Google translate to identify the origin of Caribbean words

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
So, I was reading this debate on the Nigerian website about the existence of people in the Caribbean who speak Yoruba/Ibo, etc. The interesting thing that I discovered was that if I type in certain words that we use in Jamaica, the Google translate website will identify the language from which it originates. They don't have everything they should so I couldn't find everything but I was able to confirm a few things that I already knew. You may try it for your country's language and post the info on IMIX....

nyama= meat (Swahili)
গাঁজা ganja= marijuana (Bengali)
soso=only (Yoruba)
unu= you all (Igbo)

Etc.
 

Inquistive

New member
Nyam is an onomatopoeia. It actually came from the English lexicon. Aussie people say it as well.

The only words in Patwa that are possibly of Niger-Congo origins are "uno" and "cooya".


I don't even think cooya is even used anymore.I haven't heard the younger generation use it.
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
Nyam is an onomatopoeia. It actually came from the English lexicon. Aussie people say it as well.

The only words in Patwa that are possibly of Niger-Congo origins are "uno" and "cooya".
<sigh>

What are you talking about?

I have known since childhood that ninyam/nyama was a Swahili word. This is not a secret or up for debate.

There are several African words that are in Jamaican Creole. I even hear a few words sometimes when I hear African people speak.
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
If anyone can tell me the origin of the following words, it would be great:

Junju- I heard this is Haiti used to mean mushroom. In Jamaica, we use it to mean fungus. (I often say mi no nyam junju because I don't eat mushrooms). But I don't know the origin of this word.

Kata- The cloth that we use to carry objects on our heads. I have asked Haitians and two Africans but the words they used were completely different.

Bandulu- no story. I just like this word....

Bunununus- same as above
 

Inquistive

New member
<sigh>

What are you talking about?

I have known since childhood that ninyam/nyama was a Swahili word. This is not a secret or up for debate.

There are several African words that are in Jamaican Creole. I even hear a few words sometimes when I hear African people speak.
Swahili is spoken in East Africa. Slaves were imported from West and Central Africa.


What words are you referring to?
 

Inquistive

New member
Here are some recording titles of Afro Cuban genres.

Barandunga

Cumaye

Masango

Mayambe

Burandunga

Dundunbanza

Guaguanco

These words were definitely passed down from the slave legacy.
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
I was always told that Kumina (a Jamaican religion) originated in and is still practiced in the Congo. I just googled the word and it is a word in the Zulu (Congo) language that means "to me" or "me." I don't know if Kumina has an English translation in Jamaica. I have only heard the word used to describe the belief system or its practices.
 

ProudTrini

New member
My family are descendants of Yoruba people. My Auntie was in Yorubaland last year for the Osun Osogbo festival with a few of my family members. My grandad and father still speak Yoruba pretty good.
 

A.K.K.S.

New member
Nyam is an onomatopoeia. It actually came from the English lexicon. Aussie people say it as well.

The only words in Patwa that are possibly of Niger-Congo origins are "uno" and "cooya".


I don't even think cooya is even used anymore.I haven't heard the younger generation use it.
STFU Opti, I schooled you once before...:

West/Central African & Indigenous Word Origins Of The Greater Caribbean:

Anglophone nations -
  • Anansi = "Spider", from the Ewe language
  • Bakra = From the word "mbakára" in Efik languages. It mean's "white man"
  • Bim = n. Specific to Barbados. Derived from Igbo 'Ndi Ibem' or 'Ibem' meaning 'My people'
  • Duppy/Dopi = n. Ghost. Akan origins
  • Jook = v. To penetrate. Fula/Fulani origins
  • Jombee = n. Ghost. From the Kongo/BaKongo language. The origin of the word "zombie".
  • Nyam, Niam, or Yam = v. To eat. Wolof/Fula/Fulani origins
  • Obeah/Obia = n. Folk magic, sorcery, and religious practices. Specifically Igbo origin
  • Okra = From "ọkwurụ" in Igbo, a vegetable.
  • Se or Seh = Meaning "That". From Igbo
  • Unu (Wunna, Yinna, Hunnuh) = n. "You all", "You guys". Of Igbo origin, meaning the same thing


Religions -

  • Abakuá = An Afro-Cuban men's initiatory fraternity, or secret society, which originated from fraternal associations in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Known generally as Ekpe, Ngbe, or Ugbe among the multi-lingual groups in the region, these closed groups all used the leopard as a symbol of masculine prowess in war and political authority in their various communities. The term Ñáñigo has also been used for the organization's members.
  • Dügü = An ancient extended funerary ceremony practiced by the Garífuna people. It is a type of funeral ceremony that brings the community and families together.

