For such a small country, there sure are a lot of languages in Belize! English is the country’s official language, but if you listen carefully, you’re also likely to to hear Spanish, Chinese, Garifuna, Indian dialects, and one of three Maya languages.
Another language you’re very likely to hear is Kriol, which is spoken by almost 75% of the population. Kriol is an English-based language that borrows words and from other languages, including African, Spanish.
If you’re listening carefully, you’ll probably recognize some Kriol words, which share some similarities with English. “Bwai,” for example, is “boy.” “Bout” is “about.”
Text by Julie Schwietert Collazo.