What is a creole language?
Some people mistakenly believe creole languages are the same as pidgin languages. While that’s not the case, there is a close relationship between the two, and you should understand the commonalities when dealing with an English to creole language translation.
Pidgin languages are abridged languages. They are usually spoken between people who don’t share a common language and who are from different backgrounds. Pidgin grammar and vocabulary tend to be more basic than the parent languages (local and foreign) from which the pidgin language has borrowed.
Creole languages, on the other hand, tend to run deeper in the communities where they are spoken. A creole language is a much more developed language when compared to a pidgin. The language isn’t learned in order to communicate to outsiders.
A true creole language has been “nativized” by society, starting with the children. Creole, in effect, can be seen as a natural, native tongue, even though its origins are somewhat artificial We speak about “creole” languages in English.
The term originally came from the French word “creole,” which in Latin (creare) means “to create.” European colonial expansion gave birth to the modern sense of the word.
Various creole languages came about due to the need to communicate with people who had very little exposure to European (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese) languages.
Creole languages come in a variety of forms.
You can find different creole tongues spoken all over the world. Here is a small sample of some global creole languages:
- Jamaican Creole Sranan (Surinam)
- Tobagonian Krio (Sierra Leone)
- Haitian Creole (French-based creole)
- Guianese Creole
- Seychellois Creole
- Guinea-Bissau Creole (Portuguese-based creole)
- Kabuverdianu Nubi (Arabic-based creole)
- Chavacano (Spanish-based creole, from the Philippines)
This short list, which is far from complete, can give you an idea about how geographically widespread creole languages are.