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The Languages spoken in El Salvador

Spanish is the official language of the country and the government is obliged to observe it in teaching and preservation. A few Amerindians still speak Nahua, an indigenous language in the western region. Native languages spoken in the state are part of the social custom and are to be preserved, recognized and respected.

Other existing languages in the country are the following:

  • Lenca – is one of the native Mesoamerican languages and spoken in the area of southwestern Honduras and east of the Lempa river during the Spanish defeat of Central America in 16th century.
  • Pipil or Nawat – the language is initially spoken by the Pipils in western part of the country. Pipils and the individuals of the country normally denote the language as Nawat.
  • Q'eqchi' - is one of the Mayan languages and usually spoken in the areas of Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Izabal, Petén and El Quiché. In Toledo area of Belize, majority of Mayas speak Q'eqchi'. There are 500,000 speakers as estimated.
  • Cacaopera is an extinct language that goes back to the Misumalpan family, spoken before in the area of Morazán. It was closely connected to Matagalpa and to some extent more distantly to Sumo.