Friday, June 16, 2006

Taino Language Dictionary by Alfred Carrada

The Dictionary of the Taino Language, prepared for free online access by Alfred Carrada (see:, was apparently completed almost three years ago (unfortunately, I only discovered this very recently). Many readers are interested in learning as much as possible of the Taino language, as well as the names of places, historical figures, topographical features, fruit, trees, animals, etc. The notes for this site are fairly extensive. The dictionary is of a fair length. What is not too clear on first sight is how this differs from or adds to other Taino language resources online, including other Taino language dictionaries.

Alfred Carrada explains in his own words how he came to this project:

"I started collecting Island-Arawak (Taino) artifacts more that twenty years ago. Although I grew up in the West Indies I did not become fully acquainted wit this culture until I made a holiday trip to Santo Domingo in the late Seventies. I became fascinated and bewitched by the beautiful and intriguing objects made by the Taino artisans, and collecting these objects became a passion that took a life of its own. At the same time I began collecting Taino artifacts I started to acquaint myself with their culture by reading whatever material I could get may hands on. The first book I read was Fred Olsen's On the Trail of the Arawaks and it was an eye opener for me. I also became very intrigued by what the meaning of geographical, topographical and historical Indian names could mean. I had read that according to Julian Granberry 'words in Arawakan languages are monosyllabic' and so, with this in mind I began to make notes that would help me reach an etymological meaning to some of their names and words. So, here are the names and words I found relevant to my quest, with my etymological root value interpretation; as well as information I came across that I found of interest. I am publishing my findings in the internet in case that someone other than myself finds it interesting and worth looking into it."

Thank you Alfred, I am certain many people will be interested, and it is a beautifully designed site on top of everything else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am trying to get a hold of Alfreso Carrada. Can anyone direct me to him? I am an old friend from New York who has lost contact with him and would like to be in touch again.

Many thanks,

Maricel Presilla