Recent political figures, such as Martín Vizcarra and Keiko Fujimori, have contributed to shaping the linguistic discourse within the nation.

The Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática plays a pivotal role in documenting and analyzing linguistic trends in conjunction with broader demographic information. Against this linguistic backdrop, Peru’s rich cultural tapestry, including its renowned cuisine, reflects a harmonious blend of European influences and indigenous roots, exemplifying the diverse linguistic heritage of the South American nation.

Research Insights of Diverse Perspectives and Cultural Variations

Publications from reputable sources such as Oxford University Press and University of Texas Press contribute significantly to linguistic research, offering insights into language dynamics in diverse regions. In the context of San Martín, the work of the Instituto Geográfico Nacional serves as a valuable resource for understanding geographic and linguistic elements. TheWayback Machine provides a digital archive, preserving linguistic records and aiding in the exploration of historical linguistic changes.

Legislative measures like the Decreto Supremo may offer direct evidence of language policies and regulations. Institutions like the Summer Institute of Linguistics, along with scholars like Willem F. H., play a crucial role in advancing linguistic studies, providing a comprehensive understanding of languages and their evolution.

The linguistic diversity of Quechua, a family of languages spoken in the Andean region, manifests in various regional varieties. Coastal Spanish, influenced by the cultural and linguistic context of coastal areas, coexists alongside Quechua II languages like Wanka Quechua and Cusco Quechua. Ayacucho Quechua, Southern Quechua, and Central Quechua represent distinct branches of this family of languages, each with its unique linguistic features.

The richness of Quechua linguistic heritage is evident in works like the Diccionario Quechua, which documents the vocabulary and nuances of these languages. Imbabura Quechua adds to the intricate tapestry, showcasing regional variations within the broader scope of Standard Quechua, underscoring the dynamic nature of this vibrant language family.

Peru’s Historical and Cultural Legacy

The 17th century marked a pivotal period in the historical and linguistic landscape of Peru. Institutions such as the University of California play a crucial role in advancing linguistic research and understanding the indigenous languages of Latin America. The Congress of Peru, as a legislative body, may influence language policies within the country. Initiatives like the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America contribute to the preservation of linguistic diversity.

Historical figures like José de San Martín and landmarks like the Inca Trail are integral to Peru’s cultural and linguistic heritage. Within the political sphere, leaders like Alberto Fujimori and Pedro Castillo impact language discussions, with considerations for linguistic nuances, such as the use of the third person singular, reflecting the ongoing evolution and influence of language in Peru’s historical and contemporary context.

In the diverse linguistic tapestry of South America, particularly in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, the influence of the Spanish conquest is evident in the coexistence of European languages with native Peruvian languages. Indigenous people, as native speakers, contribute to the linguistic richness of the area. The United Nations recognizes the importance of preserving linguistic diversity, emphasizing the significance of languages spoken by indigenous populations.

Against the backdrop of historical events like the Spanish conquest, the linguistic landscape of Madre de Dios reflects both continuity and change, encapsulating the cultural heritage and linguistic traditions of the indigenous population in the broader context of South American diversity.

The linguistic and cultural fabric of Peru is woven through a diverse Peruvian population that reflects historical influences from the Inca Empire to contemporary times. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a notable figure in Peruvian society, underscores the multicultural nature of the nation.

The fusion of native languages, foreign languages, and the echoes of the Inca Empire contribute to the unique linguistic landscape. Peru, situated among other American nations, boasts a rich culinary tradition that mirrors its cultural diversity, symbolizing the fusion of historical roots and modern influences within the broader context of Peruvian society.

The vast majority of people in Peru speak Spanish, with Quechua being the next most common language. There are also small pockets of people who speak Aymara, Ashaninka, and other indigenous languages. English is not widely spoken, but you’ll find that most people in tourist areas will be able to understand and communicate with you.

Peru is a multilingual country with three official languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara.

main language of peru

An Overview of Peru’s Language

Peru is a multilingual country with over eighty native languages spoken, although Spanish is the dominant language. The history of language in Peru is complex and interesting, dating back to the 16th century when the country was colonized by the Spanish.

