Suriname

Print
Akurio
[ako] Sipaliwini District, on Tapanahoni and Sipaliwini rivers, in Trio villages Tëpu and Kwamalasamutu, and in Palumeu. 10 (Carlin and Arends 2002). 0 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 50. Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: Akoerio, Akuliyo, Akuri, Akurijo, Akuriyo, Oyaricoulet, Triometesem, Triometesen, Wama, Wayaricuri Dialects: None known. Related to, but not inherently intelligible with, Trió [tri]. Classification: Cariban, Tiriyó, Tiriyó Comments: Contacted in 1969.

More Information

Arawak
[arw] Commewijne and Para districts, several villages between coast and about 30 km inland, mainly on the savanna. 700 in Suriname (1980 census). Population total all countries: 2,450. Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 2,050 (1980 census). Status: 8a (Moribund). Alternate Names: Arowak, Lokono Classification: Maipurean, Northern, Maritime, Ta-Maipurean

More Information

Aukan
[djk] Sipaliwini District, Tapanahony commune; Marowijne District, Patamacca, Moengo, and Wanhatti communes; Commewijne District, Tamanredjo, Bakkie, and Meerzog communes; Brokopondo District, Sarakreek commune; Para District, Carolina commune; Aluku dialect: French Guiana border; Paramaccan dialect: Northeast. 15,500 in Suriname. 14,400 Aukan, 33 Aluku, 1,160 Paramaccan (1980 census). Population total all countries: 33,500. 1,550 monolinguals. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Aukaans, Businenge Tongo, Businengee Tongo, “Djoeka” (pej.), “Djuka” (pej.), Eastern Maroon Creole, Ndjuká, Ndyuka, Nenge, Nenge Tongo, Nengee Tongo, Njuká, Okanisi Dialects: Aluku (Aloekoe, Boni), Paramaccan (Pamaka). Ndyuka, Aluku and Paramaccan are highly mutually intelligible dialects; Kwinti [kww] is slightly less intelligible with them. Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Suriname, Ndyuka Comments: The society was formed by escaped slaves. Subsistence and economy is Amerindian; social culture and religion are West African. Aluku has more French influence than Paramaccan does. Spelling of Ndyuka without the initial nasal is considered derogatory. Aukan is English, Aukaans is Dutch. In early 1900s an Aukaner named Afaka developed a syllabic writing system, but few learned to read it, and it was not officially endorsed. 12 clans. In the 1980s and 1990s many went to Paramaribo. Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Carib
[car] North, Sipaliwini District, Boven Coppename commune; Coronie District, Welgelegen commune; Marowijne District, Galibi and Albina communes; Saramacca District, Calcutta commune; Para District, Bigi Poika commune. 1,200 in Suriname (Carlin 2001). Ethnic population: 3,000. Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Caribe, Cariña, Galibí, Kalihna, Kali’na, Kalinya, Kari’na, Karìna, Kari’nja, Kari’nya, Maraworno Dialects: Aretyry, Murato (Myrato, Western Carib), Tyrewuju (Eastern Carib). Classification: Cariban Comments: Ethnic autonym: Kari’na. Glossonym: Kara’ibs in Dutch, Galibí in French, Caribe in Spanish, Carib in English.

More Information

Chinese, Hakka
[hak] Saramacca District, dispersed. 7,010 in Suriname (2000), decreasing. Ethnic population: 12,000 (1971). Includes Yue [yue]. Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Kejia Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese

More Information

Dutch
[nld] 200,000 in Suriname (1997 C. DeKleine). Status: 1 (National). De facto national language. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian Comments: Christian.

More Information

Guyanese Creole English
[gyn] Nickerie District, mouth of Courantyne river. 50,000 in Suriname (1986 SIL). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Creolese, Guyanese Creole Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Eastern, Southern Comments: Christian, Hindu, Muslim.

More Information

Hindustani, Sarnami
[hns] North coast, Saramacca District. 150,000 in Suriname (1986). Population total all countries: 165,600. Ethnic population: 160,000 (2003). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Caribbean Hindustani Dialects: Sarnami Hindustani (Aili Gaili, Sarnami Hindi), Trinidad Bhojpuri. Reportedly more similar to Bhojpuri [bho] than Hindi [hin]. Similar dialect to Trinidad-Tobago. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari Comments: Based on Bhojpuri [bho], with influences from Awadhi [awa], and loans from Sranan [srn], Dutch [nld], and English [eng]. Hindu, Christian, Muslim.

