Ethnologue.com home
Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Americas > Honduras

Languages of Honduras

See language map.
Republic of Honduras, República de Honduras. 6,834,000. National or official language: Spanish. Literacy rate: 56%–60%. Immigrant languages: Armenian (1,300), Turkish (900), Yue Chinese (1,000). Also includes Arabic (42,000), Chinese (2,000). Information mainly from L. Campbell and D. Oltrogge 1980; D. Oltrogge 1977. Blind population: 1,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population: 322,248. Deaf institutions: 2. The number of individual languages listed for Honduras is 10. Of those, all are living languages.
Ch’orti’

[caa] 10 in Honduras (1997 R. Reeck). Copán Department, along the Guatemala border. Classification: Mayan, Cholan-Tzeltalan, Cholan, Chorti 
More information.

English

[eng] 31,500 in Honduras (2001). 22,500 Bay Islands English speakers on the north coast. Bay Islands (Guanaja, Roatán, Utila), and large cities along north mainland coast. Dialects: Bay Islands English.  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English 
More information.

Garifuna

[cab] 98,000 in Honduras (Rivas 1993). 100 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 195,800. Mainly on north coast between Masca, Cortés Department and Plaplaya, Gracias a Dios Department. 37 villages in Honduras, 46 elsewhere in Central America (plus cities La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, and Puerto Cortés). Also in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, United States. Alternate names: Black Carib, Caribe, Central American Carib, Garífuna.  Dialects: Eastern Garifuna, Western Garifuna. The Eastern Garifuna dialect is in Honduras and Nicaragua (leaves out ‘r’ and tends to shorten words), The Western Garifuna dialect in Guatemala and Belize. Related to Island Carib [crb], with Spanish, English, and French borrowings.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean 
More information.

Honduras Sign Language

[hds]   Classification: Deaf sign language 
More information.

Lenca

[len] Only a few in Honduras (Rivas 1993). Ethnic population: 100,000. La Paz, Intibucá, Lempira, Comayagua, Santa Bárbara, Valle and Francisco Morozan departments. Also in El Salvador. Dialects: Some consider it Macro-Chibchan. The dialect in El Salvador is different from Honduras.  Classification: Unclassified  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Mískito

[miq] 29,000 in Honduras (Rivas 1993). Gracias a Dios Department. Alternate names: Marquito, Mískitu, Mísquito, Mosquito.  Classification: Misumalpan 
More information.

Pech

[pay] 990 (Rivas 1993). Ethnic population: 2,586 (Rivas 1993). North central coast, Municipio Dulce Nombre de Culmí, Olancho Department, Santa María del Carbón. Also in Las Marías, Gracias a Dios, Silín, Colón. Alternate names: Paya, Seco.  Classification: Chibchan, Paya 
More information.

Spanish

[spa] 5,600,000 in Honduras (1996).  Alternate names: Castellano, Español.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Castilian 
More information.

Sumo Tawahka

[sum] 700 in Honduras (1997 SIL). Ethnic population: 800 to 1,000 in Honduras (Rivas 1993). Banks of the Patuca River, Gracias a Dios and parts of Olancho departments. Alternate names: Soumo, Sumo, Sumoo, Sumu.  Classification: Misumalpan 
More information.

Tol

[jic] 350 (1997). Ethnic population: 593 (1990 Educación Comunitaria para la Salud-Honduras). Also 19,000 ethnic Tolpan in the Department of Yoro. Montaña de la Flor, northern Francisco Morazán Department, north central Honduras, some in Yoro. Alternate names: Jicaque, Tolpan, Xicaque.  Dialects: No distinct dialects. It may be distantly related to Subtiaba [sut] of Nicaragua (no remaining speakers), Me’phaa Tlapanec of Mexico [tcf], or the Hokan languages.  Classification: Language isolate 
More information.