Chaná (Lanték Yañá)

Chaná is a member of the Charruan language family that was spoken along the Uruguay and Paraná Rivers in Entre Ríos Province in the northeast of Argentina and nearby parts of Uruguay, and which is currently being revived.

The language was first documented in 1923 by Dámaso Larrañaga, who complied a Chaná word list. After that, Chaná was thought to be extinct. However in 2005, one native speaker was found: Blas Wilfredo Omar Jaime (born 1934), who lives in Paraná, a city in the west of Entre Ríos Province in Argentina. He has worked with the linguist José Pedro Viegas Barros to document Chaná, and a few people are learning the language in Uruguay and Argentina.

Blas Wilfredo Omar Jaime learnt Chaná from his mother, who learnt it from her mother, and it was passed on in secret for many generations. He chose not to pass the language on to his daughter when she was a child, and she had no interest in learning it at first. When she became a mother however, she started learning the language and helping her father to teach it to others.

A way to write Chaná with the Latin alphabet was devised by Dámaso Larrañaga, and a revised spelling system was created by Jaime and Viegas Barros. They published the dictionary of Chaná in 2014. A few other books about the language have also been published.

Chaná alphabet and pronunciation

Chaná alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Chaná (Excel)

Sample text

Ote tato a'a tato'e:
Banati amit tato'e
Kaley angu uhe nantu ug baté tihwi
Welkaymar hili kaley baté nantú
Oyenden uhe okó ug dyoi opa bate ititi reta
Oyenden opa uga pite'e ug bate tihwi
Ita'i wa oté oblí baté nderé
Ngan amit aywa
Npen baté uga Tihwinem

Translation (Spanish)

Hacer hombre al hombrecito:
Hijo mío, hombrecito:
Recibe hoy el último castigo de tu padre
En adelante sólo recibirás tu (propio) castigo
Recuerda este castigo durante toda tu vida como un hombre
Para que mejores tu viaje (por este mundo)
Tienes mi bendición;
Gana tú la de Tihwimen (diós chaná)

Videos in and about Chaná


Information about Chanáá_languageá

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 15.01.24. Last modified: 15.01.24


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