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Languages of Venezuela

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Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, República Bolivariana de Venezuela. 26,726,000. 145,230 American Indians (Mosonyi 1987). National or official language: Spanish. Literacy rate: 88% (Hoffman 1991). Immigrant languages: Catalan-Valencian-Balear, Corsican, Cubeo, English (20,000), Inga (4,000), Latvian, Portuguese (254,000). Also includes Arabic (110,000), Chinese (400,000). Information mainly from M. Durbin and H. Seijas 1973; E. Migliazza 1987. Deaf population: 1,246,674. Deaf institutions: 3. The number of individual languages listed for Venezuela is 46. Of those, 40 are living languages and 6 have no known speakers.
Akawaio

[ake] 180 in Venezuela (2001 census). Ethnic population: 245. Bolivar State. Alternate names: Acewaio, Akawai, Acawayo, Acahuayo, Waicá, Waika.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Macushi-Kapon, Kapon 
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Arawak

[arw] 100 in Venezuela (2002 SIL). Ethnic population: 428. Coastal area near Guyana, Delta Amacuro. Alternate names: Arowak, Lokono.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean 
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Arutani

[atx] 25 in Venezuela (2001 census). Ethnic population: 29 in Venezuela (2002 SIL). Below Karum River area, Bolivar state, headwaters of the Paraqua and Uraricáa rivers. Alternate names: Aoaqui, Auake, Auaqué, Awaké, Oewaku, Uruak, Urutani.  Classification: Arutani-Sape  Nearly extinct.
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Baniva

[bvv] Extinct. Colombia border area. Alternate names: Abane, Avani, Ayane.  Dialects: Baniva, Quirruba.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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Baniwa

[bwi] 610 in Venezuela (2007 SIL), decreasing. Ethnic population: 2,408. Amazonas, between the Curipaco and the Guarequena, along the Colombia border. Alternate names: Baniba, Baniua do Içana, Baniva, Maniba.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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Baré

[bae] No known speakers. Ethnic population: Perhaps 238 (1975 Gaceta Indigenista). Colombia border in extreme southwest, Amazonas, along the upper Rio Negro from Brazil-Venezuela border to Casiquiare Canal, Maroa. Alternate names: Arihini, Barauana, Barauna, Barawana, Cunipusana, Ihini, Maldavaca, Mitua, Yavita.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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Barí

[mot] 1,770 in Venezuela (2001 census). Ethnic population: 2,200. Venezuela and Colombia border, Zulia state. Alternate names: Motilón, Motilone.  Classification: Chibchan, Motilon 
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Carib

[car] 4,450 in Venezuela (2001 census). Population total all countries: 7,430. Ethnic population: 16,679. Monagas and Anzoategui states, northeast near Orinoco River mouth, a few communities in Bolivar state, just south of Orinoco. Also in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname. Alternate names: Caribe, Cariña, Galibi, Kalihna, Kalinya.  Dialects: Tabajari.  Classification: Carib, Northern, Galibi 
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Chaima

[ciy]  East Venezuela coastal region. Alternate names: Chayma, Guaga-Tagare, Sayma, Warapiche.  Classification: Carib, Northern, Coastal 
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Cuiba

[cui] 380 in Venezuela (2001 census). Nearly all monolingual. Ethnic population: 454. Apure Division. Alternate names: Cuiva.  Dialects: Chiricoa, Amaruwa (Amorua), Masiguare, Siripu, Yarahuuraxi-Capanapara, Mella, Ptamo, Sicuane (Sicuari).  Classification: Guahiban 
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Cumanagoto

[cuo] Extinct. East Venezuela coastal region. Classification: Carib, Northern, Coastal 
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Curripaco

[kpc] 3,460 in Venezuela (2001 census). Ethnic population: 4,925. Amazonas. Alternate names: Curipaco, Kuripako, Kurripako.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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E’ñapa Woromaipu

[pbh] 3,540 (2001 census). 70%. Nearly all women monolingual; men bilingual in Spanish to varying degrees. Bolivar state, 150 mile perimeter south of Caicara de Orinoco, west of Cuchivero River. 2 groups: savana and highland. 20 or more settlements. Alternate names: Abira, Eñapa, Eñepa, Eye, Panare, Panari.  Classification: Carib, Northern, Western Guiana 
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German, Colonia Tovar

[gct]   Alternate names: Alemán Coloneiro.  Dialects: Developed from Alemannisch [gsw] (Oberdeutsch) of 1843 under the influence of many other dialects of south Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Not intelligible with Standard German.  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, German, Upper German, Alemannic 
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Guahibo

[guh] 11,200 in Venezuela (2001 census). Ethnic population: 14,751. Amazonas, and Apure states, Orinoco River from Caicaro de Orinoco on the upper Orinoco. Alternate names: Guajibo, Wahibo.  Classification: Guahiban 
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Guarequena

