Taino language: Taino language | Britannica
Taino Language and the Taino Indian Tribe (Nitaino, Borinquen, Yamaye, Lucaya)
Taino Language and the Taino Indian Tribe (Nitaino, Borinquen, Yamaye, Lucaya)
American Indian language
American Indian culture
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Taino is an Arawakan
language of the Caribbean, originally spoken in what is now Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Bahamas.
Today there are two Taino languages: the original Taino tongue—which, though not spoken as a first language today, is being taught
to Taino children in an active language revival program—and
a unique Spanish-Taino creole, spoken by many Taino people, using Spanish grammar but with half of its vocabulary words
Taino in origin. As with many creoles, monolingual Spanish speakers cannot understand this new Taino-Spanish language at all.
Our list of vocabulary words in the Taino language, with comparison to words in other Arawakan languages.
Dictionary of the Taino Language
Online Taino dictionary with translations in English and Spanish.
Taino language information from Indigenous Languages of the Caribbean.
The Origin and Survival of Taino
A good article on the creolization of Taino and the Taino contributions to Caribbean Spanish dialects.
Taíno Vocabulary in Puerto Rico
List of Taino loanwords used in Puerto Rican Spanish, with their meanings.
Dominican Taino Words
List of Taino loanwords used in the Dominican Republic, with their meanings.
Freelang Taino Dictionary:
Free downloadable wordlist of the Taino language.
Taino translation of the Lord’s Prayer.
Demographic information about Taino from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Taino Language Tree:
Theories about Taino’s language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Encylopedia article about the Taino language.
Diccionario Taino La Lenguaje Taino
Taino language information in Spanish.
Languages Of The Pre-Columbian Antilles
A nice overview of Taino and other Arawakan and native Caribbean languages.
Diccionario Taino Ilustrado
Taino dictionary for sale, also with lots of linguistic information about the Taino language.
(Ignore the Amazon.com claim that this book is in Arabic; it is written in Spanish!)
Comparative Arawakan Histories
Interesting book about the history and culture of the Taino and other Arawak speaking tribes.
Ciboneyes, Lucayos and Tainos Languages of the Caribbean Mapa Taino: Tribes of Cuba: Antilles Tribes Map:
Maps showing possible locations of the Tainos and their neighbors in the Caribbean.
Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation of Boriken
Official homepage of the Taino tribe of Puerto Rico.
Haitian Arawak Movement:
Homepage of an organization promoting Taino and Arawak heritage on Haiti.
Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Band of New Jersey
Many Puerto Rican Taino people emigrated to New Jersey; the offshoot band there is recognized by the main Jatibonicu tribe.
Article on the history and culture of the Taino Indians.
History and culture of the Arawak and Taino Indians.
Overview of Taino Indian history.
Arawak and Taino Religion and Myths:
Article on ancient Caribbean traditions and festivals, with pictures of religious artifacts.
Pictures and descriptions of the Taino tribal flag.
Spicy Taino Guanaho (Wild Turkey):
Traditional Taino recipes.
Taino Tribe Resources:
Books for sale on the Tainos
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links
The Tainos: Rise & Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus
History of the Taino Indians for sale.
Columbus and the Golden World of the Island Arawaks
An interesting description of the interactions between the Europeans and the Taino Indians.
Taino: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the Caribbean
A gorgeous photographic exhibit of Taino artwork.
An interesting sociology book on Taino and Puerto Rican identity today.
The Legend of the Hummingbird:
Picture book illustrating a Taino Indian legend about the origin of hummingbirds.
Additional Resources, Links, and References
Wikipedia: Taino Britannica: Taino:
Encyclopedia articles about the Tainos and their language.
Indigenous Puerto Rico Indigenous Cuba: Indigenous Bahamas:
Information and links about Native American culture in the Caribbean.
Pueblo Taino: Lengua Taino:
Information about the Taino people and their language in Spanish.
Tainos and Arawaks:
Back to the list of Native American tribes
Back to our Native American websites for kids
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Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2020 Contacts and FAQ page
Taíno language, alphabet and pronunciation
Taíno is an Arawakan language that was once spoken throughout the Caribbean. Classic (Eastern) Taíno was spoken mainly in central Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the northern Leeward Islands. The Ciboney dialect, or Western Taíno, was spoken in western Hispaniola, the Bahamas, Jamaica and most of Cuba. It is thought that the language ceased to spoken within 100 years of the Spanish colonisation of the region, which began in 1492. However, Taíno possibly continued to be spoken in a few isolated areas, particularly in Cuba, until the late 19th century.
According to Christopher Columbus, various more or less mutually intelligible dialects of Taíno were spoken from the Bahamas to Cuba, and from Boriquen (Puerto Rico) to Jamaica.
Many Taíno words were borrowed into the Spanish spoken in the Caribbean region, particularly for flora and fauna, place names, geographical names and personal names. Examples include: Boriken, from boriken / boriquen (Puerto Rico — ‘native land’), Haiti, from ha-yi-ti (‘land of mountains), and Jamaica, from Ya-mah-ye-ka (‘great spirt of the land of man’). Some Taíno words ended up in English as well, including: Caribbean, barbeque, hammock, canoe, guava, cannibal, hurricane, maize, potato, tobacco and savannah.
Efforts are currently underway to revive Taíno, and about 30 people have learnt a reconstructed version of the language.
