Colombia is an ethnically and linguistically diverse environment, with over 100 languages spoken within the country. Spanish, with more than 99.2% of Colombians who speak it, is the official and the most popular language spoken in Colombia. The variant of the Spanish language spoken in Colombia is also known as the Colombian Spanish, and it varies from the traditional Spanish language spoken in Spain, Mexico, Argentina and other Spanish-speaking nations. There are also several regional Spanish dialects spoken in different parts of the country. As the country’s official language, Spanish is often used during public functions and by most media outlets. Some regions have their own official languages other than Spanish. Spanish is also a mandatory subject taught in schools, and in regions where Spanish is not the official language, bilingual education is mandatory.

Spanish slang is very popular in Colombia, often used in popular culture. Many Spanish slang words have become commonly used and understood throughout the country, especially by radio stations in order to connect to the younger generation. In the Paisa and Medellin regions, the local Spanish slang is known as ‘Pariache’.

Apart from Spanish, there are several other languages spoken in Colombia. 65 of these minor languages can be grouped into 12 language families, including Cariban, Tupian, Quechuan and Arawacan. These languages come from the Amerindian group of languages, which are groups of indigenous languages of the Americas.

The Creole language is a mixture of different languages. There are two creole languages spoken in Colombia: Palenquero and Vlax Romani. Palenquero is a Spanish-based creole language spoken across Latin America, with only about 3,000 Colombians being able to speak it. Vlax Romani belongs to the Romani language group, with about 5,000 speakers in Colombia, the majority of which are foreigners. Vlax Romani is the most widely spoken dialect of the Romani language in the world.

Other minority languages which can be heard in Colombia include Romani languages, English and sign language. In some regions of Colombia such as Santa Catalina and Providencia, English has an official status.


Unlocking Language Excellence: Empowering Your Communication and Business Growth