The Languages spoken in Venezuela
There are 40 languages that are spoken in the country of Venezuela. However, Spanish is the country’s official language and the most common. Venezuelan Spanish differs in pronounciation from the Spanish spoken in Spain. There are also some variations in vocabulary. Venezuelans call their language Castellano.
The most widely spoken indigenous languages are Wayuu, Warao, Piaroa, Yanomami, Kahlihna, Manduhuaca, Panare, Pemon, Guahibo, and Nhengtu. Most of these languages originated in the languages of the Caribs, the Arawaks, and the Chibcha. In more remote areas, some Indians still only speak their own language and have no knowledge of Spanish language. As more indigenous people move to the cities, many of their languages are becoming extinct. Languages such as Sape and Mapoyo have five or fewer speakers. Anthropologists are trying to learn these languages and the stories of these peoples before the last people who speak these languages die. Languages like Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, and English are the most common foreign languages spoken in Venezuela. Some English words like “parking” have found their way into Venezuelan Spanish. Venezuelans often speak less formally than people in most other Spanish-speaking countries.
Generally, the knowledge of foreign languages in Venezuela is very basic. Some receptionists in hotels don’t always speak English. It is therefore useful to learn at least some common phrases before your departure to Venezuela, or to carry a phrasebook.