The most widely spoken language in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Spanish which is a form of Central American Spanish. It is also the official language used for business, administrative, education, and government formalities and functions. Costa Ricans do not use the same Castilian Spanish spoken in Spain. Instead of the Spaniards lisp their c’s and z’s and the use of "vosotros" person, the Costa Ricans use "you" for the antiquated form of "vos: and the more formal "usted". Costa Ricans are noticeable extremely polite and formal when speaking Spanish. The indigenous languages include Cabécar, Bribri, Maléku, and Guaymí.

The approximate percentages of the speakers of the Indigenous languages are Bribri (0.24%), Maléku (0.017%), Cabécar (0.20%), and Guaymí (0.11%). The English speakers in the country stand at about 10%. Over 70% of Costa Rica’s population speaks Spanish.

Some common useful phrases in the Costa Rican Spanish language include ipura vida – meaning pure life, dolor de jupa – meaning headache, aguevado-meaning bored, estar de goma-meaning to have a hangover, isóquele-meaning hurry up!, and estar de chicha-which means to be angry.

Some of the minority native languages spoken in the country are Teribe and Boruca. Another minority language is Costa Rican sign language. Other minority languages include French, spoken by 0.7% of the population, and Portuguese or German spoken by 0.3% of Costa Ricans.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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