    It is a festival that aims to bring deceased ancestors of the Garífuna to the present and lasts between two days to as much as two weeks. The ceremony seeks to cure ill persons that have become sick because they have displeased the "gubida" (spirits). Families and friends gather around drums and sing, calling the gubida to the ceremony. This ceremony is headed by the Buyai (shaman).

    The Buyei is responsible for organizing and ordering all parts of the ceremony including food, clothes worn, sacrifices, and its length. Once the Buyai believes the spirits of the ancestors are present, the sick person is given food and rum. The rest of the food and alcohol is sacrificed and the person is predicted[clarification needed] to be cured.
  • Kumina = A religion, music and dance practiced by, in large part, Jamaicans who reside in the eastern parish on St. Thomas on the island. These people have retained the drumming and dancing of the Akan people.
  • Palo (or Las Reglas de Congo) = A group of closely related religions or denominations, which developed in the Spanish colonies of the Caribbean amongst Central African slaves of mostly Bantu ancestry.
  • Santería (Also known as Regla de Ocha, La Regla Lucumi or Lukumi) = A syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin influenced by Roman Catholic Christianity. Its liturgical language, a dialect of Yoruba, is also known as Lucumi.
  • Vodou = Practiced chiefly in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Vodouists believe in a distant and unknowable creator god, Bondyè. As Bondyè does not intercede in human affairs, vodouists direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Bondyè, called loa.
  • Winti = the Afro-Surinamese traditional religion that resulted from the coming together of different elements of the religious beliefs of the slaves that were brought to Suriname from different west African tribes (nowadays countries). Similar religious developments can be seen elsewhere in the America's and the Caribbean (e.g. in Brazil's Candomblé, Cuba's Santería, Haiti's Voodoo, Trinidad and Tobago's Orisa, etc.)

Pan-Caribbean Words:
  • Cassava, Kassav or Yuca = n. Original word was Casabi, in Arawakan languages
  • Bammy (or Casabe) = n : Bread, made from the Cassava
  • Hurricane = Arawakan word was "Huracan"
  • Fufu/ or Cou-Cou = A staple food of West and Central Africa. It is made by boiling starchy vegetables like cassava, yams or plaintains and then pounding them into a dough-like consistency
  • Manati' = n : Sacred Sea Cow, is "Big Woman of the Great Spirit of the Waters. Also called Manatee.

Arawakan-Maipurean:

Same words in Garífuna and Taino:
  • Baba = n : Father.
  • Bagua = n : Sea.
  • Bana = n : Greatness or Grand Place
  • Casabi (or Casabe) = n : Bread, made from the Yuca.
  • Eieri' (or Eyeri) = n : Men, This is a word in the Taino womens language.
  • Ereba = n. Hispanicized as 'Arepa'.
  • Guatu' (or Watu) = n : Fire.
  • Hutia = n : Rabbit, Caribbean Rabbit.
  • Li = pn : Him, They or Them.
  • Liani = n : Wife.
  • Liren = n : fruit that grows on a plant.
  • Macu' = n : Big Eyes.
  • Manati' = n : Sacred Sea Cow, is "Big Woman of the Great Spirit of the Waters. Also called Manatee.
  • Mime = n : Little Fly.
  • Na = n : Thing.
  • Nagua = n : Small Loincloth made of white cotton, also used today by the Taino Men. A Note from the TITC Inc : the useage of the term "Taparrabo or Tail Cover" when referring to a Native American Loincloth is a racist Spanish term and should not be used. "The Indigenous people are not animals, we are human beings" Guanikeyu.
  • Siani = n : Married Woman.
  • Ua = No

Similar words:
  • Guaiba' = v : Go or leave. (In Garífuna we say "Beiba")
  • Guey = n : Sun. (In Garífuna we say "Weyu"). It also means "Day" in Garífuna.
  • Naniki = n : Spirit or to be active. In Garífuna "Nanigi" means Heart.

West and Central African words in P.R. Spanish
  • Bembé- A party
  • Bemba= Big lips
  • Bambalan=Big person
  • Cuajo=the ear
  • ñangarita=something useless
  • Cafre=A person with bad way of living
  • Baquiné=a funeral for little kids where instead of mourning, we are celebrating its departure to heaven
  • Chamba= luck
  • Mongo=weak
  • Monga=flu
  • Bambú=a tree
  • Chiringa=kite(correct me if the word isn't African in origin, but I suspect so)
  • ñangotao= A erson who is seated incorreclty
  • Bimbazo=a punch
  • Bugalú=a dance
  • nene-Boy
  • cucurucho-a corner or hidden place
  • candungo-a cube
  • motete- baggage
  • mejunge= all messed up
  • burundanga-same definitio nas mejunge
  • Chumbo,a-A non curvy person


West and Central African words in in the French Antilles (probably WAY more too)

  • genbo: bat
  • gonbo: okra
  • kongoliyo: centipede
  • agoulou: voracious
 

A.K.K.S.

