Speaking Creole: Some Unique Words and Their Roots

As the name Creole connotes, there are several different dialects of the language spoken, but here are some pretty cool words associated with Louisiana French Creole.

Kréyol la Lwizyán: Louisiana Creole. (Notice that the words actually are spelled how they sounds. The French saying would be “créole louisianais,” so you can see how mixed the original word is. The harsher ‘K’ sound and spelling originated within the languages African traditions.

Bonjou: Hello. The French spelling in bonjour

Mo laimm twa: I love you. The French spelling is Je t’aime. This phrase takes heavy influence from Haitian Creole, especially the first person ‘mo’ The articles in Louisiana Creole are completely different from French, for example, ‘me’ in Creole is mwin, drawing on African roots with two consonants together to form one sound that is uncommon in both French and English. The word for ‘me’ in French is ‘moi.” So you can see by the pronunciation that Louisiana Creole mainly spells words the way they sound phonetically.

Linguists conclude that this mix of French and phonetic spelling came directly from the diverse influences in St. Martin Parish, the largest of the New Orleans suburbs where south-eastern Texas and Louisiana. With mainly French or English speakers coexisting and then being influenced by slaves brought to the south, coexisting transfered to language. As funny as it sounds, people began literally ‘slurring’ words based on how they sounded so they could communicate, and these initial slurs, based off real languages, became a new lingual style.

Check out this comparison between Haitian Creole and Louisiana creole words.


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