Taíno alphabet and pronunciation
Download an alphabet chart for Taíno (Excel)
Videos in Taíno
Information about Taíno
Baniwa of Guainía,
Languages written with the Latin alphabet
Page last modified: 04. 07.21
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The five coolest things from pre-Columbian America
What languages do you associate Latin America with? Probably first with Spanish , second with Portuguese . But the languages and cultures of South America, as well as southern North America, are much more interesting. You must have heard about Mayans and Aztecs ? So let’s talk about the coolest things from pre-Columbian America .
Living languages of America
Quechua is not only a fashion brand, but, first of all, the people and their “language of the mountain valleys”, the most common of the original languages of South America today.
More than 14 million people speak the Quechua language and its dialects, the language is recognized at the official level in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador.
This language gave names to local animals that we also know: puma, llama, vicuña, condor .
Maya is not only ancient buildings Chichen Itza , bewitching hieroglyphs, its own calendar, mathematical system, which will be discussed below, it is also a group of Mayan languages, still common among the original peoples Mesoamerica.
Don’t be stupid, learn stupid
Have you heard about the language stupid (stress on the second syllable)? The language that gave the world words like jaguar, piranha, petunia, capoeira, tapioca, tapir .
Speakers of Tupi languages (dialects) still live in South America, mainly in Brazil.
This means that you will have someone to talk to.
But the Taino language died out, leaving behind a lot of words : barbecue, caiman, hammock, tobacco, hurricane, canoe, guava, iguana, savannah, mangrove, maize , also English word potato .
Taino words are alive in geography. Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Inagua, Bahamas and Cayman Islands (because we already know where the word «cayman» comes from).
But even from the remaining words, if you listen, you can hear how this language sounded!
Kipu knot writing
There are so many alphabets and scripts: Cyrillic, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Armenian, Ethiopic, Cree…
One day, looking at them, I realized that they definitely have something in common . And it’s two-dimensionality: all alphabets were designed for writing on relatively smooth surfaces. Like it or not, now there is no single three-dimensional alphabet.
But there is writing rather voluminous than flat. Knot letter quipu . Unfortunately, the words expressed by these knots, for the most part, remain a mystery, but the numerical meaning of the knots has already been deciphered, and it is assumed that this type of notation had both a mathematical and a verbal function. Learn knot letter as a new foreign language is unlikely to succeed now, but somehow you can always apply it.
One day in the nineties, I had to write an essay on Agatha Christie.
It is now easy to find a biography of the writer on the Internet. Then the students had to go to the library and take notes on any material; It was also impossible to shoot the page on the phone. And on that very day, either because for some reason I really didn’t have a pen and paper with me, or I was specifically determined to try myself in knot writing, the following happened: I took a skein of shoelaces out of my pocket and began to write down information in knots for memory. nine0025
Fact one: Agatha Christie was born in Torquay . To outline this, I made a kind of double loop that moved along the lace like w torki . Ready Association. Recording the dates later proved to be easier. In order to remember about the book «The Mousetrap» on one of the shoelaces, I tied a large knot — this is the mouse, the rest was the tail. As a result, when I got home, I was able to accurately decipher what I imposed. This experiment convinced me that it was quite possible to learn knot writing, and it was understandable not only to the author but also to the reader. nine0025
Whipala is a multicolored flag of squares painted diagonally in different colors. It seems to be made of large multi-colored pixels — it looks very stylish!
The flag of the Indians of the Andes Mountains, consists of seven colors: (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white ) and unites the peoples that were once part of the Inca empire, primarily the Aymara peoples and Quechua .
This is is a common symbol for such independent countries as Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
Although the vipala does not replace the national flags of these countries, it often complements them and is an element of military and cultural banners, for example, Bolivian naval flag .
Mayan counting system
Do you know Arabic and Roman numerals? But there are also Chinese and Mayan numbers.
Here we will get acquainted with the latter right now. nine0025
They are extremely simple. A large dot (or small circle) is used to write numbers from 1 to 4 in a row. One dot — 1, two dots — 2, three — 3, four — 4 .
But five is a dash (or a dash). Five-dashes are written at the bottom, under-five dots at the top! That’s all! As you can see, dots-dashes are not only Morse code, but also Mayan mathematics!
It doesn’t take a botanist to know that potatoes and tomatoes, corn and cocoa came to us from the New World. But both in the wilds of the Amazon and on the islands of the Caribbean, amazing trees, herbs and flowers are still hiding. nine0025
Herbal gifts are widely used in medicine, eaten, help to make discoveries, used in religious rituals.
Peruvian healer Guillermo Arevalo can tell a lot about Amazonian herbs.
This and wood palo santo emits an incomparable aroma when burned. And the berry Jaboticaba , sticking around not only the branches, but also the trunk of the parent tree. Jamaican fruit aka , poisonous when raw, but looks like an omelette when canned! nine0025
Cashew nuts, bashful mimosa … South America impresses with its diversity of flora, many plant names from there, by the way, originate precisely in local languages.
The culture of the peoples of South America, especially the civilizations that existed on its territory, is an interesting matter. Maybe you will devote yourself to the study of these distant and beautiful languages.
1) Mayan Script: Mayan Script — Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
2) Mayan omniglot Script: Mayan hieroglyphic script and languages (omniglot.com)
3) Vipala Interactive Flag: Wipala-flow on Scratch (mit.edu)
4) Quechua Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlXj28dXPAU
5) Great resource with materials on Native American Languages: Native American Language Net: Preserving and promoting First Nations/American Indian languages (native-languages.org)
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