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Travel Guide > South America > Peru

Peru Languages

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Like most of South America, the official language of Peru is Spanish.

In tourist centers like Cusco and Machu Picchu or in high class hotels, English and sometimes other languages are spoken. If you intend to visit other sites, or other areas of the country, you'll need Spanish. Like every other Latin American country, Peruvian Spanish replaces vosotros (and its 2nd-person plural conjugations) with ustedes (3rd-person plural). For example: ¿Cómo están? instead of ¿Cómo estáis?. South American Spanish likes diminutives (gringuito is more affectionate than gringo).

If you learn languages easily, try to learn Quechua, the language of the Incas. It will be highly appreciated in the countryside of the Sierra, where many indigenous speak it as a first language. On the Altiplano, the unofficial language Aymara is widely spoken. Aymara was the language of the Tihuanacu culture.

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