Why is it important to know which south American nations speak Spanish? simply ask any kind of traveller hopping roughly the continent and they’ll phone call you! that the 14 nations in south America, ripe of castle speak Spanish as their very first language and mastering a couple of basic phrases will certainly massively help you in her travels. 

When plan a pilgrimage to southern America, it absolutely helps to recognize which that the nations speak Spanish and what you deserve to expect native the language there. After ~ all, not all Spanish is the same and also the kind spoken in Latin America is an extremely different to that spoken in Europe! for example, in Latin American Spanish, ‘z’ is pronounced favor an ‘s’ and not favor ‘th’ together it is in Castilian Spanish.

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The plus point of having to find out Spanish is the unlike travelling approximately Southeast Asia, wherein every country has its own language (or several), a little bit of Spanish can aid you with the bulk of the most popular South American countries. 

Read ~ above for everything you have to know around South America’s Spanish speak countries, from recommended language colleges to helpful phrases the all travellers should know!

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South America Spanish Speaking nations Map

A map of southern America’s Spanish speaking countries.

List the Spanish Speaking nations in southern America 


Capital: Buenos Aires

Argentine Spanish is sometimes referred to as Porteño Spanish.

Around 41.7 million human being speak Spanish as their very first language in Argentina, with one more million speaking it together a 2nd language. It is one of the most unusual species of Spanish that you will hear everywhere in Latin America and sounds really different come the Spanish talked in Mexico or Peru because that example. 

Argentine Spanish, sometimes referred to as Porteño Spanish ~ the locals who live in Buenos Aires, is very expressive. This is likely down come a wave of Italian immigrant who relocated there in the at an early stage 20th century. This influx of Europeans resulted in an interesting blend of cultures and also Argentinian Spanish advanced rapidly under the Italian influence. The locals are an extremely personable and have adopted the Italian sing-song means of speaking.

The Spanish spoken in Argentina is most easily recognisable from the ‘sh’ sound i m sorry is offered to express ‘ll’ and also ‘y’ sounds. In the remainder of the Spanish speak world, these sounds are usually pronounced as ‘ye’.

Where to learn Spanish in Argentina: Casa Spanish Academy, Buenos Aires


Capital: Sucre

75% that Bolivians are Spanish speakers.

Bolivia is residence to a number of indigenous languages, however, the vast majority of the population speak Spanish as their very first language. In total, roughly 75% that the population are Spanish speakers. 

There room 36 official indigenous languages in Bolivia, although 3 of these room thought to be extinct. These traditional languages have had actually a huge impact ~ above Spanish and have led to some interesting phrases, numerous of which are unique to the country. In Bolivia, words for hangover derives native the Quechua word for ‘foot’. It’s ch-aqui through the way, pronounced exactly how the is written. Might come in useful for part travellers…

Unlike in some various other South American countries, English is no routinely spoken in Bolivia so it is necessary for travellers to have actually at the very least a simple understanding the Spanish. Bolivia is frequently touted as the cheapest nation in southern America which renders it a good place to perform Spanish lessons. You have the right to expect come pay roughly $4USD an hour for group sessions or $7USD an hour because that a private teacher. 

Where to learn Spanish in Bolivia: Pico Verde, La Paz


Capital: Santiago

Chilean Spanish is one of the most fast-paced types of Spanish.

Pretty much all Chileans speak Spanish, which has actually led come the kind of Spanish being talked there to it is in christened Chilean Spanish. Unlike in Argentina for example, there room not many local differences in dialect in the northern, central and southern components of the country. The exception to this is in the really south of the country, follow me the border with Argentina. 

Many human being say that Chilean Spanish is most comparable to the type of Spanish spoken in Andalucia in Spain. The is the fastest spoken of every one of the Spanish variations and this deserve to make it complicated to monitor at times. It is particularly daunting to learn. 