Today, there are three principal languages spoken in Peru: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. While Quechua is the mother tongue of many Peruvians living in the Andean region, Spanish is more commonly spoken in the coastal region.

However, both languages are considered national languages. In recent years, English has become a more common language due to the increasing number of tourists visiting Peru as well as business dealings with English-speaking countries.

Regardless of what language you speak, if you visit this beautiful South American country, be sure to do your research beforehand so that you don’t end up speaking Spanish for an entire week!

What Are Some Other Languages Spoken In Peru?

While Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara are all spoken in various parts of Peru, other native tongues include;

  1. Kichwa (also known as Quichua)
  2. Shipibo-Conibo
  3. Asháninka (called Ancash Quechua)
  4. Urarina (also called Apurímac quechua).

These tribes make up only ten percent of Peru’s overall population but have significantly influenced aspects of Peruvian culture through their indigenous literature and music.

lima peru language
language spoken in peru

What Are The 3 Official Languages Of Peru?

There are three official languages in Peru: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. However, there are also many indigenous languages spoken throughout the country.

Quechua is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Peru, followed by Aymara. Spanish is the most common language in Peru, with around 80% of the population speaking it fluently.

However, Quechua and Aymara are also very common, with around 13% and 7% of the population speaking them respectively. Peru is a very diverse country linguistically, with over 80 different languages spoken.

The three official languages are just a small part of this diversity. So next time you’re traveling to Peru, make sure to brush up on your Quechua! Learn some phrases that might come in handy while traveling or even before you arrive.

Here are 5 useful phrases for travelers who speak no Spanish.

  1. Good morning “Hola Buenos Dias”
  2. How much does this cost? “Cuanto cuesta esto?”
  3. Where is the nearest pharmacy/bank/hospital? “Donde esta el banco mas cercano o la farmacia mas cercana o el hospital mas cercano?”
  4. Do you speak English/French/etc.? “Hablas ingles o francais o etc.?”
  5. I don’t understand “Tengo entendido que …”

Are More Languages Spoken in Peru?

While Spanish is the predominant language spoken in Peru, there are also many indigenous languages spoken throughout the country. In fact, according to Ethnologue, there are currently 84 living languages spoken in Peru.

Some of these languages include Quechua (the official language of Peru), Aymara, Kichwa, and more. These languages are used by a variety of communities that have lived in this area for centuries and continue to do so today.

Diversity and Cultural Heritage in South America

South America, with its rich tapestry of cultures and languages, presents a fascinating linguistic landscape. The Peruvian government, under leaders like Alejandro Toledo, has faced the challenge of fostering communication across a nation where languages vary from Andean Spanish to the Aboriginal languages of the Aymara people. Machu Picchu, a symbol of Peru’s ancient heritage, draws attention not just to the country’s historical significance but also to its linguistic diversity, including variations like Andean-Coastal Spanish and the preservation of the Aymara language. This diversity is further enriched by foreign languages introduced through global interactions, illustrating the complex interplay of language and identity in the region.

Literacy rates in regions such as Upper Peru and North America reveal significant insights into the preservation of cultural legacies and the resilience of original languages within distinct linguistic families. In Upper Peru, efforts to maintain languages like Equatorial Spanish, tied closely to the region’s identity, are echoed in decrees such as the “Decreto Supremo,” which aim to bolster educational frameworks and promote linguistic diversity.

Similarly, North America’s approach to indigenous languages strives to enhance literacy while honoring cultural heritage. The archaeological site of Chan Chan in Peru further exemplifies the deep cultural legacy embedded within original languages, serving as a reminder of the intricate relationship between language, history, and identity across different geographies.


No, English is not one of the official languages of Peru. The two official languages of Peru are Spanish and Quechua. Quechua is an indigenous language spoken by the Quechua people, who make up around 13% of the population.

Peru is a linguistically diverse country with around 84 different languages spoken. The most common language spoken in Peru is Spanish, followed by Quechua and Aymara.

A simple “hola” is the standard way of saying hello in Peru.

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