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Speakers: The Aukan language is spoken by a group of people of African descent who were brought to Suriname against their will about 300 years ago and forced to work as slaves on plantations. The Aukaners (also known as Ndyukas) escaped from the plantations and went deep into the rain forests where they formed their own communities along various rivers in eastern Suriname, primarily the Tapanahony River. These resourceful Aukaners not only survived, but thrived and established their own unique culture and language. They and similar groups — Saramaccans, Paramaccans, Alukus, Kwintis and Matawais — are known as “Maroons”. They are among the few unassimilated Maroon societies in the world. In recent times, many Aukaners have migrated to the urban areas of Suriname where some have taken advantage of opportunities available there to become well educated and hold positions in national life. It is estimated that there are about 25,000 to 30,000 speakers of the Aukan language.

The language: Aukan (or Ndyuka) is a creole language which developed out of west and west central African roots and incorporated a great deal of vocabulary and other features from its association with English and Dutch. SIL Suriname published a number of books in Aukan that can be found in the SIL Suriname Bibliography. An interactive dictionary and language learning tool can be found on this website by following the links listed below.


Aukan - English interactive dictionary

Aukan - English Language Learning Library

 Aukaans - Nederlands woordenboek

Wil je Aukaans leren?




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[ Created: Feb 26, 2003 ]
[ Last updated: December 27, 2003 ]

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