Fluency in more than one language and an understanding of literary and cultural context prepares students to become global citizens. Language study hones students’ communication skills and enriches their critical understanding of the world.

The Miskitu language (a Misumalpan, Macro-Chibchan language of South American origin) is spoken by some 200,000 indigenous Miskitu people along the Honduran and Nicaraguan Caribbean coast. Although Spanish is the national language taught in schools, Miskitu serves as the region’s lingua franca, spoken by members of six other indigenous and Afro-descendant groups, who speak Spanish, Miskitu, and their mother-tongues. In larger towns, Miskitu dominates TV news shows, social media, and radio stations that play Miskitu music and broadcast only in Miskitu. Miskitu language revitalization iscurrently underway in this pristine rain-forest and coast-lined region.
Note: Only the section of LAA 302 taught by Laura Herlihy is a Miskitu language course.

External Resources:

Miskito Alphabet and Numbers

Omniglot is an online encyclopedia of languages and writing systems that provides sample texts and pronunciation guides for many languages including, Miskitu.

Miskitu Aisas! ("Speak Miskito!")

Wikibooks offers an elementary introduction to the Miskito language and its grammar.

Miskito-English-Spanish Dictionary

Miskitu Grammar

This language course offered by Wikibooks, is an elementary introduction to the Miskito language and grammar.


Miskitu Study Abroad Opportunities:

Language and Culture in Nicaragua; University of Kansas

This 6-week, FLAS-eligible, University of Kansas summer study abroad program offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to learn Miskitu, an indigenous language, spoken by nearly 200,000 indigenous Miskitu people on the Honduran and Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast, and learn about the indigenous and Afro-descendant cultures. Students will further learn about the language and culture by participating in cultural activities and excursions to other cities. Nicaragua has a lot to offer, but because it is a developing country, students should be prepared to face unexpected challenges that come with developing countries, such as periodic lack of hot water or electricity.

The application deadline is March 1, 2019.
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