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Costa Rica - Languages

History The only official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. However, English is widely spoken throughout the country to greater or lesser degrees, especially in areas that cater to tourism. Most of the people you'll encounter in businesses in San Jose will speak English, but don't expect to the same convenience when driving around the country and stopping at the small villages and shops along the way.

There are two main accents native to Costa Rica, the standard Costa Rican and the Nicoyan. The Nicoyan accent is very similar to the standard Nicaraguan accent. A peculiarity of the Spanish in Costa Rica is the relative lack of the use of the pronoun tú, which is considered rather informal by native Costa Ricans. Instead, Costa Ricans use vos or usted. The conjugation of vos in Costa Rica is practically the same as in Argentina, with the exception of the subjunctive forms.

Jamaican immigrants in the 19th century brought with them a dialect of English that has evolved into the Mekatelyu creole dialect.