Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, Quiche, Nahuatal, and others.

Sociologist   Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:52 am GMT
Hello, I'm a sociologist specilizing in sociology in Spanish Speaking America.

I took SPnish lesson for obvous reasons and when I got to countries like Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Paraguay, I was shocked because when I went to places inhabited by nativwe people, I wasn't able to make use of my Spanish because majority of these people are monolingual in their vernacular native languages.

To make situation more complicated, the language of instruction in schools in those areas are in their native language not Spanish although Spanish is taught as a secondary language.

The birthrate of these people is higher than that of the Spanish speaking people. In the near future, the former will outnumber the latter and overwhelmed their language with theirs.

Those things that I read that Spanish is all powerful in those countries are crap and baloney. And so, I am now able to speak a smattering of those languages which I find more use than Spanish whenever I visit those places to study their lifestyles.
Guest   Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:04 am GMT
To: Sociologist

Spanish is the lingua franca of Latin-america in spite of everything. The indigenous tongues you speak of are just (large, medium or small scale) communites in respected parts of the Americas. It's frivolous to say that these languages, may one day, rise and replace Spanish. As to the only real threat to Spanish is English.

>The Spanish were not as good colonists as the English were.<

Well...yes and no. The English came to inhabit the New World and obliterate all opposing opponents. Meanwhile the Spanish as you have written "came over to the Americas primarily looking for gold, not with the intent of permanently settling" - which I agree with, however, the Spanish later made up for it (i.e. A stable religion, Morality, R.A.E, Build the first Universities in the New-world in the 17-18th century and had some of the finest archaeologists and linguists) from the New World, preferably from Mexico - many of whom were castizos or mestizos - in that era, something the Britishs, Americans and French LACKED calculatedly.
Adolfo   Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:52 pm GMT
The English and the Spanish did not had a very different strategy to colonize the lands they eventually discovered. They both were interested in gold but by chance the Spanish were the first to find lands with gold mines and the English not, so the later had to resign to explore northern lands in America which resulted to have no gold, but the English, clever and practical people, found some use for it: to invite the undesirables to migrate to America and aliviate the high demographic pressure of the British Islands. The English settlers did had a relatively high freedom in America and the metropolitan Government was not as important as in the Hispanic America, were everything was closely supervised by the Spanish monarchs, since the gold was abundant and very appreciated and in North America were a few natives only but nothing worthy.
Guest   Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:46 pm GMT
I don't know about those contries that you mention, but in Mexico 97% of the people speak Spanish, and I think that says it all...
Invitado   Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:26 pm GMT
Well, it is true. For instance, in Paraguay 75% of the population speak Spanish as first or second language. A 25% of the population don´t speak it (1.5 million people).

That´s the same in Peru (85% of the population speak Spanish as first or second language) and 15% not (3.5 million people).

These people live in villages near Brazil or in the jungle, but in Lima or in Asunción and other big towns, Spanish is the most important language, of course.
Invitado   Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:18 pm GMT
According to several data Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, and other native languages have a relative importance (spoken in Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay).

Anyway, Spanish is the most spoken language of the Americas, spoken by some 400 million people from Canada (0,5 million people) and USA (50 million people) to Argentina.
Rodrigo (COL)   Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:53 pm GMT
I've lived in Colombia my whole life and the only time I've heard an indigenous language was on TV, singing the National Anthem, BUT Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay are completely different stories. Even if the non-Spanish speaking population outnumbers the Spanish speaking the lingua franca between Peruvian and Paraguayan indians will probably be Spanish. I may be completely wrong but I think that countries with less racial blending tend to speak more their native languages, and like in Catalonia they may speak perfect Spanish but refuse to speak it.

NOTE: My comment about Catalonia is based on a few personal experiences and cannot be taken as a generalisation.