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Languages in Cuba

As with the majority of Latin American countries, due to the effect of Spanish colonization, the official language of Cuba is Spanish. However, the country's linguistic heritage is more complex than it may appear at first glance.
Many factors have contributed to the linguistic make-up of Cuba today. During colonization, the Spanish imported a great number of African slaves, who spoke a variety of dialects. This inevitably affected Cuban Spanish and enriched the language diversity in Cuba.

Cuban Spanish differs somewhat from Castilian Spanish, especially in the way in which it is pronounced. This is due mainly to heavy migration from the Canary Islands and strong influences from West Africa and France. The revolution, of course, has also had an impact on the vocabulary associated with Spanish in Cuba, for instance, the use of "compañero/a" instead of "señor/a" when addressing strangers.

However, informalities such as addressing a stranger with "mi corazón", "cariño" or "mi vida" are also very common. Along with Spanish, the English language is playing an increasing role in Cuba's linguistic makeup, especially among newer generations, with American English infiltrating the local language. In addition, a significant number of Afro-Cubans speak Haitian Creole, which is, in fact, the second most widely spoke language in Cuba.

Indigenous languages in Cuba have managed to survive in some aspects of Cuban Spanish, with words and place names maintaining some of the Amerindian tradition.