More Information

Javanese, Suriname
[jvn] North coast, Commewijne District. 60,000 in Suriname (1986). Ethnic population: 71,900 (2004 census). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Caribbean Javanese Dialects: None known. Significantly different from Javanese [jav] of Indonesia. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Javanese Comments: Descended from plantation workers brought from Java between 1890–1939. Muslim, traditional religion.

More Information

Kwinti
[kww] North central Sipaliwini District, along Coppename river, upstream from Kaimanstan and Witagron. 130 (1980 census), decreasing. Status: 6b (Threatened). Dialects: None known. Further removed from Ndyuka [njt] than Aluku and Paramaccan. Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Suriname, Ndyuka Comments: Traditional religion.

More Information

Mawayana
[mzx] Sipaliwini District. 10 in Suriname (Crevels 2007), decreasing. Ethnic population: 60 (Crevels 2007). Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Classification: Maipurean, Unclassified

More Information

Ndyuka-Trio Pidgin
[njt] South, Sipaliwini District, upper Tapanahonij river. No known L1 speakers. Status: 9 (Second language only). Classification: Pidgin

More Information

Saramaccan
[srm] Central, Sipaliwini District, Boven Suriname and Boven Saramaccan communes; Brokopondo District, Centrum, Brownsweg, Klasskreek, and Kwakoegron (small border area) communes; Para District, Bigi Poika commune; Paramaribo. 23,000 in Suriname (1995 SIL). 1,000 Matawari. Population total all countries: 26,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Dialects: Matawari (Matawai, Matoewari, Matuari). Possibly Portuguese [por] based rather than English [eng] (Hancock 1988). Linguistic influences from Koongo [kng] (Hancock 1988). Lexical similarity: 20% with African component. Classification: Creole, English based Comments: A Bush Negro ethnic group with background similar to the Ndyuka. Traditional religion.

More Information

Sikiana
[sik] Sipaliwini District, near Kwamalasamutu on Sipaliwini river. 15 in Suriname (Carlin 2001), decreasing. Ethnic population: 50. Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: Chikena, Sikiuyana, Sikiyana, Tshikiana Classification: Cariban, Kashuyana

More Information

Sranan
[srn] Widespread. 120,000 in Suriname (1993). Population total all countries: 126,400. L2 users: 300,000 in Suriname. Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language.Lingua franca of 80% of the country, including the Hindustanis, Javanese, Chinese, American Indians, and Bush Negroes. Alternate Names: Sranan Tongo, Surinaams, Suriname Creole English, Surinamese, Taki-Taki Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Ndyuka [njt], but with cultural differences. Reportedly many similarities to Krio [kri] of Sierra Leone. Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Suriname Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

More Information

Trió
[tri] Sipaliwini District, Palumeu on Palumeu river; Tëpu on Upper Tapanahoni river; Kwamalasamutu and Sipaliwini on Sipaliwini river. 1,400 in Suriname (2003 ISA). Population total all countries: 2,130. Ethnic population: 1,400 (2003). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Tirió Classification: Cariban, Tiriyó, Tiriyó Comments: Christian.

More Information

Waiwai
[waw] Sipaliwini District, Kwamalasamutu area, Sipaliwini river, among Trio [tri] language speakers. 10 in Suriname (Crevels 2007), decreasing. Ethnic population: 80 (Crevels 2007). Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Dialects: Tunayana. Classification: Cariban, Waiwai Comments: A few came to Suriname in the 1960s and now speak Trio [tri] as L1 (Crevels 2007). Christian.

More Information

Warao
[wba] Nickerie District, near Guyana border. Few speakers. Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: Guarao, Guarauno, Warrau Classification: Language isolate Comments: Christian.

More Information

Wayana
[way] Southwest Marowijne District, upper Tapanahoni river; northwest of Trio [tri] language settlements on Lawa and Tapanahoni rivers. 500 in Suriname (Crevels 2007). Population total all countries: 850. Ethnic population: 500 (Crevels 2007). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Alukuyana, Oayana, Oiana, Oyana, Roucouyenne, Uaiana, Upurui, Wajana Dialects: None known. Partially intelligible of Apalaí [apy]. Classification: Cariban, Central, Wayana Comments: Christian.

More Information