- This article is about the language spoken in South America; for the language of Nepal, see Wayu language.
|Native to||Venezuela, Colombia|
|Native speakers||320,000 (2001–2007)|
|Writing system||Latin script|
|Regulated by||Centro Etnoeducativo Kamusuchiwo’u|
Extent of both the Wayuu people and language.
Wayuu is part of the Maipurean language family predominant in different parts of the Caribbean. They have some minimal differences in dialect depending on the region of La Guajira in which they live; northern, central or southern zones of this region. Most of the new generations speak Spanish fluently but they understand the importance of preserving their traditional native tongue.
To promote cultural integration and bilingual education among Wayuu and other Colombians, the Kamusuchiwo’u Ethno-educative Center or Centro Etnoeducativo Kamusuchiwo’u came up with the initiative of creating the first illustrated Wayuunaiki–Spanish, Spanish–Wayuunaiki dictionary.
Less than 1% of Wayuu speakers are literate in Wayuu while 5 to 15% are literate in Spanish. There are 200,000 speakers in Venezuela and 120,000 in Colombia. Smith (1995) reports that a mixed Guajiro-Spanish language is replacing Wayuu in both countries. However, Campbell (1997) could find no information on this.
On December 2011, the Wayuu Tayá Foundation and Microsoft presented the first ever dictionary of technology terms in the Wayuu language,  after having developed for three years with a team of tech professionals and linguists.
|Close||i [i]||ü [ɨ]||u [u]|
|Mid||e [ɛ]||o [ɔ]|
Note: "e" and "o" are more open than in English[clarification needed]. "a" is slight front of central, and "ü" is slightly back of central.
|Nasal||m [m]||n [n]|
|Plosive||p [p]||t [t̪]||ch [t͡ʃ]||k [k]||' [ʔ]|
|Fricative||s [s]||sh [ʃ]||j [h]|
|Flap||l [ɭ̆ ]|
|Approximant||w [w]||y [j]|
"l" is a lateral flap pronounced with the tongue just behind the position for the Spanish "r," and with a more lateral airflow.
- Wayuu reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- (Spanish) El Wayuunaiki impreso
- Fundación Wayuu Tayá y Microsoft Venezuela presentan Diccionario de Computación en Wayuunaiki (Spanish)
- Tatiana Chang (2011-12-27). "Venezuela: New computing dictionary enriches Wayuu language". Infosur hoy. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
|Wayuu language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
|Wayuu language test of Wiktionary at Wikimedia Incubator|
- Brief explanation of the Wayuunaiiki language
- Spanish-Wayuunaiki dictionary
- Venezuelanalysis.com, 4 August 2010, Venezuelan history first - Wayuunaiki newspaper wins Venezuelan journalism award
- "Podemos ser amigos de Dios" - MP3 audio format booklet in Wayuunaiki. This booklet introduces Christian - Bible based - concepts to the Wayuunaiki population.
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