Limonese Creole

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"Mekatelyu" redirects here. For the musical group, see Mekatelyu (band).
Limón Creole English
Native to Costa Rica
Native speakers
unknown (55,000 cited 1986)[1]
English creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog limo1249[2]

Limonese Creole (also called Limón Creole English or Mekatelyu) is a dialect of Jamaican Creole English spoken in Limón Province on the Caribbean Sea coast of Costa Rica. Limón Coastal Creole is similar to varieties such as Colón Creole, Mískito Coastal Creole, Belizian Kriol, and San Andrés and Providencia Creole. The number of speakers of Limón Coastal Creole is below 100,000[3] Limón Coastal Creole does not have the status of an official language. It is very similar to Jamaican Creole and has borrowed many words from English.

Jamaican Creole was introduced to Limón by Jamaican migrant workers who arrived to work on the banana plantations and on the Pacific railway.

The name Mekatelyu is a transliteration of the phrase "make I tell you", or in standard English "let me tell you".

See also[edit]


  • Herzfeld, Anita. Tense and Aspect in Limon Creole. Kansas: The University of Kansas, 1978.
  • Herzfeld, Anita (2002). Mekaytelyuw: La Lengua Criolla. Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica, 438 pp. ISBN 9977-67-711-5.
  • Wolfe, Terry. An Exploratory Study of the Morphology and Syntax of the English of the Province of Limon, Costa Rica. San José: Universidad de Costa Rica, 1970.
  • Wright M., Fernando. Limon Creole: A Syntactic Analysis. San José: Universidad de Costa Rica. 1974.
  • Wright M., Fernando. "Problemas y Métodos para la Enseñanza como Segunda Lengua a los Habitantes del Mek-a-tél-yu en la Provincia de Limón". Revista de la Universidad de Costa Rica, March–Sept. 1982.
  • Wright M., Fernando. Problems and Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language to Limon Creole Speakers. Lawrence: The University of Kansas, 1979.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jamaican Creole English (Costa Rica) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Limonese Creole". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^