THE GUANCHE LANGUAGE - The Guanche people - Tenerife

The Guanche language

The Guanche language
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After the conquest of the Canaries, Spanish became the official language, but the aborigines who had populated the archipelago until then spoke a language of their own. The Guanche tongue is sometimes referred to as Canarian Berber or Island Amazigh, given that research has shown that it stemmed from the languages spoken by the Berber peoples in the north of Africa. The language is now extinct and lives on only in certain names of people, towns and regions, although it is believed to have been used by small communities up until as late as the 19th century. There are stone engravings dating from that century that feature symbols which resemble the African Tifinagh alphabet, which are preserved as archaeological gems.