Wayuu language

Wayuu language

:"This article is about the language spoken in South America; for the language of Nepal, see Wayu language."Infobox Language
name = Wayuu
nativename =Wayuunaiki
pronunciation = [wajunaiki]
states = Colombia, Venezuela
region = Northern South America
speakers = 305,000
script = Latin alphabet
rank =
familycolor = American
fam2 = Arawakan
fam3 = Maipurean
fam4 = Northern Maipurean
fam5 = Caribbean
nation = Wayuu people
agency = Centro Etnoeducativo Kamusuchiwo’u
iso1 =
iso2 = guc
lc1 = guc

Extent of both the Wayuu people and language.


The Wayuu language (Wayuu: "wayuunaiki") is spoken by 305,000 indigenous Wayuu people in northwestern Venezuela and northeastern Colombia on the Guajira Peninsula.

Wayuu is part of the Maipurean linguistic family predominant in different parts of the Caribbean. They have some minimal differences in dialect depending on the region of La Guajira in which they live; northern, central or southern zones of this region. Most of the new generations speak Spanish fluently but they understand the importance of preserving their traditional native tongue.

To promote cultural integration and bilingual education among Wayuu and other Colombians, the "Kamusuchiwo’u" Ethno-educative Center or "Centro Etnoeducativo Kamusuchiwo’u" came up with the initiative of creating the first illustrated Wayuunaiki-Spanish, Spanish-Wayuunaiki dictionary. [es icon [http://www.semana.com/wf_InfoArticulo.aspx?idArt=97712 El Wayuunaiki impreso] ]

Less than 1% of Wayuu speakers are literate in Wayuu while 5 to 15% are literate in Spanish. There are 105,000 speakers in Colombia and 170,000 in Venezuela. Alternate names include: "Guajiro, Guajira, Goajiro".



Note: "e" and "o" are more open than in English. "a" is slight front of central, and "ü" is slightly back of central.


"l" is a lateral flap pronounced with the tongue just behind the position for the Spanish "r," and with a more lateral airflow.



* [http://www.rosettaproject.org/archive/guc The Rosetta Project: Wayuu language]

External links

* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=guc Ethnologue: Wayuu language]
* [http://hospitalnazareth.com/cultura_wayuu/idioma/idioma.html Brief explanation of the wayunaiiki language]
* [http://www.sil.org/americas/colombia/pubs/guc/WayuuDict_45801.pdf Spanish-Wayuunaiki dictionary]

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