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Languages of Panama

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Republic of Panama, República de Panamá. 3,000,463. National or official language: Spanish. Literacy rate: 87% to 88%. Also includes Eastern Yiddish, Hebrew, Japanese (1,200), Korean, Arabic (15,000). Information mainly from P. Cohen 1976; SIL 1970–1998. Blind population: 2,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population: 159,456. The number of languages listed for Panama is 14. Of those, all are living languages.

Living languages

Buglere

[sab] 2,500 (1986 SIL). Mountains of western Panama. Alternate names: Bokota, Bogota, Bofota, Bobota, Bocota, Bukueta, Nortenyo, Murire, Veraguas Sabanero.  Dialects: Sabanero, Bokotá.  Classification: Chibchan, Guaymi 
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Chinese, Hakka

[hak] 6,000 in Panama (1981 MARC). Ethnic population: 30,000 to 60,000 including Cantonese (1981 MARC). Panama City, Colón, larger towns of interior. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Chinese, Yue

[yue]  Panama City, Colón, larger towns of interior. Alternate names: Yue, Yueh, Cantonese.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Emberá, Northern

[emp] 10,480 in Panama (2000 WCD). Population total all countries: 23,480. Southeastern Panama, Darién area, lowland jungle. Also spoken in Colombia. Alternate names: Empera, Ebera Bedea, Atrato, Darien, Dariena, Panama Embera, Cholo, Eerã.  Dialects: Related languages in order of closeness: Emberá-Catío, Emberá-Baudó, Emberá-Tadó, Epena, Emberá-Chamí, and Wounmeu. Panama and Colombia dialects are inherently intelligible. Northern Embera of the Upper Baudó area and downriver Emberá-Baudó are inherently intelligible.  Classification: Choco, Embera, Northern 
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Emberá-Catío

[cto] 40 in Panama (1982 SIL).  Alternate names: Catío, Katio, Embena, Epera.  Classification: Choco, Embera, Northern 
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Epena

[sja]  Southeastern Panama. Alternate names: Emberá-Saija, Saija, Epena Saija, Epéna Pedée, Southern Embera, Southern Empera, Cholo.  Dialects: Basurudo.  Classification: Choco, Embera, Southern 
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Kuna, Border

[kvn] 700 in Panama (1991 SIL). Southeastern Panama, villages of Paya and Pucuro. Alternate names: Paya-Pucuro Kuna, Kuna de la Frontera, Colombia Cuna, Caiman Nuevo, Long Hair Cuna, Cuna.  Classification: Chibchan, Kuna 
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Kuna, San Blas

[cuk] 57,114 (2000 WCD). Population includes 10,000 in Panama City, Colón, and on banana plantations (1991 SIL). San Blas Islands and on the mainland. Alternate names: San Blas Cuna.  Dialects: Chuana, Cueva, Bayano (Alto Bayano, Maje).  Classification: Chibchan, Kuna 
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Ngäbere

[gym] 128,000 in Panama (1990 census). Population total all countries: 133,092. Northeastern Chiriqui, Bocas del Toro, western Veraguas, western provinces. Also spoken in Costa Rica. Alternate names: Valiente, Chiriqui, Ngobere, Guaymí.  Dialects: Valiente, Eastern Guaymí (Tolé, Chiriquí).  Classification: Chibchan, Guaymi 
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Panamanian Creole English

[jam] 268,435 in Panama (2000 WCD). Bocas del Toro, Colón, and Rio Abajo in Panama City. Alternate names: Southwestern Caribbean Creole English.  Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Western 
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San Miguel Creole French

[scf] 3 (1999 SIL).  Classification: Creole, French based  Nearly extinct.
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Spanish

[spa] 2,100,000 in Panama (1995). Enclaves of speakers. Alternate names: Español, Castellano.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Castilian 
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Teribe

[tfr] 3,000 in Panama (1996 SIL). Population total all countries: 3,005. Northwestern area, Changuinola, Teribe River. Also spoken in Costa Rica. Alternate names: Terraba, Tiribi, Tirribi, Nortenyo, Quequexque, Naso.  Classification: Chibchan, Talamanca 
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Woun Meu

[noa] 3,000 in Panama. Population total all countries: 6,000. Southeastern Panama, lowlands. Also spoken in Colombia. Alternate names: Waun Meo, Waunana, Waumeo, Wounmeu, Wounaan, Noanama, Noenama, Nonama, Chocama, Chanco.  Classification: Choco 
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