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The culture of the Dominican Republic, like its Caribbean neighbors, is a blend of the European colonists, Taínos and Africans, and their cultural legacies. Spanish, also known as Castellano (Castilian) is the official language. Other languages such as Haitian Creole, English, French, German, and Italian are also spoken to varying degrees. Haitian Creole is spoken fluently by 159,000 or as many as 1.2 million Haitian nationals and Dominicans of Haitian descent, and is the third most spoken language after Spanish and English. European, African and Taíno cultural elements are most prominent in food, family structure, religion and music. Many Arawak/Taíno names and words are used in daily conversation and for many items endemic to the DR.
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