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Garifuna Trilingual Dictionary released
Published on December 3, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

NEW YORK, USA -- Garifuna linguist Ruben Reyes has released the Garüdia: Garifuna Trilingual Dictionary. Twenty years in the making, the dictionary is the result of Reyes’s research and the study of how the Garifuna language employs logical structures and real-world references to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity.

In addition to the trilingual (Garifuna, English, Spanish) translation of words, the dictionary features the Garifuna alphabet, vowels and numbers with their respective pronunciation, as well as accentuation rules and verb tenses. With its 430 pages, it represents the most comprehensive list of Garifuna words and the first to provide equivalent words in the three languages spoken by the Garifuna Diaspora, Garifuna, English and Spanish.

On May 18, 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed the Garifuna language, music and dance as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

An integral component of the proclamation is the language policy statement of the Garifuna nation, adopted in 1997, which aims to facilitate and encourage the development and implementation of programs and projects with a view to ensuring the preservation, promotion, development and wider utilization of the Garifuna language.

The safeguarding project focuses mainly in the preservation of the Garifuna language through language revitalization, lexical expansion programs and the promotion of teaching, learning and practicing.

“Ruben Reyes’ Garudia: Garifuna Trilingual Dictionary is a timely contribution to the achievement of the objective,” said Jose Francisco Avila, chairman of the board of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

Reyes is a Garifuna scholar and educator born in Tela, Honduras, and comes to this project as a partner with extensive knowledge of the Garifuna culture and history and is an expert in Garifuna language. He teaches Garifuna language classes in Los Angeles and also produces "The Sásamu show," a weekly program of interviews on about the Garifuna culture and issues in the community.

Reyes is also the inventor of the Garifuna clock, editor of the Garifuna Trilingual Dictionary, and designer of the Garifuna flag emblem. He has also translated the National Anthems of Honduras, Guatemala and the United States into Garifuna, and co-founded the Garifuna Museum of Los Angeles.

Garudia: Garifuna Trilingual Dictionary (Garifuna-English-Spanish) is available on and GariStore websites. Copies of The Garifuna Trilingual Dictionary will be available at the United States premiere of the new independent film, Garifuna in Peril, which Reyes co-produced and co-directed with Ali Allie
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