New member
Miskito words in Belizean Kriol:
  • Bilam: A small river fish (tetra)
  • Bribri: A species of pod-bearing tree (Inga edulis)
  • Doary: A small dugout canoe
  • Duki: A chart with a picture of a skeleton which is numbered used for interpreting dreams by lottery ticket buyers
  • Gibnat: a small rodent (Cuniculus paca) -> Taste really good...Yum :p
  • Hooyu: A night bird, variously identified as Pauraque, spot-tailed nightjar, goatsucker, night hawk, Santa Maria bird, whip-poorwill, or dwarf owl
  • Kiskis: Wooden tongs for handling hot coals in a cooking fire, etym. Rama kiskis (H)
  • Konkas: Housefly, etym. Miskito kingkas, kukas (H)
  • Kraabu: A fruit tree, the yellow berries of the tree (Brysonima crassifolia), etym. Miskito krabo (H)
  • Kuhune: A species of palm tree, the nut of the kuhune (Orbignya cohune), etym. Miskito ohom, uhum, ohung (H)
  • Kwam: A turkey-like fowl, the guan (Penelope sp.), etym. Miskito kwamu (H)
  • Maklala /Makala: A small lizard species (Sp lagartillo copetudo), etym. Miskito mahklala (H)
  • Papta: A species of palmetto or fan palm (acoelorrhaphe wrightii), etym. Rama papta (H)
  • Pataki: A large rectangular basket constructed with double walls, wide leaves are layered between the walls to make the basket water-proof and able to float, etym. Miskito pataki meaning ‘basket’ (A)
  • Pitpan: A long flatbottom dugout canoe, a flatbottom boat, etym. Miskito pitpan (H)
  • Pyampyam: A bird species, the Central American magpie or brown jay (Psilorhynus mexicana or morio), etym. Miskito piampiam (H)
  • Raati: A large species of sea crab (Callinectes sp.), etym. Miskito rahti (H)
  • Soopa or Supa: A tall palm tree species, the starchy orange-colored fruit (Culielma utilis or Acromia mexicana), etym. Miskito supa (H)
  • Taapong: Tarpon, a large marine fish (Tarpon atlanticus), etym. Miskito tahpam (H)
  • Tuba: A species of river fish (Chichilasoma spp), etym. Miskito tuba (H)
  • Waari: The white-lipped peccary, a wild pig (Tayassu tajacu), etym. Miskito wari (H)
  • Waata daag: The river otter (Lutra felina), etym. while the words are English the formation may be influenced by Miskito li yula meaning literally ‘water’ + ‘dog’ (H)
  • Waha: A species of broad-leaf plant (Calathea insignis), leaves are used for wrapping and serving food items, etym. Miskito waha (H)
  • Weewi Ants:a species of leaf-cutting ant (Atta cephalotea), etym. Miskito wiwi (H)
  • Wowla: A species of snake, boa constrictor; a long snake-shaped basket used for processing cassava for breadmaking. etym. Miskito waula ‘boa’. (H)

More West and Central African words in Belizean Kriol:
  • Bambam: A food made with cassava, etym. possibly from Ngwa-Igbo gbam-gbam meaning ‘a plate for eating’
  • Bammy or bami: A cassava bread, etym. Gã-Adangme bami
  • Cho!: Exclamation of disgust, annoyance, etym. Ewe tsoo ‘exclamation of surprise’ (A)
  • Da: is, am, are, “Ih da di teacha.” ‘He/she is the teacher.’ etym. similar forms are found in Ewe, Igbo, Twi, and Yoruba (A)
  • Da: at, on, in, to, etym. Ewe de (A)
  • Da: it is (focus), “Da hihn weh shub ahn.” ‘It was he who pushed him/her.’ etym. several Africa languages use a similar form for similar functions, for example Igbo de and Twi da (A)
  • Deh / Di: am, is, are (located) , “Ih deh pahn di boat” ‘He/she is on the boat’; etym. probably developed from similar words in several African languages (A)
  • Dehn or Dem: them, they, their, etym. English them, however its use as a multi-functional pronoun probably is related to similar usage in several W. African languages (A)
  • Dehn or Dem: (post-noun plural marker), “Di bwai dehn” ‘The boys’, etym. English them, however its use in forming the plural is probably related to similar usage in several W. African languages (A)
  • Fi / Fu: To, for. “Ah gaan fi sell janny kake.” ‘I went to sell johnny cakes.’ etym. possibly a convergence of English for and African forms like Twi and Yoruba fa and Mandinka fo having similar uses.
  • Gombeh: A goat-skin drum played with the hands, etym. any of several Bantu languages of Africa, for example Kikongo ngoma meaning ‘drum’ (A)
  • Jankunu: A costumed dance, different versions are found in Jamaica and Bahamas, in Belize the costume and dance originate from a comical ridicule of slave masters, etym. possibly Ewe dzon meaning ‘sorcerer’ + kunu meaning ‘something deadly’ (H), or Yoruba jo meaning ‘dance’ + n-n-kon having a general meaning of ‘things, spells, feats’ (A)
  • Kot Aiy or "Cut Eye":a gesture of contempt, deliberately clossing the eyes while turning the head away from somebody, etym. English cut + eye, however, putting the meaning of those two words together for the same gesture is common through West and Central Africa (A)
  • Kunku: Small size or amount, etym. Yoruba konko (DMY:380)
  • Tata Duhendeh: A mythical short man who lives in the bush, his feet are backwards and he has no thumbs, etym. probably Latin American Spanish tata meaning ‘father’< Nahuatl tlatla + duende meaning ghost (A), however there may have been convergence with a common Bantu term taata meaning ‘father’ (H2)
  • Waawa: Cowardly, childishly foolish, etym. Hausa wawa meaning ‘foolish’ (H)
  • Wangla: Sesame seed, a candy made with sesame seeds, etym. Kikongo waangila meaning ‘sesame seed’
  • Yaiy Waata or "Yeye Watah": Tears, etym. English eye + water, however the process of putting those two words together to mean ‘tears’ comes from Africa, such as Igbo anya mmili, eye + water meaning ‘tears’ (A)
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
My family are descendants of Yoruba people. My Auntie was in Yorubaland last year for the Osun Osogbo festival with a few of my family members. My grandad and father still speak Yoruba pretty good.

