Réunion Creole

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

Réunion Creole or Reunionese Creole (Réunion creole: kréol rénioné, French: créole réunionnais) is a creole language spoken on Réunion. It is derived mainly from French and includes terms from other languages (Malagasy, Hindi, Portuguese, Gujarati and Tamil).[3] In recent years somebody has tried to come up with a spelling dictionary and grammar rules. 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 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 — 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 50 years of Reunion being inhabited.[3] Most of the people living in Reunion were French, Malagasy, or Indo-Portuguese.[3] Most families at this time had at least one native 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 has tended to evolve closer to French.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Réunion Creole at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Reunion Creole French". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  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 (in 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