Colombia Language and Languages

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Spanish is the national language of Colombia.  All post-Columbian historical records are in Spanish.

There are over 60 indigenous languages spoken and are constitutionally recognized as official languages in their territories.

Most of these can be grouped into 5 language families with a sixth grouping of unique or distinct laguages.

  • Familia Lingüística Sáliba- Piaroa: Speakers located in the departamento Casanare and Venezuela.
  • Familia Lingüística Chocó: Speakers located in the departamentos Chocó, Cauca, Nariño, Córdoba, Antioquia, Risaralda and in the north of the Valle del Cauca. This language family extends from Ecuador to Panama along the Pacific Coast.
  • Familia Lingüística Chibcha: Speakers located in the departamentos Cesar, Magdalena y Guajira, Chocó, Antioquia, Norte de Santander, Santander, Boyacá, Casanare and Arauca.
  • Familia Lingüística Barbacoa: Speakers located in the departamentos Cauca and Nariño.
  • Familia Lingüística Guahibo: Speakers located in the departamentos Meta, Vichada, Arauca, and Casanare and in Venezuela.
  • Lenguas Aisladas : Spoken in a variety of places, often in areas bordering neighboring countries.


21 aboriginal languages have gone extinct in Colombia.