Dominican Creole French

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Dominican Creole
kwéyòl, patwa
Native toDominica
Native speakers
43,000 (1998)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Dominican Creole French is a French-based creole, which is the generally spoken language in Dominica.[2] It is highly mutually intelligible with its much more widely spoken immediate neighbor, Antillean Creole, of which it might be considered a distinct variety.


It is a sub-variety of Antillean Creole, which is spoken in other islands of the Lesser Antilles and is very closely related to the varieties spoken in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, Grenada and parts of Trinidad and Tobago. The intelligibility rate with speakers of other varieties of Antillean Creole is almost 100%. Its syntactic, grammatical and lexical features are virtually identical to that of Martinican Creole, though, like its Saint Lucian counterpart, it includes more English loanwords than the Martinican variety. People who speak Haitian Creole can also understand Dominican Creole French, even though there are a number of distinctive features; they are mutually intelligible.

Like the other French-based creole languages in the Caribbean, Dominican French Creole is primarily French-derived vocabulary, with African and Carib influences to its syntax.[citation needed] In addition, many expressions reflect the presence of an English Creole and Spanish influences are also very much present in the language.[citation needed]

In 1635, the French seized Guadeloupe and Martinique and began establishing sugar colonies. Dominica, for its part, had not been colonized because all attempts to colonize it had failed. Before 1690, lumberjacks (English and French) had traveled to Dominica for its forest resources. Subsequently, French from Martinique and Guadeloupe and their slaves settled in Dominica by establishing small farms of coffee, cotton, wood, and tobacco. Creole thus develops among the slaves, Dominican Creole thus comes from the mixture of the Creoles from Guadeloupe and Martinique, and then it is enriched further with Amerindian and English words. From now on, the Creole would stay until the present. Despite the future transfer of the island to the English and the addition of English words, the Creole remains strongly French in Dominica and despite what is said, is his place in the center of the Dominicans culture. The underdevelopment of the road system in Dominica hindered for a long time the development of English, the official language of the country, in isolated villages, where Creole remained the only spoken language.[3]

Kwéyòl pronouns[edit]

English Créole Remarks
I Man, Mwen, An The three forms are perfectly synonymous
you(singular) Ou/Vou
He/She I Creole has a neutral pronoun that can be synonymous with him or her.
He Misyé Exemple: Misyé pa djè ni tan: he hardly has much time.
She (Unmarried Girl) Manmzèl Exemple: Manmzèl pa djè enmen jwé :she does not like playing much.
We Nou
You(plurial) Zòt, Zò This is not a "you" of familiarity. Zò est utilisé en Guadeloupe
They Yo Exemple: Yo ka Jwé : they play.

Kwéyòl alphabet[edit]

Créole Transcription


Prononciation standard
g /g/ hard G like in Garage
h h use like in Ham
i i Pronouced like "ee" as in see
j /ʒ/ Pronounced like "si" as in vision
k k Replaces hard "C", "Qu". K as in Kick
w r W replaces R in some words derived from French, but in Creole they are two different letters.
s s Replaces the soft "C" and pronounced like "S" in Soft
y y pronounced like "Yuh" as in Yuck
z z Replaces "S" when used between vowels, and pronounced as in Zebra
an an nasalized sound use in French. Does not exist in english
àn ane Pronounced as a nasalized sound with an emphasis on the "N" "ane" in English
ann   an français avec n nasalisé (comme dans ennui en français).
anm   French with nasalised m.
ay Pronounced as "eye" in English
in ine jamais nasalisé comme en français.
en ain toujours nasalisé.
enn   Pronounced as in Garden
on   Sound does not exist in English. It is a nasal on as used in French.
onm   Nasal sound + M. Pronounced like bum
onn   Nasal sound + N. Pronounced like on
ch   Pronounced as "Sh" in English
a a pronounced as a short a as in Cat
b b Pronounced as B en English
f f Pronounced as F in English
d Pronounced as D in English Like Dog
m Pronounced as M in English Like Man.
n Pronounced as N in English Like Never
Ò Pronounced as "Or" as in More
R Often replaced by W in beginnings of words, but pronounced as Racquet
P Pronounced as in Pea
T Pronounced as in Tea
V Pronounced as in Volcano
W Pronounced as in Water


Definite articles comes after the noun in Creole, unlike in French where they always precede the noun. "La" follows nouns that end with a consonant or "y". When a noun ends with a vowel, it is followed by "a" only.

Nonm-la The Man
Fanm-la The Woman
Payay-la the Papaya
Lawi-a The Street
Zaboka-a The Avocado

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saint Lucian Creole French (Dominica) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "The Creole Language of Dominica". Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  3. ^ Lennox., Honychurch, (1995). The Dominica story : a history of the island. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0333627768. OCLC 60126665.