Ecuadorian Spanish - Part 2
Indigenous languages in Ecuador are extremely important, and this has led to the introduction of an intercultural, bilingual education system.
The Kichwa Language
Kichwa is another language spoken throughout Ecuador: this is a language that’s spoken in the Amazon by the 14 Kichwa national groups, throughout the Andean region, and on the coast. The speakers of Kichwa can be located in the provinces of the inter-Andean corridor and most of the east. Due to migration processes, the use of Kichwa has been maintained on the coastal provinces. Besides Ecuador, there are speakers of Kichwa in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and there are also a small number in Paraguay.
The Indigenous Languages of Ecuador
Indigenous languages in Ecuador are extremely important, and this has led to the introduction of an intercultural, bilingual education system. This was achieved due to the determined struggle by the peoples and the nationalities for their cultures and languages.
Below we’ve listed some of the indigenous languages of Ecuador –
Ecuadorian Amazon Ancestral Languages
- Shiwiar Chicham: The language of the Shiwiar people;
- Paikoka: The language spoken by the Sekoya people;
- A’ingae: The language of the Ai people, commonly known as Cofán;
- Achuar Chicham: The language of the Achuar people;
- Sapara Atupama or Kayapi: The language of the Sapara people;
- Waotededo: The language spoken by the Wao people;
- Baikoka: The language of the Siona people; and
- Shuar Chicham: Language of the Shuar people, previously referred to as Jivaro because of their warrior-like character.
Languages Indigenous to the Coast
- Zia pedee: Means voice of the reeds. This is the language of the Epera people;
- Awapít: Belongs to the Chibcha linguistic family. It’s spoken by the Awá people in Columbia and Ecuador;
- Tsafiqui: Means man’s tongue: it’s the language of the Tsa’chila people; and
- Cha’palaa: The language spoken by the Chachi people.
As we mentioned previously, Ecuadorian Spanish is an incredibly rich language, and it’s not enough to describe the language of this nation as ‘just Spanish’. When you open the door and see all the wonderful cultures, you’ll be amazed by the linguistic wealth.
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