Languages of Mexico

Banderas de México

Mexico is one of the best known countries in the world thanks to its rich gastronomy, its millenary culture, among many other indispensable characteristics that make it tremendously popular.

Everyone who gets to know it is amazed by its countless customs, landscapes and way of life. If you want to learn a little more about the languages spoken there, read on.

Language of Mexico

Almost the entire population of Mexico speaks Spanish, a language that, in addition to being used throughout most of the country, is also a way of communicating with many other countries in the Americas.

What languages are spoken in Mexico

In addition to the majority language, different indigenous languages are spoken throughout the country. Due to the great linguistic diversity that exists in Mexico, the National Institute of Indigenous Languages wanted to catalog this reality in the best possible way.

For this reason, they have been divided into three major groups, from greater to lesser degree of inclusion: language families, language groupings and language variants.

INALI defines a language family as ”a group of languages whose structural and lexical similarities are due to a common historical origin”. These Indo-American language families are:

  • Algica
  • Yuto-nahua
  • Yuto-nahuaCochimí-yumana
  • Seri
  • Oto-mangue
  • Maya
  • totonaco-tepehua
  • Tarasca
  • Mixe-zoque
  • Chonatel de oaxaca
  • Huave

Then we would find the definition of linguistic grouping, which would be the ”set of linguistic variants included under the name historically given to an indigenous people”; there are no less than 68 groupings.

And last but not least, we have the definition of linguistic variant, the most detailed of all the above. ”A form of speech that presents structural and lexical differences in comparison with other variants…that implies for its users a certain sociolinguistic identity”. It is believed that there are more than 360 variants in the country.

According to official data from the Mexican government and the National Institute of Indigenous Languages, currently more than 7 million citizens in the country speak an indigenous language and more than 25 million people consider themselves indigenous.

Official language of Mexico

Although Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the country, even by more than 95% of its population, it is not the official language, nor are any of its indigenous languages.Official language of Mexico

As mentioned above, Spanish is the mother tongue of many Mexicans, but it is not currently considered an official language. This is because nowhere in the constitution of Mexico or the United Mexican States does it state that Spanish is the official language.

Although the debate has been taken to the Chamber of Deputies, a clear definition of this issue is still lacking, which means that Mexico still has no official language, although both Spanish and the indigenous languages are considered national languages.

About the Author
Patu Soto | Me gradué en Periodismo por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Durante estos años, he podido desarrollarme como periodista y fotógrafa amateur en el periódico El Ibérico ubicado en Londres. También he colaborado y publicado tanto artículos escritos como reportajes fotográficos en varios medios digitales. Tuve la oportunidad de desempeñar labores de Community Manager en el centro cultural japonés Sakigake en Madrid. Actualmente colaboro como Redactora SEO para Oasis Hoteles & Resorts, con sede en Cancún. En mis ratos libres sigo formándome, aprendiendo y conociendo más acerca del mundo digital en general y de los RRHH en particular. Si quieres conocer mi trabajo un poco más, conecta conmigo en mi Linkedin.

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