Belize Boutique Resort and Spa
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Belize Languages

Belize Language
Belize is a very unique country because it is the only one in Central America where English is the official language. Despite being surrounded by Spanish-speaking nations, Belize has steadfastly maintained English as its sole official language since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1981. The languages that one can hear spoken, however, in Belize vary by region of the country, influenced by the country's long history and incredibly diverse cultural makeup. The majority of people in Belize are bilingual. 

Although English is the most commonly spoken language and the one used for all official communication, in practice, most people in Belize speak a local Creole (sometimes spelled Kriol). Creole is neither a distinct language nor a "dialect" of English, but a subsidiary of standard English. In some cases, particularly when written, it's not too hard for speakers of standard English to decipher Creole (such as "kukumba" in lieu of "cucumber"), but when spoken, Creole can be difficult to understand. Most people in Belize who speak Creole at home or among friends can speak standard English in public. 

Another common language spoken in Belize is Spanish. Some ethnic groups who have been living in Belize such as the Mestizos (originally indigenous people from Mexico who emigrated to Belize in the 19th century) speak Spanish as their first language. In addition, Spanish is also widely spoken in areas near the border of Guatemala and among the Maya population. In areas near Mexico, however, such as Ambergris Caye, Orange Walk or Corozal, some people speak "Kitchen Spanish," a form of simplified Spanish with some Creole words. 

Another important language group spoken in Belize is Mayan. Originally a unified language, today, there are three different forms of Mayan spoken in Belize which can be partially, but not wholly, understood by speakers of the other dialects. These three dialects are Mopan, Q'eqchi (multiple spellings), and Yucatec(o). 

Other languages which are well-represented in Belize include Garifuna, Chinese, Arabic (particularly the Lebanese variety), and an antiquated form of German sometimes known as Plattdeutsch or Low German. This form of German is spoken almost exclusively by members of Belize's Mennonite community and is very different than standard (or "High") German. 

If you're interested in meeting - and speaking to - people from all the different cultures in the country, be sure to stay at the Belize Boutique Resort and Spa, an award-winning Belize resort that offers a number of Belize vacation packages.

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Belize Boutique Resort & Spa Music Written by MELONIE GILLETTWritten for Belize Boutique Resort & Spa by Singer/Songwriter MELONIE GILLETT
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