Definitions for mapudungun
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word mapudungun
A language isolate spoken in Chile and Argentina by the Mapuche people.
Origin: mapu + dungun
The Mapuche language, Mapudungun is a language isolate spoken in south-central Chile and west central Argentina by the Mapuche people. It is also spelled Mapuzugun and sometimes called Mapudungu or Araucanian. The latter was the name given to the Mapuche by the Spaniards. Today both the Mapuche and others avoid this usage as the exonym is a remnant of Spanish colonialism, and is considered offensive. The number of current speakers differs depending on definition and research methodology. In the political struggle between the ethnic minority and the Chilean and Argentinian governments, the different parties support different research results. Mapuche authors since 2008 have published articles and books citing approximately 700,000 speakers. Other results report approximately 240,000 speakers, with 200,000 in the Central Valley of Chile and 40,000 in several Argentine provinces, where some 150,000 people use the language regularly. Mapuche lacks substantive protection or promotion, despite the Chilean government's commitment to provide full access to education in Mapuche areas in southern Chile. There is an ongoing political debate over which alphabet to use as the standard alphabet of written Mapudungun.
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