Discover the middle of the world by its ancient languages

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A compact land yet the richest in the world for its diverse ancient languages. Its multicultural blend nourishes from rituals and expressions which became words and phrases that fill the air and makes Ecuador an incomparable country.

Word like achachay (intense cold), arraray (intense warm), atatay (dislike sensation), or guagua (kid), are part of the Ecuadorian experience and the adventure of meeting it inhabitant’s identity. 16 million people communicate thru Spanish language, our main language, or by kichwa and shuar, considered the intercultural official languages besides 14 ancient tongues.

Here are some facts about our ancient languages and tongues:

Official language

Most of Ecuadorians speak Spanish which makes it the official language. Spanish has an endless variety for its accent, vocabulary, ethnic group, education or residence. By instance, someone from the costal region may suppress the “s” pronunciation at the end of each word and in the Andes, when you listen to a Cuencano (Cuenca’s demonyn) you may even think they’re singing due to its phonetic variations and particular tone.

Language by region

Some towns keep their expressions and cultural manifests on each corner of the country. Thus, in the costal region you may hear Awapít, Cha palaa, Síapede y Tsa’fiquí. In the Andes, 18 ancient kichwa villages express their culture thru its language and in the Amazon, some isolated villages communicate thru Ingae, Paicoca, Huao Tedeo, Shiwiar Chicham, Zapara, Achuar Chicham, Andoa kichwa and Shuar Chicham.

Kichwa and Shuar: two main languages

Ecuador recognizes Kichwa and Shuar as the official languages for intercultural relation. Since 2008, Ecuadorian State Constitution aims to stimulate and preserve the use of the original people’s languages to impulse its promotion in the Ecuadorian population. According to the International Centre Of Superior Studies in Communication for Latin America, in 1950 14% of the population used to speak an ancient language while by 19990 only the 3,7%.

Kichwa and Shuar: two main languages

Ecuador recognizes Kichwa and Shuar as the official languages for intercultural relation. Since 2008, Ecuadorian State Constitution aims to stimulate and preserve the use of the original people’s languages to impulse its promotion in the Ecuadorian population. According to the International Centre Of Superior Studies in Communication for Latin America, in 1950 14% of the population used to speak an ancient language while by 19990 only the 3,7%.

Alive tongues

While in Ecuador, pay attention to the word that keep alive its people multiculturalism. Squares, markets and fairs gather all people together from all distances to exchange its cultural features, tongues and traditions. The way to keep the millennia heritage alive. Try to learn at least a couple of words to help them survive thru time and history.

Ecuador is a country in motion. When you listen to its people speak you can recognize the influence of other cultures on its words. Its cultural identity is so diverse and showcases to the world thru parties, rituals and ancient ceremonies that revive the natural beings and makes us feel its energy. Discover the magic of the middle of the world and get to know the cultural richness that its villages share. When you travel Ecuador, you’ll discover that words are not enough.

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