Boruca language

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Native toCosta Rica
Ethnicityone thousand Boruca people (1991)[1]
Native speakers
3 (2007)[1]
  • Boruca
Language codes
ISO 639-3brn

The Boruca language (also known as Bronka, Bronca or Brúnkajk.) is the native language of the Boruca people of Costa Rica. It is one of the Chibchan languages. It is nearly extinct; it was spoken fluently by only five women in 1986, while 30 to 35 others spoke it non-fluently. The rest of the tribe's 1,000 members speak Spanish. The language is taught as a second language at the local primary school Escuela Doris Z. Stone. One can hear Bronka words and phrases mixed into Spanish conversations but it is extremely rare to hear prolonged exchanges in Bronka.


¿Ishójcre rában? = What's up?

Morén, morén. = Fine, well.[3]

The personal pronouns in Boruca (the ˇ represents a glottal stop.)[4]

Person Singular Plural
1st át diˇ / diˇ rójc
2nd biˇ / biˇ rójc
3rd i i rójc / iˇ rójc

The numbers (the "ṅ" is used in place of an "n" with the diaeresis "¨" over top, as this character is unavailable; "ṅ" represents a slightly different sound from the normal n or ñ.)[5]

Numbers Bronka
1 éˇxe, éˇxi
2 búˇc
3 maṅ
4 bájcaṅ
5 shishcáṅ
6 téshan
7 cúj, cújc
8 éjtaṅ
9 cújtaṅ, éjcuj
10 téjcuj, cróshtaṅ, búˇc cúj

Map of Boruca

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Boruca at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Boruca". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Maroto Rojas, Espíritu Santo (1999). "Palabras varias Saludos". Lengua o dialecto Boruca o Brunkajk. (in Spanish and Boruca). San José, Costa Rica: Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica. p. 49. ISBN 9977-67-554-6.
  4. ^ Quesada Pacheco, Miguel Ángel (1995). Hablemos Boruca. (in Spanish and Boruca). San José, Costa Rica: Ministerio de Educación Pública. p. 33. ISBN 9977-60-114-3.
  5. ^ Quesada Pacheco, Miguel Ángel (1995). Hablemos boruca. (in Spanish and Boruca). San José, Costa Rica: Ministerio de Educación Pública. p. 82. ISBN 9977-60-114-3.