If girlfriend are beginning out on her Spanish speaking trip in Chile, asking the locals to slow-moving their decided a little. Lock are generally a trusted bunch and also will be more than happy come oblige. ¿Cachai? (That is Chilean slang for ‘you obtained it?’) another word you will certainly hear a many is ‘huevón’, which is Chilean slang for ‘mate’ or ‘brother’. Throw this into every various other sentence and you’ll go a long way to sounding prefer a local!

Where to discover Spanish in Chile: Coined Spanish School, Santiago


Capital: Bogóta

Colombia is home to the most Spanish speakers in southern America.

There are much more Spanish speakers in Colombia than any kind of other nation in southern America. A chuck 99.2% that the population speaks the language and even despite there room a number of indigenous languages talked throughout the various regions, Spanish is still supplied at main functions. 

Colombia is believed to be one of the ideal countries in which to learn Spanish, both because of the clarity and also speed the speech and also the availability of lessons. Unequal in Castilian Spanish (the type predominantly spoken in Europe), ‘z’ is pronounced like an ‘s’ and not like ‘th’. 

The locals will often use slang in Colombia and also it might be indigenous you nothing recognise. Among our favourite unit volume is ‘Que chévere!’, an interpretation ‘How cool!’ the a pretty advantageous one to understand as the locals are always keen to hear what friend think around the country! For an ext Colombian slang, check out the video below. 

Where to find out Spanish in Colombia: Blink Spanish Immersion Experience


Capital: Quito

Ecuadorian Spanish is spilt right into three key regions.

15.9 million civilization speak Spanish in Ecuador and local variations deserve to be separation into three key areas: Equatorial Coastal, the Amazon and also the Andes. Together the coast and also the Andes are the many populous components of the country, this type of Spanish is many common. Interestingly, few of the biggest variations in Ecuadorian Spanish depend on the society class and also schooling level of the speaker, more than the region. 

Some say that Ecuadorian Spanish is some of the cleanest you’ll hear since it is naturally talked slowly. This makes Ecuador a good place come come and learn the language. And also offering group and also private lessons for travellers, immersive courses room aplenty in this country. 

Where to find out Spanish in Ecuador: Montañita Spanish School


Capital: Asunción

Paraguay’s other nationwide language is Guraní.

87% the the Paraguay populace speak Spanish, most of them together the other national language Guaraní. This form of Spanish has been affected by the Argentine districts of Formosa and also Misiones. It likewise borrows lexicon indigenous the Guaraní language. 

The Spanish talked in Paraguay mirrors some interesting characteristics inherited indigenous the language previously talked in the north of Spain. This is since the bulk of the earliest settlers in Paraguay were from the Basque Country. 

Where to discover Spanish in Paraguay: Hispana Paraguay, Asunción


Capital: Lima

Andean Spanish is the many common kind of Spanish spoken in Peru.

Spanish was brought to Peru by the conquistadors in 1532. Now approximately 80% the the population speak the language and also there are 4 varieties talked across the country. These room Amazonic Spanish, Andean Spanish, Peruvian coast Spanish and Andean-Costal Spanish. 

Andean Spanish is the most usual of the Peruvian varieties and is very similar to the Spanish widely talked in both Ecuador and also Bolivia. As one of the favourite countries among backpackers, Peru has more than its same share of Spanish schools and also lessons are pretty cheap. 

You can discover Spanish schools all over there is a kind traveller scene however most tourists often tend to find out in either Cusco or Lima. Survive Spanish is commonly offered here come those hoping to grasp the basics. 

Where to learn Spanish in Peru: Peruwayna, Lima


Capital: Montevideo

Spanish is spoken by 3.4 million civilization in Uruguay.

Spanish is the main language the Uruguay and also it is spoken by about 3.4 million nationals. It is likewise referred to together Rioplatense Spanish i beg your pardon takes its surname from the Rio de la Plata basin and surrounding areas. 

As v Argentine Spanish, European immigration has certainly shaped the language. Italian influence deserve to be heard in food-related hatchet especially.  

Where to discover Spanish in Uruguay: Academia Uruguay, Montevideo


Capital: Caracas

Learning a little bit of Spanish will be invaluable if you space travelling Venezuela!

