Attention: All previous posts have been moved to the “Learning Resources” page under the “Essays” tab. This page will be reserved for links of practices that I create using the rules from the posts that I have posted previously.

Lesson 1


27 thoughts on “Lessons

  1. Great, I thought that I was the only crazy one.

    I noticed the same thing on the the Taino language, a lot of dictionaries, but no formal interpretation on grammar. I started taking the available information and getting it formalized.

    You are ahead of me, but it is interesting to see some similarities on what I observed and what is posted.

    For example I hypothesize that Yabucoa is the place of wild plants based on Carrada and Coll y Toste. Even though you stated that it was the place near Ocean, it is interesting to note that we both determined that it was a land feature.

    I can send what I got offline, plus I am on the phone. This is good stuff that deserves study, thanks.

  2. First at all, thank you. This is probably the only on line resource that looks remotely like a taino corpus.

    I have been looking in some of the common dictionaries, mostly to know more about the Taino, and as we have noticed is that we have a lot of words, but not a lot of syntax. I have done a lot of personal research on the subject and I find surprising some of the conclusions being similar to what I’ve read (and I’m not a linguist expert, mind you 🙂 ).

    One of the items that surprised me was Yabucoa, in your comment was to address the prepositional use of final cowa/coa. However, you stated that it means “Place of Waters” while on my personal research, I determined that it was place of wild plants.

    I expect to be wrong a lot, hence the reason for looking for information, but the surprising thing is that we both determined independently that it refers to a place with a distinctive feature.

    Some of the ones I’ve researched which are most likely wrong, are these..

    Cayey/Cayeni: Place between water

    CA – Land
    YE – Middle/inside
    NI – Water

    Guayama: The End? Not Spiritual?

    Gua – The
    Ya – Origin
    Ma – No

    Turabo: Lot’s of Sunshine? Lot’s of Shiny Things.

    Tu – Shining
    Ra – Born
    Abo – Group

    Guaynabo : Place of no or little danger.

    Guay – Caution/Surprise
    Na – Little
    Abo – Group

    Bairoa : House of the Spirit

    Bai – Dwelling
    Iro – Spirit of *men*
    A – Belongs to

    Guanica : Place of the nobles (Nitainos)

    Guani – Noble
    Ca – Place

    Yabucoa : Place of the wild plants

    Yabu – wild pland
    co – land
    a – belong

    Tayaboa/Taiaboa : Very Good

    Tai – Good
    abo – Conglomeration
    a – Belongs to

    Canovanas/Canobana : Strong places

    Ca – Place
    No – Plural
    Bana – Strong

    Naguabo : Small Places ?

    Na – Diminutive
    Gua – There
    Abo – Conglomeration

    Maricao : Where the rivers are born ?

    Ma – Head? Mother?
    Ari – River
    Ca – Place
    O – Abundance

    Comments are welcome, and again, thank you.

  3. I am very sorry to say this but your incorrect as to having an understanding and making translations of the Taino language as I see that your totally off course. One has to first understand the concepts of indigenous thinking to be able to make a correct translation of a word in breaking it down within its word components within its word syntax. One must not use the mindset of a Eurocentric person or persons such as the past writers and historians whom where the first European colonizers. Chief Pedro Guanikeyu, Jatibonicu Taino

    • Cacique Guanikeyu:

      You bring a good point, but this calls for more data, being this recorded oral or written.

      My first question is, where can we get an explanation on those concepts and how they can be translated into linguistic terms? Certainly the Jatibonuco site talks about the vocabulary but it only presents a commonly known set of words, but no notion of syntax or grammar (other on what Cayetano Coll y Toste has written). Naguake is the same, as a matter of fact, they use the same list as yours. Carrara is probably off, but at least it starts probing into the root of the words, that’s a lot more that what’s out there so far!

      I think that El going about from the common source on documented languages that are known to be of the same family of languages is a good approach to get it documented from all linguistics aspects that should go beyond of the mere “list of words”.

      Cacique, I think that we all want to get it right, and your input is very important. But I believe that formal documentation of all aspects of the Taino language have been lacking, now with the ability to share information electronically it would be a good opportunity to do so.


    • Chief Guanikeyu Torres, since your official website has no contact feature, it’s guestbook is full and there are no forums or any type of contact available, I’m just going to ask a few things here (if you don’t mind, only some have to do with language).

