One of 365 San Blas islands

One of the 365 islands in the San Blas archipelago.

Basic Kuna:
English/Spanish/Kuna Dictionary

Learning the Kuna language one word at time

The native tongue of the Kuna, is pronounced Guna or Tulekaya. From A to Z this basic Kuna/Spanish/English dictionary details a litany of necessary translations for common words and phrases most likely to be encountered in the San Blas Islands.

In Dulegaya, the Kuna's native language, mola means shirt or clothing. The mola originated with the tradition of Kuna women painting their bodies with geometric designs, using available natural colors. Molas, form the traditional outfit of a Kuna woman, two mola panels are incorporated as front and back panels in a blouse. Full costumes includes a patterned wrapped skirt (saburet), a red and yellow headscarf (musue), arm and leg beads (wini), a gold nos3 ring (olasu) and earrings in addition to the mola blouse dulemor.

Dulegaya is the primary language of daily life in the comarcas, and the majority of Kuna children speak the language. Spanish is also widely used, especially in education and written documents. Although it is relatively viable, Kuna is considered to be one of the world's endangered languages.

Suffice it to say, this is a good pocket beginners guide you handily can carry on your travels in your back pocket or backpack.

Kuna Vocabulary Sampler

Nuwedi — Depending upon context it can mean all sorts of things, but the official definition is Good Morning and Thank You. Some folks use it for both Hello and Goodbye as well.
Yes – Elle
No – Suli
Thanks – Dot Nuet
Please – Uis anga saet
Okay – Nued gudii o
Good – Nabir, nuedi
Welcome! – Nuegambi use be noniki!
Rice – Oros
Bread – Madu
Fish – Ua or Tilapia
Lobster – Dulup or Skungit
Coconut – Koibir or Ogob
Coffee – Cabi
Speak slowly please – Uis binna sunmake
I don’t understand – Aku ittoe
I’m sorry – An oakue

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