A language of Chile

Alternate Names
Araucana, “Araucano” (pej.), Mapuche, Mapudungu, Mapuzungun

250,000 in Chile (Crevels 2007). Ethnic population: 604,000 (2002). Total users in all countries: 258,620.


Araucanía, Bíobío, Los Lagos, and Los Ríos regions: Arauco, Bíobío, Valdivia, Osorno.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Moluche (Manzanero, Ngoluche), Picunche, Pehuenche. Easy intelligibility among dialects. Pehuenche and Moluche are reportedly very similar.


Free word order; prepositions; noun head final; dual number; definite and indefinite articles; verb affixes mark person, number; passives; causatives; 19 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes; non-tonal; stress on penultimate syllable (vowel-final) or final syllable (consonant-final).

Language Use

All ages. Also use Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 21%. 85,000 are literate in Spanish [spa]. Intercultural Bilingual Education programs may contribute to the survival of Mapundung (Crevels 2007). New media. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1997–2011.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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