Venezuela scored lowest in state of security out of all the countries in south America (as ranked through the world Peace Index) so finding out a little of Spanish is bound come come in helpful if you room brave sufficient to do the visit. 

Even though Venezuela is house to approximately 40 various languages, Spanish is the many widely spoken. It was an initial introduced by the Spanish colonists, most of whom came from the Basque Country, Galicia, Andalusia and the Canary Islands. The latter has had a monumental affect on modern-day Venezuelan Spanish and the accents are an extremely hard to identify from each other. 

One significant characteristic that Venezuelan Spanish is the they have actually a tendency to shorten words, for example, ‘para’ (for) becomes ‘pa’. They likewise often autumn the ‘d’ sound once it is in in between vowels. For example, helado (ice cream) would certainly be claimed ‘eˈlao’.

Where to discover Spanish in Venezuela: IPSA, Caracas

History of the Spanish Language

Spanish was first brought come the americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. After this, it was the Catholic church the really propelled Spanish into the mainstream. They were on a mission to convert as many locals come Catholicism as possible and therefore, they required them to discover Spanish. 

Castilian Spanish began to be teach in schools yet the church was unable to eradicate the influence of the indigenous languages spoken widely across the continent. These old languages walk on to influence Spanish and as such, many contemporary day Latin American Spanish variations are an amalgamation of brand-new and old. 

Spanish in southern America further developed as those from other areas of Spain top to the continent. Those from Andalusia were specifically important in shaping the together of Latin American Spanish to change it native Castilian Spanish.

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Nowadays, we understand that the species of Spanish talked across southern America differ hugely through country and region. That can even be influenced by wide range or social status. However, every one of these variants come under the umbrella that Latin American Spanish. 

Spanish was lugged to the ameri in 1492.

21 Spanish unit volume Travellers must Know!

Hello: Hola Goodbye: AdiósThank you: GraciasI don’t understand:  No entiendoI speak a tiny Spanish: Hablo un poco de españolDo girlfriend speak English?: ¿Habla inglès?I am English: Soy inglés/aExcuse me: DisculpaYes:No: NoCan I have a menu please?:  ¿Me da la carta, por favor?Can I have actually the invoice please?: ¿Me da la cuenta, por favor?Two beers please: Dos cervezas por favorHow lot does it cost?: ¿Cuánto cuesta?Cheers: SaludDo you have actually a bed in a dorm?: ¿ Tienes una cama en un dormitorio?What time is the bus/train?: ¿A qué hora sale el bus/el tren?Today: HoyTomorrow: MañanaWhere is the market?: ¿Dónde está el mercado?That is my backpack: Esa es mi mochila
Spanish Language schools are everywhere the continent. Photograph credit: Peruwayna. FAQs

How countless countries in southern America speak Spanish?

Nine that the countries in south America speak Spanish. 

How many world speak Spanish in southern America?

210 million world speak Spanish in south America. 

Do you need to learn Spanish come travel southern America?

Although you nothing strictly need to discover Spanish to backpack south America, there is no doubt the you will gain far more out that your trip if you take the time to discover some simple phrases. It can also aid keep you for sure too!

What is the most talked language in the world?

English is the most spoken language in the people with 1.35 billion speakers. Spanish comes in in ~ number four, after ~ Mandarin Chinese and Hindi. 

Spanish is the 4th most spoken language in the world.

How many people speak Spanish in the world?

510 million people speak Spanish across the civilization (around 7.6% of the world’s population).

How execute you say ‘South America’ in Spanish?

‘Sudamérica’ is the Spanish translation for south America. Now what space you wait for? get started learning the handy take trip phrases detailed above! 

How is Castilian Spanish different from Latin American Spanish?

We’ll shot to store this as an easy as possible because language is nice complicated! Essentially, as previously mentioned, pronunciation varies in between the two. They likewise use various forms of address and there room vocabulary sports too. For example, ‘car’ in Castilian Spanish is ‘coche’, conversely, in Latin America, the is referred to as ‘carro’.