Miskito… a language that doesn’t feel like any language I’ve ever learned; a language not rooted in Latin or anything romantic. Miskito is guttural sounding. The language was passed down by word-of-mouth. It is not a language that is easily or commonly written.
The Bible has been translated into Miskito; however, as we’ve learned, the people who have Miskito Bibles can rarely read them. They are typically illiterate and obtain their Biblical knowledge solely from their Pastors.
Spanish... a language spoken by the younger set and the folks that are from the interior of Honduras. The language now taught in schools here in Puerto Lempira.
I’m hardly bilingual. Even after a year of speaking lots and lots of Spanish, I still feel only ‘conversational.’ It is somewhat depressing, but a fact I must live with. I continue to work hard at acquiring other verb tenses and new vocabulary.
But… I’m also learning Miskito. Sigh.
I thought I would share some of the interesting words I’ve learned in Miskito. My name, Laura… pronounced Louda means ‘skinny.’ My friend’s name, Tara (who is very skinny), means ‘fat.’
Around town, I’m the Miriki Miren – Meeereeekee Myden (American Woman).
‘Yes’ is pronounced ‘Ow.’ ‘No’ is Apia. Apooo means ‘nobody.’
Does this give you a giggle? If you heard me pronouncing these words, you would laugh… I promise.
The word ‘Cuca’ which means elderly in Miskito, is a bad word in Spanish. Yikes. Remember my post, Driving Mama Cuca? I can hardly say her name now.
If I want to say ‘mine’, it is Yang. My name is Laura. Yang nini Laura. Yes, I am a ninny and my name is Laura.
If you pronounce my name English style – Laura/Lora, it means bird and in Miskito is Rahwa.
Cow is ‘beep’… and when we met a bad cow one day when venturing in the country with some friends, the bad cow was actually pronounced in Miskito ‘beep sauda’.
If you are a linguist, no doubt, you are impressed by this little feat of mine. If, you are, like me, just a normal person, you might not be at all interested in this post to begin with.
Truly, the reason I’m doing this is because I appreciate the beauty of the language and want to show that we care about learning their heart language. Although most people speak Spanish in Puerto Lempira, their heart language is Miskito. People from outer villages may not know any Spanish.
Last Sunday, our Miskito Pastor and his wife prayed for Alex in Miskito. It was just beautiful.