      I was raised in Gauynabo, and as a little girl my school took us to an event where there were Taino dancers (even tho it was a small rural school, they strongly believed we needed to be educated on all our heritages had to offer us- meaning we did get to learn the basics of things like how to bomba, VERY little of Taino language, how to play a basic game of Batey, ect.), it was magnificent. But since childhood, finding resources to learn the language and to continue one’s Taino heritage education has become very difficult. I know I am not alone in wondering this, but is there a way we can establish a network for learning the Taino Language and Culture? I know many who are invested in learning our language (and not just Borinquenos, a lot of Dominicans and Cubans of Taino heritage would as well), but most of us have no resources or teachers.

      Chief Guanikeyu Torres, you are currently in a position to not only educate, but help revive our culture. I know recently the Dine Nation (commonly known as the Navajo Nation) have started to use social media to continue to teach their language and culture (because without the language- a tribe will lose it’s recognition within the US). We could do the very same. The Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation of Borikén is the only Taino tribe with federal recognition- so you and your tribe are the only people we can turn to for aid and guidance.

      That said- How can I get in touch with you (or tribal officials) on other matters? I would like to be more involved, and quite frankly I’m very concerned about obtaining a tribal ID (as I am barred from certain academic resources without it and I’ve notice there are quite a few other “taino” nations claiming to have the ability to give out tribal ids to Caribbean ppl, for a fee and that all seem rather fishy and scammy since only federally recognized tribes ID’s are recognized and only one tribe is currently federally recognized).

      I’m sorry if this all spams up your site.

    • 🙂 Thank you …how can someone connect or follow your teachings …i just posted today an article you wrote about your articleThe historical roots of a Nation
      By Chief Petro Guanikeyu Torres

      Thank you for that!

      Now i feel it a disrespect to my ancestors to only know the Spanish. .. do you have more on our Native toung?

  4. Buenas, nuevo follower aquí. He estado practicando un poco escribiendo pero no tengo ni idea como decir “o”(or)
    Por ejemplo: Vete o algo pasara!
    Soy bien malo hasta con la ortografía en espa-ol, ni se bien lo que es un sufijo o prefijo solo tengo una vaga idea así que tal vez ya lo explicaron y yo no capte. Por alguna razón pensé que “ka” serviría como “o” pero es muy probable que me equivoque. Tremendo proyecto que tienen aquí by the way.

    • No, k- or ka is a prefix or suffix, and can have multiple meanings depending on the context, like “to be” “to have” or “to be endowed with”. I have yet have a precise word for “or” in Igeri, and between Loko/Garifuna/Wayuu, “or” is peculiar because it is a word of everyday use that is completely distinct (Bata, Odi, Je, respectively). I have just been using the Loko word “bata”. Apologies for the late reply Roberto, thanks for following. It is some motivation to get back active in researching and writing.

  5. Hello El Isbani. I would just like to say that I greatly enjoy reading your articles, especially those on Taino grammar. Please keep up the great work! I have actually been updating the Wikipedia page on the Taino language, particularly the grammar section,and I was curious about something. I’ve read that the Taino language uses different noun and verb forms depending on if the speaker is a male or a female. I thought that this means there would be two versions of each personal pronoun (male “I”, female “I”, male “you”, female “you”, etc). I know that this is also the case in Garifuna and Wayuu. Do you know if this is true for the Taino language? If so, do you know where I can find a list of these personal pronouns? I would like to add them to the Wikipedia page. Thank you!

    • Apologies for the late reply. No, there is no gender in the first person pronoun in Taino. I was unaware of that fact in Wayuu, but in Garifuna the reason is the separation that happened when fathers would take the boys to essentially train them to be adults–men spoke a different language than the Ingeri women.

    • I knooooow! I’ve been slacking forever. I did some stuff outside of the website, and really I have not gotten back to a couple of people that reached out about language. I haven’t found lots of motivation, so any ideas for where you’d like to see this go–then I take suggestions well.

  6. Would you translate two sentences into Taíno for my blog? There I wrote that I am looking for somebody to find suitable words for Berbice Dutch. I think it will be interesting for more people if it is translated in many languages.

  7. I did not post an English version yet. It should be something like ‘asistent needed – Who would like to help me find words suitable for Berbice Dutch? I’d better like to discuss a load than target everything’.

  8. Taiguey Guaitaio(s) (Good Day Friends), I have an interest in working with you an other Taino people as it may relate to the Taino language and wish to speak with the Administrator of this Taino Language group or Blog. Please do contact me via telephone 856-690-1565 or via the email address orocobix@verizon.net so that we can have a private conference consultion or social chat on this subject Taino language subject matter. Most Respectfully your, Cacike Don Pedro Guanikeyu Torres

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