If you are a football fan, you may know that the Argentinian team is one of the top football teams in the world. If you are a traveler, chances are you have wanted to visit this beautiful country. But before you step outside your native home, you might want to pause and wonder about the languages spoken in Argentina.
The official and most widely spoken language in Argentina is Spanish. Although people are interested in learning Spanish, the easiest way to learn Spanish is by getting the help of a Spanish-speaking individual who preferably lives in Argentina.
Want to explore more about the Argentinian language? Wondering how many languages are spoken in Argentina? Read on to find out.
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Where is Argentina?
Argentina is a South American country located in southern South America. By geography, Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world. It is the second largest country in South America after Brazil and is about one-third the size of the United States.
Argentina occupies an extensive area even more significant than Mexico and the US State of Texas combined. The region also includes a portion of Antarctica as well as other neighboring islands in the South Atlantic, such as the British-ruled Falkland Island.
- The beautiful country of Argentina holds a prestigious position on the world map owing to its geographic location and wealth of valuable minerals.
- Argentina has excellent production of livestock and cereals, for which it was once ranked among the world’s wealthiest nations.
- The population of Argentina is 45.81 million (2021) and continues to increase owing to an influx of migrants in the region.
What is the Argentinian Language?
Spanish is the most spoken as well as the national language of Argentina. However, it is no surprise that the Spanish spoken in Argentina has different dialects and takes its words from other languages, especially Italian.
If you happen to go to Argentina, you will hear numerous foreign languages and dialects–from Basque and Sicilian to Welsh and Gaelic.
- Spanish is the country’s official and national language.
- The largest number of Spanish-speaking people live in Argentina (not Spain).
- Approximately 41.7 million people in Argentina speak Spanish as their native language.
- 1 million people speak it as a second language.
However, it is worth noting that the Spanish spoken in Argentina differs from those expressed in Spain and Mexico. If you happen to hear the Spanish of Spain and Argentina, you will think they sound the same, but they have subtle differences in pronunciation, wording, and tone.
Moreover, the Argentina language has several dialects within the country as well. These different forms and dialects of the Argentina language got mixed with the passage of time, but still, it’s the spicy Espanol we all know. You will find its use everywhere in the country from schools and government offices to various other official institutions. The different dialects you will hear throughout the country are Sicilian, Basque, Gaelic, Welsh, and Italian. It’s important to note that Italian is the most distinctive of all other dialects.
Official Language of Argentina
The Argentina government has not legally established an official language. However, the de facto language of Argentina is Spanish, which is used both as a language of ordinary and official communication. The administration of Argentina is using this language since its independence in 1816. Today all public establishments utilize it in education. Basic and secondary-level students learn this language as a mandatory subject. This is the reason 41.7 million people in Argentina speak Spanish.
The history of this de facto or official language of Argentina is fascinating. Many indigenous groups came to Argentina pre-Columbian times and brought their own culture and language to the region. In 1536, the Spaniards came to this region, bringing their language to the country. As a result, people in this region began to speak Spanish, continuing to dominate the language for centuries.
In the late 19th century, vast waves of European immigrants entered Argentina and powerfully impacted the local way of speaking. In the constitution of Argentina in 1853, immigration from Europe was not only encouraged but it was also made accessible. This eased the migrations, and people from all over Europe, especially Spain, Italy, and France, started pouring into the region.
When Italians first migrated to Argentina, they began to speak Spanish with a slightly Italian accent. Words began to be adopted and derived from the Italian dialects as Argentinians began to use the accent and innovations from the Italian dialects. An example of this is the word “Chau” in place of “bye,” which is still spoken by Argentinians and is derived from the Italian word “ciao.”
What Language do they Speak in Argentina?
According to studies on the population, the most commonly spoken language in Argentina is Spanish. The other primary language that is common in Argentina is Italian. Due to the influx of Italian migrants, Italian holds a profound place in the languages of Argentina. The Italian language is the second most spoken language after Spanish and the immigrant language with the greatest number of speakers.
- Approximately 1.5 million people speak Italian as their first language in Argentina. In addition, about 25 million people in Argentina are said to have a connection to Italian ancestry.
- Levantine Arabic is the second most spoken immigrant language in Argentina, which is a dialect of Arabic spoken in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.
- About 1 million people in Argentina speak Arabic as their native language.
- The other immigrant languages in Argentina are German (400,000 speakers), Yiddish (200,000 speakers), and Catalan (175,000 speakers).
How Many Languages are Spoken in Argentina?
According to estimates, there are about 40 languages spoken throughout Argentina. This number includes Spanish, Italian, Arabic, German, and French. Other languages in Argentina belong to the indigenous communities and immigrants. Some languages of Argentina are also considered endangered.
- English is also spoken commonly in Argentina, with about 2 million speakers.
- German comes after the English language, with 400,000 speakers.
- The Quechua language is spoken by 65,000 people.
- Guarani has roughly 200,000 speakers in Argentina.
- Other languages of Argentina are Toba and Welsh.
Native Language of Argentina
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, as the number of migrants increased and people from all over Europe poured into Argentina, the region’s languages took an exciting turn. The Spaniards were among the first people to come to Argentina, and they brought Spanish, which became the region’s dominant language.
Although other indigenous groups and communities also settled in Argentina, the Spanish language’s impact was not easy to replace. Due to this, the native language spoken in Argentina to this day is Spanish.
- About 41.7 million people speak Spanish in Argentina as a native language.
- Other languages that exist in Argentina include Arabic, Italian, French, German, and a handful of indigenous languages.
Argentina is a beautiful and economically stable country located in South America. If you are a traveler and wish to visit this beautiful country, you might want to learn the language spoken there by a vast majority. This language is the Spanish language that is spoken by 41.7 million people in Argentina natively.