Réunion Creole

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Réunion Creole
Native to Réunion
Native speakers
unknown (560,000 cited 1987)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 rcf
Glottolog reun1238[2]
Linguasphere 51-AAC-cf

Réunion Creole or Reunionese Creole (réunion creole: kréol réyoné, French: créole réunionnais) is a creole language spoken on Réunion. It is derived mainly from French and includes a number of terms from other languages (Malagasy, Hindi, Portuguese, Gujurati and Tamil).[3] 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.[4]

Réunion Creole is the main vernacular of the island and is used in most colloquial and familiar settings. It is however in a state of diglossia with French as the high-language - that is to say, Réunion Creole is used in informal settings and conversations, while French is the language of writing, education, administration and more formal conversations.


Reunionese Creole first formed within the first fifty years of Reunion being inhabited.[3] Most of the people living in Reunion were either French, Malagasy or Indo-Portuguese.[3] Most families at this time had at least one first language French speaker.[5]

It is now the native language of 90% of the island's population.[6] Due to the influence of French culture, particularly through television, it tends to drift closer to French.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Réunion Creole at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Reunion Creole French". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b c Chaudenson, Robert (1974). Le lexique du parler créole de La Réunion. Paris. 
  4. ^ Asterix around the World | Asterix speaks Reunion Creole - France (Réunion)
  5. ^ Holm, John. Pidgins and Creoles. Volume II: Reference Survey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  6. ^ Insee - Conditions de vie-Société - Le créole encore très largement majoritaire à La Réunion (French)


  • 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