Guianan Creole

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Guianan Creole
Kriyòl Gwiyannen[1]
Native toGuiana
Native speakers
250,000–300,000 (2016)
French Creole
  • Guianan Creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3gcr
Linguasphere51-AAC-cd (varieties: 51-AAC-cda to -cdd)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
French Guiana, where French Guianan Creole originates.

French Guianan Creole or Guianan Creole (Creole by its speakers, or simply Guianan) is a French-based creole language spoken in French Guiana, and to a lesser degree, in Suriname and Guyana. It resembles Antillean Creole, but there are some lexical and grammatical differences between them. Antilleans can generally understand French Guianan Creole, though the notable differences between the French creole of French Guiana and those of the rest of the Atlantic may cause some instances of confusion. The differences consist of more French and Brazilian Portuguese influences (due to the proximity of Brazil and Portuguese presence in the country for several years). There are also words of Amerindian and African origin. There are Guianan communities in Suriname and Guyana who continue to speak Guianan Creole.

It should not be confused with the Guyanese Creole language, based on English, spoken in nearby Guyana.


Guianan Creole was a language spoken between slaves and settlers. But the conditions of Guianan Creole's constitution were quite different from the Creole of the West Indies, on the one hand because of the conflicts between French, English, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish, and French dialects such as the Caen Have greatly influenced Guianan Creole, which has made it significantly different from the Creoles of Martinique, Haiti, St. Lucia and Guadeloupe.

There are, therefore, in Guianan Creole a few words in common with the Creoles of the West Indies, however, a number of words differentiate them significantly.

In addition, the Guianan pronounce the letter 'r' . Whereas in the West Indies the pronunciation of 'r' 'tends rather to approximate the semi-vowel ' w '.

Vocabulary Pronunciation in French In Guianan Creole Pronunciation in English
Riz Ri Douri Rice
Dormir Dormir Dronmi Sleep

Personal pronouns are placed before the name:

In French Ma maison Leurs enfants Sa femme
In Guianan Creole Mo kaz Yé timoun So fanm/So madanm
In English My house Their children His wife

Orthography and phonology[edit]

Guianan Creole is largely written using the French alphabet, with only a few exceptions. 'Q' and 'X' are replaced by 'k' and 'z' respectively. 'C' is not used apart from in the diagraph, ch, where it stands for [ʃ] (the word for horse is chouval, similar to French's cheval). Otherwise, it is replaced by 'k' when it stands for [k] (Standard French's comment (how) is written kouman) and 's', when it stands for [s]. Silent 'h' is never written, unlike in Standard French, where it remains for etymological purposes.


Guianan Creole (IPA) Metropolitan French English
Bonswè /bonswɛ/ Bonsoir Good evening
Souplé /suː plɛ/ S'il vous plaît Please
Mési /mɛsi/ Merci Thank you
Mo /mɔ/ Moi, me, je Me, I
To /tɔ/ Toi, te, tu You
Li /li/ Lui, le, la Him, her
Roun /ruːn/ Un, une One
Eskizé mo /esˈkizɛ mɔ/ Excusez-moi Excuse me, pardon me
Lapli ka tonbé /laˈpliː ka tombɛ/ Il pleut It's raining
Jod-la a roun bèl jou /ʒodˈla a ruːn bel ʒu/ Aujourd'hui, il fait beau Today is a beautiful day
A kouman to fika? /a kumã to fika/ (Comment) ça va? How are you?
Ann a mo manman /an a mɔ ˈmãmã/ Anne est ma mère Anne is my mother
Andy a to frè /andi a tɔ frɛ/ Andy est ton frère Andy is your brother
I ka alé laplaj /i kaːlɛ laˈplaʒ/ Il va à la plage He's going to the beach
Mo pa mélé /mɔ pa mɛlɛ/ Je m'en moque I don't care


  1. ^ (in French) How to write Guianan Creole in the language, with a lexicon of Guianan words.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Guianan Creole French". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.