[gae] 160 in Venezuela (2001 census). Population total all countries: 500. Ethnic population: 513. Amazonas, San Miguel River, Guzmán Blanco village, half an hour below Maroa. Possibly in Colombia. Also in Brazil. Alternate names: Arequena, Guarekena, Uerequema, Urequema, Warekena.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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Japreria

[jru] 95 (2002 SIL), decreasing. Ethnic population: 216. Zulia state, northern region of Sierra de Perija. Alternate names: Yapreria.  Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other Carib languages of the area (1973 M. Durbin). Lexical similarity: low with Yukpa [yup] (2005 L. Oquendo).  Classification: Carib, Northern, Coastal 
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Maco

[wpc] 2,500 (2002 J. Miller). Tributaries of the Ventuari River, Wapuchi, Paru, Yureba, and Marueta rivers; Marueta, Wapuchi, Porvenir, Tavi-Tavi, Mariche, Morocoto villages. Alternate names: Itoto, Jojod, Mako, Wotuja.  Classification: Salivan 
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Macushi

[mbc] 600 in Venezuela. East border area. Alternate names: Makushi, Makusi, Makuxi, Teweya.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Macushi-Kapon, Macushi 
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Mandahuaca

[mht] 3,000 in Venezuela (1975 Gaceta Indigenista). Population total all countries: 3,003. Colombian border, extreme southwest, Amazonas, east of the Baré on Baria River and Casiquiare Canal. Also in Brazil. Alternate names: Arihini, Cunipusana, Ihini, Maldavaca, Mandauaca, Mandawaka, Mitua, Yavita.  Dialects: Related to Yabarana [yar].  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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Mapoyo

[mcg] 12 (2001 census), decreasing. Ethnic population: 365. Amazonas, Suapure River, 100 kilometers north of La Urbana. Alternate names: Mapayo, Mapoye, Mopoi, Nepoye, Wanai.  Dialects: Similar to Yabarana [yar].  Classification: Carib, Northern, Western Guiana  Nearly extinct.
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Maquiritari

[mch] 5,520 in Venezuela (2001 census). Population total all countries: 5,950. Ethnic population: 6,523. Bolivar and Amazonas States, near the Brazilian border on the mid-Paragua, Caura, Erebato, upper Ventuari, upper Auaris, Matacuni, Cuntinano, Padamo, and Cunucunuma rivers. Also in Brazil. Alternate names: Cunuana, De’cuana, Maiongong, Maquiritai, Maquiritare, Pawana, Soto, Ye’cuana, Yekuana.  Classification: Carib, Southern, Southern Guiana 
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Nhengatu

[yrl] 2,000 in Venezuela (Mosonyi 1987).  Alternate names: Geral, Modern Tupi, Waengatu, Yeral.  Classification: Tupi, Tupi-Guarani, Subgroup III 
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Ninam

[shb] 100 in Venezuela. Karun and Paragua rivers, Bolivar state. Alternate names: Xiriana, Yanam.  Dialects: Northern Ninam, Southern Ninam.  Classification: Yanomam 
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Paraujano

[pbg] No known speakers. Ethnic population: 4,306 (1975 Gaceta Indigenista). Zulia state, Lake Maracaibo, near Guajiro. Alternate names: Añú, Parahujano.  Dialects: Alile, Toa.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean 
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Pemon

[aoc] 5,000 in Venezuela (2001 V. Becsky). Many monolinguals. Population total all countries: 6,160. Ethnic population: 22,270. Southeast Venezuela, Bolivar state, Gran Sabana and adjacent areas. Also in Brazil, Guyana. Alternate names: Pemong.  Dialects: Camaracoto, Taurepan (Taulipang), Arecuna (Aricuna, Arekuna, Jaricuna, Pemon, Daigok, Potsawugok, Pishauco, Purucoto, Kamaragakok). Marginally intelligible with Akawaio [ake] and Patamona [pbc]. Camaracoto dialect may be a distinct language.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Macushi-Kapon, Kapon 
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Pémono

[pev] 1 (2000 M. Muller). With the Yabarana [yar] in Upper Majagua village. Dialects: Similar to Mapoyo [mcg] and Yabarana [yar].  Classification: Carib, Northern, Western Guiana  Nearly extinct.
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Piapoco

[pio] 1,450 in Venezuela (2001 census). Area of San Fernando de Atapapo, Amazonas along the Orinoco. South of Vichada Department. Alternate names: Dzaze, Piapoko Dejá, Kuipaco, Wenéwika, Enegua, Yapoco, Amarizado.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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Piaroa

[pid] 12,200 in Venezuela (2001 census). Population total all countries: 12,280. Ethnic population: 14,494. Amazonas, south bank of Orinoco River, inland from Paguasa River to Manipiari. Also in Colombia. Alternate names: Adole, Ature, Guagua, Kuakua, Quaqua.  Classification: Salivan 
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Puinave

