Kréyol 101

I’m always one to encourage language learning. Moving to Martinique gave me the perfect opportunity to learn a new one, the beauty that is Martiniquais kréyol.

Créole has a French lexical basis and is spoken in two regions, the Americas, and on some islands in the Indian ocean. However, not all créoles are the same. Each place has their own rules, words and phrases despite their similarities.

Arguably, a basic understanding of French would be helpful for those wishing to learn Créole, however, due to the phonetic spelling of its words, French may not be necessary.

That’s one aspect of Créole that appealed to me a lot. Once you get the idea of how each sound should be written, it’s hard to make a spelling error. Unlike in French… 🙃

Here are some basic phrases with the French and English equivalent, see which ones you can pronounce without too much difficulty!

1. Bonjou / Bonjour / Hello (Good morning)

2. Sa ou fè ? / Comment vas-tu? / How are you?

3. Bonswè / Bonsoir / Good Evening

4. Mèsi / Merci / Thank you

5. Pa ni pwoblem / De rien / You’re welcome

6. Ki laj-ou ? / Quel âge as-tu ? / How old are you?

7. Ki koté ou ka rété ?/ Où habites-tu ? / Where do you live?

8. Man (mwen) ka rété an… / J’habite / I live in…

9. Man (mwen) ka konprann / je comprends / I understand

10. Man (mwen) pa ka konprann / je ne comprends pas / I don’t understand

Have a listen to the video link provided below. Once you hear the pronunciations of each sentence you will soon see how simple and beautiful créole really is!

3 fitting words for this post; Créole, Caribbean, Antillais


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