Indigenous Caribbean Network

It can be hard learning a new language, but one way to go about it is to learn stock words and phrases that you can memorize easily. Below I've given some Karifuna phrases that might be helpful.

When a word has two syllables stress is on the first. Otherwise for more than two syllables stress is on the third to last syllable. If not there will be an accent mark (') to show where the stress goes.

Greetings/ Welcome:mábuwika

Greeting response : iná - We don't have this in English, it is the response you say to the person who says "mábuwika''

Hi/Hello/Hey: takahi

Goodbye: wisá, wisán
(the "n"means the vowel that comes before it is nasalized)

Goodbye response: akí - again we don't have this in English. This is the reply to the person that says "goodbye"

Good morning matehaba

Good evening/night: matawine

yes: aí (if you're a woman), aó (if you're a man)

no: awá

How are you?: itá biyá? (itá = how, biyá = you are)

I am fine: Aweretina.

Are you well?: awére? (This really just means "well?" The correct response would be to simply say ''awére'' back.)

Thank you.: for women it is hahón (remember the "n" is not pronounced in this word, it just says that the "o'' is nasalized), for men it is iyáo

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Great - I thought awa was French Creole.

Ai - is that when one is being called?

Because Macushi says ai as well when we are being called.
Awá comes from the Carib word Uwá. I bet Creole speakers aren't even aware they are speaking Carib!

Aí can be used when you're being called. I translated it as "yes'' but it is probably better described as ''affirmative response''. But that's just getting a bit technical.
It is frustrating. All I need is one person who is willing to learn and make mistakes with me. I had one person but I have not heard from her in months.
I'm taking this wonderful class with one of my professors who is Ute. She also works on language revitalization so she made this class for natives who want to do language work. So hopefully I'll have at least a mini-grammar based on work that I'm doing in this class.

I think a dictionary is a great thing. It's definitely helpful for learning a language and I think it makes learner's feel more at ease. I've tried many dictionary programs like Shoebox/Toolbox, We Say, LexiquePro, TshwaneLex. TshwaneLex was good but I've recently learned of another program called Miromaa that's even better. The only thing is that you can't enter multiple senses of a word but they're working on that.

The dictionary is going good, just a bit slow. A lot of the words in Breton's dictionary need unraveling, especially the verbs. I'm working on the words of Carib origin first and then I'll move on from there. It would be helpful if Breton's dictionary was translated into English as well. I have the Carib Spanish version which is ok, but I often have to consult a dictionary to know what they're saying. I have an English Carib version but they only translated the words from Old French, and they also have errors. Ah well!

Oh and it's maTEhaba. :)
Oooh a language puzzle, cool. Ok I'm with you, "ita" by itself doesn't seem to have any thing that says negation, but I think "ita" has a very strong relationship to "aita". What might have happened is that he might have recorded, fast or contracted speech. It would be like if an alien landed here and recorded the English "I don't know" as " Iono", and that was the only record of that greeting. We know it's "I don't know" but it's not often said that way. I'm thinking that's what's probably happened. The "ma" might have dropped off leaving only a nasalization or intonation. We don't know since that hasn't been recorded but I think it's safe to say that it was originally maita, or some thing of that form.
Awesome with the "twins"! yeah that word has the plural on it, So it would be like wari-nyu, or wari-yun. I'm still trying to figure out the plural.

Thanks for the help with the Spanish! I'll look and see which ones I need help with the most. There are a lot of stuff that Breton glosses over, and the translation isn't really the greatest. His verb tenses can be off and there are still words that I don't really know the meaning off. It would be great if I didn't have to analyze so many words, I'd already have a dictionary.

Sure I wouldn't mind reading your essay. Send it along whenever you're ready.
Hmm, tingla or tinglao doesn't ring a bell at all. But I'll keep my eye out.

Don't get frustrated. Your hard work will pay off!

Iyáo! Thanks for the lessons! Do you know the language fluently? IF so short novels and comics could be written in the language, imagine Dragon Ball Z in Garifuna? Hahha

thank you for this!

It's funny how I'm still hovering on this post. I might be able to learn faster if I practiced with someone else. I'm wondering if anyone has a source for this so I can learn more?

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