Réunion Creole

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Réunion Creole
kréol rénioné
Native toRéunion
Native speakers
(560,000 cited 1987)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3rcf
Panneau en créole réunionnais.jpg
Sign in Réunionese Creole
Human body parts in Réunion Creole

Réunion Creole, or Reunionese Creole (Réunion Creole French: kréol rénioné; French: créole réunionnais), is a French-based creole language spoken on Réunion. It is derived mainly from French and includes terms from Malagasy, Hindi, Portuguese, Gujarati and Tamil.[2] In recent years, there has been an effort to develop 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 translations of the French comic Asterix have been published.[3]

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.[2] Most of the people living in Reunion were French, Malagasy or Indo-Portuguese.[2] Most families at this time had at least one native French speaker.[4]

It is now the native language of 90% of the island's population.[5]

Sign in Creole, Saint-André. Dernier avertissement: Met zot dechets devant zot cases. ("Final notice: Put your rubbish in front of your houses.")

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Réunion Creole at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Chaudenson, Robert (1974). Le lexique du parler créole de La Réunion. Paris.
  3. ^ Asterix around the World | Asterix speaks Reunion Creole - France (Réunion)
  4. ^ Holm, John. Pidgins and Creoles. Volume II: Reference Survey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  5. ^ 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