Glossary of Creole expressions on Guadeloupe : Practical
Practical Information : Glossary of Creole expressions on Guadeloupe
French and English are spoken everywhere on the island, especially in hotels and tourist offices. Local population converses in a Creole composed of a certain number of Spanish and English expressions and a significant number of French words, though almost completely incomprehensible for a mainlander. The Creole is one of the most typical characteristics of West Indian culture. By analysing the language, we can get a better insight into the culture that formulated it. As an example, the expression “cassave” shows the addition of manioc to everyday necessities, which leads us back to the early days of African slave trade. The Creole language originates from a population movement which was largely linguistically independent, and though its roots are numerous – African, Caribbean, English, Spanish, Hindu – its structure is based on French. It is spoken in areas of former French colonisation (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Haiti), or regions where France had left is mark (Dominica, Saint Lucia). Creole is not spoken in islands of Spanish or English colonisation.
Glossary of Creole expressionsMésyé zé dam bonjou ! : Ladies and gentlemen, good morning/ good afternoon.
Bonjou :Good morning/ good afternoon.
Bonswa : Good evening
Ba mwen… : Can I have…
Doudou : Dear/ darling
Sa ou fé ? : How are you ?
Sa ka maché : Fine.
Si ou plé : Please
Ka ki là ? : Who is there ?
Ka sa yé ? : What’s that ?
Resté la, an ka vin ! : Stay there, I’m coming !
Tanzantan : Sometimes, from time to time
I pa bon : It’s bad
Annou ay ! : Let’s go !
Gidé mwen : Guide me.
Lagé-i ! : Let them go.
Sèk-sèk : Small glass of pure rum.
Ti-bo : A kiss
Vini : Come
Z’oreille : White
Bagail la chô : It’s very hot !
Mi plisi ! : What a pleasure !
An pa tini pwen lajan : I have no money.
Ki moun ki di ou sa ? : Who told you that ?
Mwen aimé ou doudou : I love you dear.
Pani problem : No problem.
Tiembè raid, pa moli ! : Hold on !
Fait bon i bon memm ! : It’s really excellent !
An nou zouké ô swé a : Let’s go dancing tonight.
Ki laj a ou ? et Ki laj ou ka fè ? : How old are you ?
An kay fè on ti poz : I’m going to take a rest.
An nou pran on lagout : Let’s have a glass of rum.
Es ou tandé sa mwen di ou ? : Did you hear what I said ?
Ba mwen an CRS souplé : Can I have a rum punch (lemon, rhum, sugar) please.
Fréquenté chien, ou ka trapé pice : If we mix with bad people, we will get into trouble.
Fok ou mimyin pou apprend nagé : You need to have suffered to learn to come to the surface.
Sa ki pa bon pou zwa pa bon pou kan na : Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like them to do to you.