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Bora language

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Title: Bora language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Classification schemes for indigenous languages of the Americas, Languages of Peru, Bora–Witoto languages, Bora, Bora people, List of endangered languages in South America
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bora language

Native to Peru, Colombia
Ethnicity Bora people
Native speakers
2,400  (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 boa
Glottolog bora1263[2]

Bora is an indigenous American language spoken in the jungle regions of South America. Bora is a tonal language, which is unique to the region. Bora proper has 94% mutual comprehensibility with the Miraña dialect. The majority of its speakers reside in Perú where 2,328 Bora-speakers live in the Northeast Yaguasyacu, Putumayo, and Ampiyacu river areas. Peruvian speakers have a 10 to 30% literacy rate and a 25 to 50% literacy rate in their second language. The written form of Bora was developed by Wycleff Bible Translator Wesley Theisen with the help of the natives of the village of Brillo Nuevo. Wesley Theisen's daughter Ruth is also the first recorded non-native to learn the language. Once the New Testament Bible was translated, a dictionary was developed to document and preserve the languages grammar rules. This has since facilitated text books where natives are taught to read and write in their own language, rescuing it from extinction due to the prevalence of Spanish and Portuguese in the regions where it is spoken. In Brazil it is known as Miraña, but there are few tribes who reside there. There are about 500 speakers also in Colombia in the Putumayo Department. Bora contains 350 noun classes, the most discovered of any languages thus far.[3]


  1. ^ Bora at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Bora". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Tongue Twisters: In Search of the World's Hardest Language, The Economist, December 19, 2009-January 1, 2010, 136-137.
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