Ecuadorian Spanish

Spanish language in Ecuador

Spanish is the most-widely spoken language in Ecuador, though great variations are present depending on several factors, the most important one being the geographical region where it is spoken. According to this, it could be divided in 3 groups.

However, as mentioned before, there are several other factors that influence in the way of speaking, such as the ethnie or social class they belong to, and if they live in urban or rather country areas. Since the Coast and the Highlands are the most populated areas, their dialects are the most relevant ones in the country, both way different one from each other. For instance, there are many idioms own from each region or province, and others that are used and understood nationwide.

Pacific Coast

This variant of Spanish is spoken through the Pacific Coast region and the western plains of the Andes mountains. The most remarkable feature of this variant is the aspiration of the sound "s" when followed by another consonant or at the end of the words, when it is rather pronounced like a soft "h". However, there is a tendency to correct this mispronunciation in the upper classes.

One of the most relevant accents is the one from the city of Guayaquil, the largest one of the country. Since it is a large town that has demographically grown very fast in the last decades thanks to immigration from the other areas of all around the country, there are many idiomatic differences within the population of the city, mainly associated with the social classes. In the lowest social classes, there is a tendency to overpronounce the final "s", sometimes soundling like a whistle and other times like the sound /sh/. In the highest classes, there is a tendency to correct the mispronunciations and include many words and idioms borrowed from English in their speech.

Outside Guayaquil, in the rest of the Coastal provinces(excepting the province of Esmeraldas) there are slight variations of the same accent. In the country areas, there is an important variation spoken by the montubios (Countrymen from the Coast), who have a tendency to stress the first syllables of the words and to pronounce both the "s" and the "z" like the sound /θ/ (th, like in think) or not to pronounce them at all at the end of the words.

The other important variant of the Coastal accent is the one spoken in Esmeraldas, which is a way different from the rest of the Coast due to its high influence by African accents, since most of its populations are descendants of African people brought by the Spanish into this region. It is very similar to the accent spoken right at the other side of the border in Colombia.


In the highlands of Ecuador, a variant of Spanish is spoken, often confused by foreigners with ''Chilango'' Spanish—the dialect spoken in Mexico City—due to its similarities. However, it can be subdivided in four dialects:

The Spanish spoken in the Ecuadorian Andes tends to have many idioms borrowed from Quechua, the native language spoken by the indigenous from this region. Words such as ñaño (brother) or taita (dad) are widely used by people of any ethnicity or social class in this area. Voseo (the substitution of the second-person pronoun for vos) is also very common in this region of the country, used only for informal conversations between friends or relatives.


The Amazonian region has a variant similar to the Central Andean dialect, though there are little differences. For instance, the quijo population from the northern areas, use the 2nd pronoun but conjugate the following verb with the 3rd person, usted.

Galapagos Islands

At the islands, a dialect very similar to the one from Guayaquil is spoken, with no major variations, since it's a very low-populated region if compared to the rest of the country.

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