Peru Language and Languages

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Most materials used in Peruvian research are written in Spanish. However, you do not need to speak or read Spanish to do research in Peruvian records. You will need to know some key words and phrases to understand the records, however.

Because of Peru’s history, Roman Catholic records are the most common. You may find other languages in Peruvian records for areas with large populations of German, Italian, Japanese, and other immigrants.

Spanish grammar affects the way names appear in genealogical records. For help in understanding name variations, see the “Names, Personal” section of this outline.

Language Aids

The Family History Library has genealogical word lists for Spanish (34104), German (34067), Latin (34077),

Polish (34098), Portuguese (34099), and French (34060). The following books and English-Spanish dictionaries can also aid you in your research. You can find these and similar material at many research libraries:

Blanco Garcia, Vicente. Diccionario ilustrado latinoespanol y espanol-latino (Illustrated Dictionary Latin-Spanish and Spanish-Latin). Madrid: Aguilar, 1968. (FHL book 473.61 B598d.)

Cassell’s Spanish-English, English-Spanish Dictionary. New York: Macmillian Publishing Company, 1978. (FHL book 463.21 C272c.)

Ramos Wold, Lillian, and Ophelia Marquez. Compilation of Colonial Spanish Terms and Document Related Phrases. Fullerton, Calif.: Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, 1996. (FHL book 467.97203 W83c.)

Additional language aids, including dictionaries of various dialects and time periods, are listed in the Family History Library Catalog in the “Locality” section under:


Some dictionaries can also be found in the “Subject” section under: