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  • Bolivian constitution will recognize three new Indigenous languages.

    Bolivian constitution will recognize three new Indigenous languages. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 April 2019

The country has the largest Indigenous population in Latin America (62.2 percent), followed by Guatemala, Peru, and Mexico.

The Constitution of Bolivia will recognize three more Indigenous languages, namely, Joaquiniano, Paunaka, and Kumsa. They will be added to the 36 recognized Indigenous languages, local media reported Monday. 

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The director general of the Plurinational Institute for the Study of Languages ​​and Cultures (Ipelec), Pedro Apala announced that they planned to add these languages which have comparative grammar and vocabularies, and speakers in various regions of the country.

Apala said the Joaquiniano is originated in the region of the plains of Beni, the Paunaka (Santa Cruz) and the Kumsa correspond to the South Chichas (Potosi).

The country has the largest Indigenous population in Latin America (62.2 percent), followed by Guatemala, Peru, and Mexico.

The official languages of Bolivia are Spanish and those spoken by native nations and Indigenous peoples and campesinos such as Aymara, Araona, Baure, Besiro, Canichana, Cavine, Cayubaba, Chacobo, Chiman, Ejja, Guarani, Guarasu'we, Guarayu, Itonama, Leco, Machajuyai-kallawaya, Machineri, and Maropa.

Also, the Mocheño-Trinitario, Mojeño-Ignatian, More, Moseten, Movima, Pacawara, Puquina, Quechua, Siriono, Tacana, Tapiete, Toromona, Uru-Chipaya, Weenhayek, Yaminawa, Yuki, Yuracare, and Zamuco.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, promoted by Bolivia and the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples, to conserve, revitalize and promote these means of communication at national and international levels.

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