A language of Nicaragua

Alternate Names
Marquito, Mískitu, Miskuto, Mísquito, Mosquito

114,000 in Nicaragua (2009 UNSD). Ethnic population: 154,000 (1993). Total users in all countries: 143,000.


Jinotega, Atlántico Norte and Atlántico Sur departments; Bihmuna, Bocana de Paiwas, Bonanza, Karawala, Leimus, Prinzapolka, Puerto Cabeza city, Rosita, San Carlos (Río Coco), Sangnilaya, Sisin, Siuna, Tronquera, Wasla, Waspam; Río Coco area and Pearl lagoon to Black river coast and lowlands.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in northern, southern Atlantic regions (1993, Atlantic Coast Languages Act, Article 4).


Honduran Mískito (Mam), Tawira (Tauira), Baymuna (Baldam, Baymunana), Wanki (Wangki), Cabo (Kabo). Reportedly most similar to Mayangna [yan]. Wanki dialect spoken in Puerto Cabeza area; other dialects in settlements southwest.


SOV; articles, relatives after noun heads, word order distinguishes subject and object; verb affixes mark person and number; ergative; passive; CVC; nontonal.

Language Use

Mainly adults. Also use English [eng], Nicaragua Creole English [bzk], Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by Mayangna [yan], Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 52%–58%. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1999.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Educational materials in Wanki. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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