language of panama


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Language of Panama

Language is one of the most certain way in identifying a person's nationality. Almost all of the countries in the whole world have at least one language while there are some countries that more than language.
Panama is one of the countries that belong to the latter category. There are many Panama languages. Although the official language of Panama is Spanish, English and other indigenous languages are spoken in this country.
But before Spanish became the official language of Panama, various kinds of indigenous languages were spoken throughout the country. Before the Spanish explorers came and discovered Panama, great number of indigenous people inhabited the isthmus (an isthmus is a narrow strip of land that is bordered on both sides by a body of water and this strip of land connects two large masses of land, another example of an isthmus is the Suez, the Suez connects North Africa and Southwest Asia). The population of these indigenous people, at that time, was estimated to be around five hundred thousand individuals from over sixty different tribes. Not all of these sixty tribes spoke the same language. One example of this is the tribe of Bokata and Guaymi. The Bokata tribe settled on the eastern Bocas del Toro by the side of the Rio Calovebora, while the Guaymi tribe inhabited the remote regions northwest of the country. Although the Bokata and Guaymi speech are similar yet these two languages are unintelligible mutually.
After the Spanish explorers reached (some of these explorers settled on Panama) Panama, Spanish slowly became one of the most spoken language of Panama. And when Panama was constituted as a Spanish Colony, Spanish became the official language of panama. When the private investors in the United States displayed interest in building a canal in Panama, many Americans settled in the country. The English language then slowly became a widely spoken language of Panama.
Today, the indigenous population of Panama has decreased to over 93,000, a mere five percent of the total population of Panama. And the indigenous languages of Panama slowly disappeared. Making it hard to identify a particular person in Panama; if that person is an Indian or not. Most of the indigenous people in Panama speak only Spanish but still practice their indigenous ways. One example of this is the Guaymi tribe, the Guaymi show little concern regarding their linguistic purity and had adopted wide variety of Spanish origin words. However, they still practice their indigenous beliefs and ways.
Today, the official language of Panama is Spanish but you should not worry if ever you are in Panama. Most Panamanians are able to understand or comprehend and speak English. English is also one of the widely spoken among the people of Panama.

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