ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Where Creole Is Spoken

Updated on October 24, 2009

Hello There, VivBounty here to give you some light perspective on Creole and a few places where it is spoken in relation to my exposure to it. Until I decided to write this hub, I had a vague notion that Creole is French slang. As I'm not a linguist, nor do I pretend to understand the intricate structure of language, I did some reading and found that Creole is not derived from a language, nor is it a broken language and as such has had an undeserved stigma amoungst educators as being deficient or defective .

Loosely interpreted and based on my own experience, Creole usually exists and is created in communities throughout the world which had been colonized by speakers of English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, to name a few, and several of these in succession, like my ancestral islands of Mauritius and Seychelles. These multi-lingual communities spawned creole-speaking populations where children, as they do, with innate intuition, form language from the need to communicate. This is also believed to be the case with their forefathers where Creole emerged in multilingual communities as a result of persons of differing linguistic backgrounds coming together and having to communicate. We certainly experienced a similar phenomenon in Spain with the community around us being made up of people from every country in the European Union. As a child the people around me spoke, in order of predominance, English, French, Creole, Patois, Swahili, Italian and Konkani; a language spoken in Goan communities. Victor Hugo said in 1852, 'Necessity is the Mother of Invention', and I can tell you my sisters, cousins and I have a language all our own. My beloved guardian angel, a.k.a. our house keeper, a Kenyan man of the Kikuyu tribe spoke Kikuyu, Swahili, Luganda, English, and Creole, but spoke to me in English and his delicious cuisine covered all of the aforementioned regions and cultures.

OK enough already with the technicality. Let's not bore you. For those who are interested, see the link(s) below for a better literal understanding.





Seychelles and Mauritius

My maternal grandmother was born in The Seychelles. She spoke Creole to her friends and her children, but rarely to us, her grandchildren. Likewise my paternal grandparents were Mauritian, and spoke Creole but educated and raised their children and grandchildren in English.

Our first language was English. It is what my nuclear family, i.e. father, mother, siblings and I refer to as our mother tongue. When I taught English as a second language in my late twenties in Japan, I was referred to as a native speaker of English.

As children we inevitably picked up Creole words and expressions by osmosis, but never spoke it fluently. When we grew up and my sisters had children, we did as our parents did using Creole words sporadically dotted in English conversation with them and to keep things from them. Just like us before them, they learned the meaning of these words and phrases and we would hear them repeated amoungst themselves when playing.

Migrating through several continents many in our community eventually ended up in Canada, a bilingual country, my sister now lives and I have lived in the US for 10 years. We would speak Creole, certainly not the fluent version our grandmother spoke, but our version of it in personal conversations over the phone from our respective office and when leaving voice mail on our business lines. We knew we were not the only migrating community, but figured the chances of anyone understanding Creole within earshot was slim to none. We figured wrong.

New Orleans

New Orleans
New Orleans

New Orleans and the Cajun Creole connection

Over the time when my sister and I both lived in the US, we spoke frequently over the phone in Creole. She was a receptionist in the foyer of the company where representatives and sales people were received for several years.

One fine day, she had called me about something personal, speaking Creole because of the office plan, knowing she could be heard. A salesman entered the foyer and just as she concluded the call, to her amazement, he answered her in Creole.

This blonde Caucasian American who spoke English happened to be a Creolophone from New Orleans, Louisiana. Although with slightly different pronunciation they were actually able to have a conversation in Creole, no harm done, but we learned to be more discreet at work.


The Haitian boyfriend look-alike at the CNE

For the 2 decades I actually lived in Toronto and the surrounding suburbs it was inevitable that I would go the CNE, if not annually, then whenever I had the nieces and nephews for the weekend.

We as teenagers used to make a day of the CNE, to meet suitors or prospective suitors, as kids do anywhere you find a fairground or adventure park. My boyfriend at the time had just left for Air force basic training in Abilene, Texas. At the CNE that summer I thought I was seeing things. I bumped into someone who could pass for his identical twin! As we were throwing basketballs trying to win stuffed toys at a stall, my sister said something to me in Creole.

This young man, named Andre, shocked us by asking us where we are from in Creole. Again, the actual words and pronunciation differed slightly, but we were actually able to carry on a short conversation about the similarities between Haitian Creole and ours; the Seychelloise/Mauritienne Creole.



The sweet Grenadian nurse

The early 90's were years when I traveled more than ever before. From 1989 until 1992 I spent a total of 2 years in Japan, on and off and in between those stints, I spent Christmas in Zurich, Valentine's Day in Seattle and took my mother who visited me in Japan, to Hong Kong, China, Macau and Phuket.

This was also the time my father was hospitalized for several months before losing his battle with cancer. Those months I spent at his bedside were healing, cleansing, holy, believe it or not, fun and most importantly gave us peace and closure at his passing.

Dad was having a good week, chirpy, bright, and painless. His team assured me I could take a few days to visit my fiancée in Zurich and Dad "shoo'd me off with his blessing. In the 10 days I was away, being the proud dad that he was and a bit of a bragger, he told the nurses I spoke 6 or 7 languages fluently which I don't and just chatted on about my globetrotting, embellishing each story more than the last. It didn't help matters that when I got back, he spoke to me in Creole, especially when the nurses were nearby.

One day he was criticizing the way his ward mate was eating. Again in Creole, he described how the man had a funny way of eating, that he couldn't understand why a person would ruin mashed potatoes by pouring his soup over them, and on he went until his Grenadian nurse walked in and joined our conversation. Well that was a first for me. I had no idea that Creole was spoken on the Caribbean island of Grenada. Dad immediately switched on the charm, as was his way, and distracted his nurse with stories of their shared linguistic heritage.

It really is a small world, and getting smaller all the time. This brings to mind an expression our groundskeeper in Spain shared with me about this idea. He said "In Spain we say the world is a handkerchief", making a square gesture with his hands. I completely agreed, am convinced more than ever that people in general are more alike than we are different and it is proven to me every time I travel.

Prosperous Blessings,

Fantastic Travel


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Thank you for a very nice hub. GBY

    • VivBounty profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      Hello TrudyVan. Thank you for your comment. Yes, imagine how surprised we were at being caught when we thought no one could eavesdrop on our conversation. hehehe! Looking really forward to speaking again. Missed you my friend.

    • TrudyVan profile image

      TrudyVan Curre 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      I never know that VivBounty when we speak again I would like to go into this a little deeper. Reading my mind are you?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)