Garifuna Language

The Garifuna language is primarily based on the Arawak language, but also incorporates elements of French, Spanish, English, Carib and West African languages. It is spoken by Garifuna people in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and also those who have emigrated to the United States and other countries. Sadly there are very few, if any, speakers still living in Nicaragua.

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Baby Yuyu’s Atole

Baby Yuyu’s Atole (Latun Yuyu Adulu)

Below is a Garifuna story from Honduras first translated into Spanish, and now translated into English by Warasa Garifuna Drum School.

The Spanish translation is from ASOCIACIÓN MISIONERA GARÍFUNA. Walagante. La Ceiba Atlántida Honduras, Editora Fernando Sabio, 2000. Pág. 31 and was found in a research thesis conducted in Puerto Barrios and Livingston.

Latun Yuyu Adulu Baby Yuyu’s Atole (Corn Drink)Yuyu Bebe Atol
Luagu aba weyu aba lidin YuyuOne day Yuyu went to his girlfriend’s house.Un día Yuyu fue a casa de su novia,
Tùbiñe ladari, lubàn lebeluruBefore entering, he greeted her and then sat down.antes de entrar, saludó y luego se sentó,
Aba labusuru furumiñe, àbati lañùrun.He went to spy into the kitchen, and saw that they were se Puso a espiar para la cocina, y vio que estaban
Aba laganaridun gusinarugun, Dan larigihin làsarahouña lan awasi Aban lagundaràgun; Lariñaga roasting corn.  He was happy and said to himself:asando maíz se sintió contento y dijo:
Bulìeina dan natun pinula mal.“I don’t remember the last time I drank atole. ¡Olvidé el tiempo que tome atole,
Range lumoun nata uguñe do. I think I’m going to drink some today!”creo que hoy voy a beber!
Àbati lafamurun kamà ibidiñeti ni kata mon He pretended he did not know, and he started Hizo como si no supiera, empezó
Aba lagumeserun aboucha yana, Mon bugato make conversation so that the timea sacar conversación para que el tiempo
Furese lan lidin dan. Ìtara liñati lidin dan, passed until they called pasara, y así paso hasta que llamaron
Darì lun laguarùn Mon Yuyu lun lañùrunYuyu to go to the dining rooma Yuyu para que se fuera al comedor
Luagu dàbula. Àbati tichugùn luniñe Mon,to drink a plate of atole that they had served.a beber un plato de atol, se lo sirvieron.
Aba lagumeserun tuagu, gama lumoun Magurabahati tadilirun lasagaruni gulieruHe did not wait for it to cool. Y él no esperó que se enfriara agarro una
Tìdagiñe, lun liñurahanou adulu lau lùhabu. He put a spoonful in his mouthcucharada y se lo llevo a la boca,
Keiti madilirun tan lubà làtunu, ababut the atole was hot and it burned. pero como el atol estaba caliente se quemo
Tachuraruni, siñati buga làsuerunu He could not spit it out because his girlfriendY no pudo escupirlo porque su novia
Ladüga nuhabuga ladari luagu dàbula,was there, and he could not swallow it because it would burnestaba allí, ni tragarlo porque se quemaría
No lun lahunchunun lugudunhis throat like the sun.  He could not stand the burning sola garganta, y como no aguantaba el ardor
Buga tèfedun. tears came out of his eyes. se le salieron las lágrimas.
Dan tarihini tùguchu ladari aba Tariñagun MonWhen his girlfriend’s mother saw him, she said: Al verlo la mamà de la novia le dijo:
Ka san uagu bayahuaha Yuyu? Why do you cry Yuyu?¿Por qué lloras Yuyu?
Aba lariñagun tun:And he answered: Y él respondió:
Ladüga nòufuri, da le natun pinula,Aunt every time I drink atole, I Tía cada vez que tomo atol,
Naruto wing tuagu finòun mamathink of my late mother.me acuerdo de mi finada madre
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Garifuna Language Resources

We are starting to compile a list of free, online Garifuna Language Resources.  This will include song lyrics and more.

Garifuna Religious Texts

Throughout history, religious texts have often been the first texts to be translated into local languages.  This is true even in Garifuna it seems, as we have found The Gospel of John from 1897 translated to Garifuna through an online library resource – you can download it below.

Gospel of John in Garifuna

This trend continues to the modern day!  If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, or simply interested in more documents in Garifuna, then the Jehovah’s Witness entire website has also been translated into Garifuna.

Likewise, the Christian new testament is available to download and also to listen to in the Garifuna language.

Garifuna Song Lyrics

The Smithsonian has recorded three dedicated Garifuna albums from the 1950s to the 1980s in Honduras and Belize.  You can download the comprehensive liner notes including history of songs, some lyrics and more below:

We have also added additional song lyrics acquired elsewhere to the following songs:

Other Garifuna Language Resources

As we locate more resources we will add them to this page.

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