Korlai Indo-Portuguese is the language of some 1,000 Luso-Indian Christians in an isolated area around the village of Korlai in Raigad District of Maharashtra state, India. More commonly, the language is known as Kristi ("Christian"), Korlai Creole Portuguese, Korlai Portuguese, or Nou Ling ("our language" in the language itself).
Distribution and number of speakers
What is known about the history and the grammar of No Ling can be found in the 1996 book The Genesis of a Language: Formation and Development of Korlai Portuguese written by J. Clancy Clements. The village lives on the mouth of Kundalika River, across from the ruins of a large Portuguese fort, which is located in Revdanda. No Ling has certain similarities with Papiá Kristang, spoken in the Malaysian town of Malacca. Until the 20th century, Korlai, its Christian inhabitants, and its language were relatively isolated from the Marathi-speaking Hindus and Muslims surrounding them. Since 1986, there is a bridge across the Kundalika River, because of which industry has now moved into the area.
While many natives often wrongly feel that the Korlai inhabitants are "East Indians", it is not at all true. The Luso-Indian Korlai offspring is in reality, a progeny of the Portuguese soldiers who married the natives, as well as a small sprinkling of Goan women who married the Portuguese. Their customs and traditions, indicate the same, although the attire (which they would have adopted later) is more indicative of the larger fact of mingling easily with the local population. So, basically Korlai Christians are NOT and should not be confused with East Indians of Mumbai / Bassein (Vasai).
Examples of No Ling
- Thanks a lot: Muit'obrigad! From Port. Muito Obrigado
- I: yo; From Port. eu
- You (singular): wo; From Port. vós
- You (formal): usé; From Port. você
- He and She: el; From Port. ele (he) and ela (she)
- We: no; From Port. nós
- You (plural): udzó; From Port. vós outros
- They: eló; from Port. eles outros
- Numerals: ũ, doy, tre, kwat, sink, sey, set, oyt, nob, dey; From Port. um, dois, três, quatro, cinco, seis, sete, oito, nove, dez
- First, Second: Primer, Sigun; From Port. Primeiro, Segundo
- How are you?: Use, kile te?
- All are eating and drinking their fill: tud gent cumen beben tem fart; From Port. toda a gente come e bebe com fartura
Song of Korlai:
- Maldita Maria Madulena,
- Maldita firmosa,
- Ai, contra ma ja foi a Madulena,
- Vastida de mata!
- Maldita Maria Madalena,
- Maldita Formosa,
- Ai, contra minha vontade foi a Madalena,
- Vestida de mata!
- Cursed Maria Madalena,
- Cursed Beautiful one,
- Oh, against my will it was Madalena,
- Dressed in leaves and branches!
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