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Languages of Suriname

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Republic of Suriname. 436,935. National or official language: Dutch. Literacy rate: 65% to 95%. Also includes English, Korean, North Levantine Spoken Arabic, Portuguese. Information mainly from SIL 1964–2003. Blind population: 1,300 (1982 WCE). Deaf population: 25,646. Deaf institutions: 1. The number of languages listed for Suriname is 17. Of those, 16 are living languages and 1 is a second language without mother-tongue speakers.

Living languages

Akurio

[ako] 10 (2000 E. B. Carlin). Ethnic population: 50. Southeast jungle. Alternate names: Akoerio, Akuri, Akurijo, Akuriyo, Akuliyo, Wama, Wayaricuri, Oyaricoulet, Triometesem, Triometesen.  Dialects: Related to, but not inherently intelligible with, Trió. Dialects or related languages: Urukuyana, Kumayena.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Wama  Nearly extinct.
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Arawak

[arw] 700 in Suriname (1980 census). Population total all countries: 2,450. Ethnic population: 2,051 in Suriname (1980 census). Scattered locations across the north of Suriname. Also spoken in French Guiana, Guyana, Venezuela. Alternate names: Lokono, Arowak.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean 
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Aukan

[djk] 15,542 in Suriname. 10% to 20% monolingual. Population includes 14,353 Aukan, 33 Aluku, 1,156 Paramaccan (1980 census). Population total all countries: 22,134. Eastern along the Marowijne and Tapanahony rivers, northeastern along the Cottica River. Aluku are along the French Guiana border. Paramaccan are in northeast Suriname. In the 1980s and 1990s many went to Paramaribo. Also spoken in French Guiana. Alternate names: Ndyuka, Ndjuká, Njuká, "Djuka", "Djoeka", Aukaans, Okanisi.  Dialects: Aukan, Aluku (Aloekoe, Boni), Paramaccan. Kwinti is further removed from Aukan than are Aluku and Paramaccan.  Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Suriname, Ndyuka 
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Carib

[car] 1,200 in Suriname (2001 Carlin). Ethnic population: 3,000. Various locations along the north coast. The eastern dialect in Suriname is primarily in the Albina area and in French Guiana, Brazil, and Venezuela; the western dialect is in the central and western areas of Suriname and in Guyana. Alternate names: Caribe, Cariña, Kalihna, Kalinya, Kali'na, Galibí, Maraworno.  Dialects: Murato (Myrato, Western Carib), Tyrewuju (Eastern Carib).  Classification: Carib, Northern, Galibi 
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Chinese, Hakka

[hak] 7,008 in Suriname (2000 WCD). Ethnic population: 12,000 Chinese, including Yue (1971).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Dutch

[nld] 200,000 in Suriname (1997 Christa DeKleine).  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian 
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Guyanese Creole English

[gyn] 50,000 in Suriname (1986 SIL).  Alternate names: Creolese, Guyanese Creole.  Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Eastern, Southern 
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Hindustani, Caribbean

[hns] 150,000 in Suriname (1986). Population total all countries: 165,633. Coastal region. Also spoken in Guyana, Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago. Dialects: Trinidad Bhojpuri, Sarnami Hindustani (Sarnami Hindi, Aili Gaili). Closer to Bhojpuri than to Hindi. Similar dialect to Trinidad-Tobago.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari 
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Javanese, Caribbean

[jvn] 60,000 in Suriname (1986). Coastal area. Also spoken in French Guiana. Alternate names: Suriname Javanese.  Dialects: Significantly different from the Javanese of Indonesia.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Javanese 
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Kwinti

[kww] 133 (1980 census). North central, along the Coppename River, upstream from Carib villages in Kaimanstan and Witagron. Dialects: Further removed from Ndyuka than Aluku and Paramaccan. Probably needs literature adapted from Ndyuka.  Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Suriname, Ndyuka 
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Ndyuka-Trio Pidgin

[njt]  Southern Suriname, upper Tapanahonij River. Classification: Pidgin 
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Saramaccan

[srm] 23,000 in Suriname (1995 SIL). Population includes 1,000 Matawari. Population total all countries: 26,000. Central, along Saramacca and upper Suriname rivers. Refugees are in Paramaribo. Also spoken in French Guiana. Dialects: Matawari (Matawai, Matuari, Matoewari). Ian Hancock classifies it as Portuguese based rather than English based. Linguistic influences from Kongo (Hancock 1988). 20% or more of the lexicon has an African component.  Classification: Creole, English based 
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Sikiana

[sik] 15 in Suriname (2001 Carlin). Ethnic population: 50. On the Sipaliwini River in Kwamalasamutu. Alternate names: Sikiyana, Chikena, Tshikiana.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Waiwai, Sikiana  Nearly extinct.
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Sranan

[srn] 120,000 in Suriname (1993). Population total all countries: 126,400. Mainly in Paramaribo and along the coast. Also spoken in Aruba, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles. Alternate names: Sranan Tongo, Taki-Taki, Surinaams, Surinamese, Suriname Creole English.  Dialects: Similar to Ndyuka, but there are cultural differences. Also has many similarities to Krio of Sierra Leone.  Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Suriname 
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Trió

[tri] 822 in Suriname villages (1980 census). Population total all countries: 1,151. South central, villages of Tepoe and Alalapadu. Also spoken in Brazil. Alternate names: Tirió.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Wayana-Trio 
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Warao

[wba] Few speakers in Suriname. Near Guyana border. Alternate names: Warrau, Guarao, Guarauno.  Classification: Language Isolate 
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Wayana

[way] 397 in Suriname (1980 census). Population total all countries: 747. Villages in southeastern Suriname. Also spoken in Brazil, French Guiana. Alternate names: Oayana, Wajana, Uaiana, Oyana, Oiana, Alukuyana, Upurui, Roucouyenne.  Dialects: Partially intelligible with Apalaí.  Classification: Carib, Northern, East-West Guiana, Wayana-Trio 
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