Bribri is a Chibchan language spoken in southern Costa Rica, specifically in the canton of Talamanca in Limón province, and in the canton of Buenos Aires in Puntarenas province. In 2011 there were about 7,000 speakers of Bribri.
Bribri is also known as Bri-bri, Bribriwak, Bribri-wak or Talamanca. The name Bribri comes from the word balíbali (uneven terrain), which refers to the area where Bribri speakers live. The people who speak Bribri call themselves bríbriwak, and sometimes call their language se'ie (our language).
There are three dialects of Bribri: Coroma (Eastern), Amubre (Western) and Salitre (Pacific). Bribri is related to Cabécar, which is also spoken in Costa Rica.
Bribri is used mainly in families, in churches, and in traditional ceremonies. It has been taught in schools since 1985, and there are also Bribri courses at the University of Costa Rica in San José. Bribri has no official status.
A standard spelling system for Bribri was devised by the Linguistics Department of the University of Costa Rica in the late 20th century.
Hear the sounds of Bribri
Iã kṍksãla wakabawãee
iã kṍibölö wakabawãee
iwekö ĩãle aböleala
Information about the Bribri language
Page last modified: 15.09.22
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