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Réunion Creole or Reunionese Creole (En), or Créole Réunionnais in French (in Réunion Creole: Kréol Réyoné) is a creole language spoken on Réunion. It is derived mainly from French and a few terms from other languages (Malagasy, Hindi, Portuguese, Gujurati and Tamil). In recent years, some groups have tried to come up with a spelling dictionary and grammar rules but there is still no official version. Partly because of the lack of an official orthography but also because schools are taught in French, Réunion Creole is rarely written. Notably, two Asterix translations into it have been published.
Réunion Creole is used daily and is very widespread in Réunion, both at home and at workplace, but is not in conflict with French - the national language - neither in competition with it, even if French remains majority at writing. Depending on the circumstances, the speaker will use one or the other or even both. Contrary to the Mauritian creole, which was closer to French but which is separating from it, the Réunion Creole approaches French because of the continuous influence of French Culture on the mass media and of French on the everyday life.
It is within the first fifty years of Reunion being inhabited that Reunionese Creole first formed. Most of the people living in Reunion were either French, Malagasy or Indo-Portuguese. Most families at this time had at least one first language French speaker.
It is now the native language of 90% of the island's population.
- Réunion Creole reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Chaudenson, Robert (1974). Le lexique du parler créole de La Réunion. Paris.
- Holm, John. Pidgins and Creoles. Volume II: Reference Survey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
- Gunet, Armand (2003). Le Grand Lexique Créole De l'Ile de la Réunion. Azalées Éditions. ISBN 2-913158-52-8.
- Marion, Pascal (2009), Dictionnaire étymologique du créole réunionnais, mots d'origine asiatique, Carré de sucre, ISBN 978-2-9529135-0-8
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