Can you identify some Trini words that have survived?
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
The Eye Water example is very important because scholars often point out that the main thing that differentiates Jamaican Creole from English is actually not the vocabulary (which is primarily English) but the grammar. The use of English words in a West African "manner" is very common and this is what links the language to Africa more so than the words that have survived.

Also, English spoken in the 1700s was very different from the English that is spoken today. Therefore, there may be many surviving language features that cannot be attributed to a particular language because the people who speak that tongue nowadays no longer speak the way their ancestors did 300 years ago.

But, has anyone tried the Google translate search? I am interested to see how well it works for other islands.
 

bktrini305

Registered User
Can you identify some Trini words that have survived?
Historically, slaves came to Trinidad from other islands more often than Africa. So most of the important yoruba words are in French. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is "Kaiso" meaning "Bravo" in some West African Language and also used as a phoneme for "Calypso" the music.

Sanimanite - Sans Humanite is a yoruba concept, but its obvious that the words are French. It's like "picong", or playing the dozens.

Obeah, ochro, callaloo, bambalam, have all been said already.
 

Swollen

Players Play I Coach
Lmao @ opti and akks....yall some silly asses


Jamaican girl I gon save mi trolling for you later hag.....
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
Historically, slaves came to Trinidad from other islands more often than Africa. So most of the important yoruba words are in French. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is "Kaiso" meaning "Bravo" in some West African Language and also used as a phoneme for "Calypso" the music.

Sanimanite - Sans Humanite is a yoruba concept, but its obvious that the words are French. It's like "picong", or playing the dozens.

Obeah, ochro, callaloo, bambalam, have all been said already.
I didn't know that. I know that there has been a large amount of immigration from smaller islands in recent years but I didn't realize that the same thing happened during slavery.

I think I am going to give up on this thread. I thought that it would be a nice cultural discussion. I know that there are long lists of words that come from African languages but the idea was to see if the words are recognized by current speakers of that language with intact spelling and meaning that can be identified with an online translation service.

It "proves" the origin of the word more than saying that the meaning is African.

<sigh>

The only topics that get any response on IMIX is about race or degrading Black women or arguing about which island is superior to another. SMH
 
I didn't know that. I know that there has been a large amount of immigration from smaller islands in recent years but I didn't realize that the same thing happened during slavery.

I think I am going to give up on this thread. I thought that it would be a nice cultural discussion. I know that there are long lists of words that come from African languages but the idea was to see if the words are recognized by current speakers of that language with intact spelling and meaning that can be identified with an online translation service.

It "proves" the origin of the word more than saying that the meaning is African.

<sigh>

The only topics that get any response on IMIX is about race or degrading Black women or arguing about which island is superior to another. SMH
it was actually about half-half, without facts he cannot make a definitive statement on that, when the spanish was there most came from africa (not much by then)..then when the french came with the cedula of population many of them came from up the islands then the british brought a sizeable number from africa and then after slavery ended there was a brief period of free africans coming over.

BTW you cannot expect to have a decent convo on this site, you will have to go to another site for this.

most people on here are ignaramuses

Also there are quite a few words from africa but i will have to research and come back to you
 
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