english or spanish

Posted By: lacole

english or spanish - 11/24/03 01:32 AM

I was wondering if belizeans speak only english or some spanish as well. It would be nice to practice what i have learned.
Posted By: charliec

Re: english or spanish - 11/24/03 01:41 AM

In my experience they speak both. Also, I noticed that most Belizians seemed to speak Spanish among themselves and English to the tourists.
Posted By: ckocian

Re: english or spanish - 11/24/03 01:55 AM

Most Belizeans in the tourist industry speak at least some Spanish but it depends on where you are in the country, for the most part, whether or not it may be predominant. In communities close to the Mexican and Guatemalan borders most folks are at least bilingual Spanish/English. On the Southern border, you'll encounter Mayan dialects as well. In AC, which could be classed more Mexican than Belizean, there is a lot of Spanish spoken and understood. And then there's Creole which I'd give my eyeteeth to be able to just roll off my tongue as easily as most Belizeans. I think it's wonderful fun to listen to a conversation and try to keep up with what's being said.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: english or spanish - 11/24/03 02:34 AM

As C. Kocian so accurately notes, it really depends on where you are in Belize. In some villages in northern and western Belize, Spanish is by far the dominant language, and often you will run across folks who speak no English at all, or hardly any. In Belize City and other Creole areas, it's almost all English and Creole (or Beliz Kriol as some write it). In places like San Pedro and Corozal which was originally settled by people from Mexico, most local people are fluent in both Spanish and English but often speak Spanish at home. In Maya areas it's Yucatec or Ketchi depending on where you are. In Garifuna towns/villages it's English, Creole and Garifuna. Some Mennonites speak a German dialect among themselves. Creole used to be the "lingua franca" among all groups in Belize including grigos who had lived in Belize a while, and still is to some extent, but with the emergence of Mestizos as the major ethnic group in Belize -- soon to be twice as numerous as Creoles -- Spanish is rapidly becoming the dominant language.

--Lan Sluder
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