[pui] 880 in Venezuela (2001 census). Ethnic population: 1,307. Amazonas. Alternate names: Puinare, Wanse.  Classification: Language isolate 
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Pumé

[yae] 5,840 (2001 census). Orinoco, Sinaruco, Meta, and Apure rivers, Amazonas and Apure states. Alternate names: Llaruro, Yaruro, Yaruru, Yuapín.  Classification: Unclassified 
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Sáliba

[slc] 250 in Venezuela (1991 W. Adelaar). Cedoño Department. Alternate names: Sáliva.  Classification: Salivan 
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Sanumá

[xsu] 4,610 in Venezuela (2000). 500 Yanoma in Venezuela. Population total all countries: 6,410. Caura and Ervato-Ventuari rivers. Also in Brazil. Alternate names: Chirichano, Guaika, Samatali, Samatari, Sanema, Sanima, Tsanuma, Xamatari.  Dialects: Yanoma (Kohoroxitari), Cobari (Kobali, Cobariwa).  Classification: Yanomam 
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Sapé

[spc] 5 (1977 E. Migliazza). Ethnic population: 25 or fewer (1977 E. Migliazza). 3 small settlements on Paragua and Karuna rivers. Alternate names: Caliana, Chirichano, Kaliána, Kariana.  Dialects: Some lexical correspondences with Warao [wba] Greenberg classified it provisionally as Macro-Tucanoan.  Classification: Arutani-Sape  Nearly extinct.
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Sikiana

[sik]   Alternate names: Chikena, Chiquena, Chiquiana, Shikiana, Sikiána.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Waiwai, Sikiana  Nearly extinct.
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Spanish

[spa] 21,500,000 in Venezuela (1995).  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Castilian 
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Tamanaku

[tmz] Extinct. Near Mapoyo and Yawarana. Dialects: Similar to Eñepa [pbh].  Classification: Carib, Northern, Western Guiana 
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Tunebo, Central

[tuf]  Apure state. Classification: Chibchan, Chibchan Proper, Tunebo 
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Venezuelan Sign Language

[vsl]   Dialects: Sign language used in the classroom is different from the one used by adults outside.  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Warao

[wba] 28,100 in Venezuela (2007). Ethnic population: 36,129. Orinoco River Delta, Delta Amacuro, Sucre, Monagas. Also in Guyana, Suriname. Alternate names: Guarao, Guarauno, Warrau.  Classification: Language isolate 
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Wayuu

[guc] 170,000 in Venezuela (1995 SIL). Ethnic population: 293,777. Zulia state, Guajira Peninsula. Alternate names: Goajiro, Guajira, Guajiro.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean 
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Yabarana

[yar] 35 (1977 E. Migliazza). Amazonas, Manapiare River basin, above San Juan de Manapiare. Alternate names: Yauarana, Yawarana.  Dialects: Curasicana, Wokiare (Uaiquiare, Guayqueri). Similar to Mapoyo [mcg], Pémono [pev].  Classification: Carib, Northern, Western Guiana  Nearly extinct.
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Yanomamö

[guu] 15,700 in Venezuela (2000). Population total all countries: 17,640. Orinoco-Mavaca area. Eastern dialect in Parima Mountains, east of Batau River; Western dialect in Padamo River basin, Ocamo, Manaviche, and upper Orinoco rivers and south of Orinoco River up to headwaters of Marania and Cauaburi rivers, large villages in Siapa River area in the south. Also in Brazil. Alternate names: Cobari Kobali, Cobariwa, Guaharibo, Guaica, Guajaribo, Shamatari, Yanomame, Yanomami.  Dialects: Eastern Yanomami (Parima), Western Yanomami (Padamo-Orinoco). Related to Yanomámi [wca] (Waiká) of Brazil. Cobari dialect is easily intelligible with the others.  Classification: Yanomam 
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Yavitero

[yvt] Extinct.  Alternate names: Paraene.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Inland 
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Yukpa

[yup] 6,130 in Venezuela (2007). Zulia state, Areas adjacent to Colombia border. Alternate names: Macoíta, Manso, Northern Motilón, Yucpa, Yuko, Yupa.  Dialects: Yrapa, Río Negro.  Classification: Carib, Northern, Coastal 
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Yuwana

[yau] 300 (1970 census). Ethnic population: 767. Central Venezuela. A northern group is in Bolivar Division on Kaima River, a tributary of Cuchivero River; an isolated southern group in Amazonas on the Iguana, a tributary of Asita River, and on the Parucito, a tributary of the Manapiare River. Alternate names: Chicano, Chikano, Hoti, Jodi, Joti, Waruwaru, Yoana, Yuana.  Dialects: Linguistic similarities to Yanomamö [guu] and Piaroa [pid] (Salivan).  Classification: Unclassified 
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