Pronouns

The personal pronouns in creole are as follows:

mwen/ mon – i

ou – you (singular)

i – he/she/it

nou – we

 – you (plural)

yo – they

Possessive pronouns are the same as personal pronouns except he/she/it follow the noun e.g. liv mwen.

The possessive pronoun for he/she/it is ‘li’ and is contracted form is ‘y’ which follows nouns ending in a vowel e.g. liv li, lavi’y.

In the case of ‘ou’ (you) the possessive pronoun is contracted when it follows a noun ending in a vowel e.g. manman’w.

Gender

In Creole there are two genders, male and female, which may be applied to nouns when denoting sex. The distinciton of sex may be shown by:

Different words:

konpè/makoumè – godfather/godmother

kòk/poulcock/hen

fwè/sèsè  – brother/sister

mawi/madamhusband/wife

By use of compound words:

mal kabwit he goat

fimel kabwit – she goat

Note: When showing a female has had young, manman is used instead of fimèl, especially when the feminine has no clear form:

yon manman chyena bitch (female dog)

yon manman bèf  – a mother cow

Gender may also be shown by derivation:

kouzen/kouzin  – male cousin/female cousin

nèg/nègwès  – negro/negress

Articles

Creole has a definite article ‘la’ with a contracted form ‘a’. The contracted form is used with nouns ending in a vowel. The definite article, which is translated as the English ‘the’and hyphenated, follows the noun. For example:

I ka lavé zasyèt-la. He is washing the plate.

Zanfan-a ka dòmi. The child is sleeping.

However, the English definite article ‘the’ is not always translated by Creole ‘la’. For example:

Sòlèy kouché. The sun has set.

The indefinite article in Creole, ‘yon’ (which also means ‘one’) or ‘on’ precedes the noun and is translated as the English ‘a’or ‘an’. For example:

I ni on layvyè pwé kay-la. There is a river close to the house.


Mwen swèf. I am thirsty.

Mwen fen. I am hungry.

Mwen pa fen. I am not hungry.

Jodi sé yon bèl jou. Today is a beautiful day.

Lapli ka tonbé. It is raining.

I byen cho jòdi. It is very hot today.

Wela mwen sa tapé? Where can I find a church?

yon léglize?

Days

dimanch – Sunday
lendi – Monday
madi – Tuesday
mèkwédi – Wednesday
jèdi – Thursday
vanwédi – Friday
sanmdi – Saturday

Months

Janvyé  – January
FevwiyéFebruary
masMarch
avwiApril
May
jenJune
jwiyéJuly
awouAugust
sèptanmSeptember
òktòbOctober
novanmNovember
désanmDecember

Numbers

nòt – 0
yonn – 1
– 2
twa – 3
kat – 4
senk – 5
sis– 6
sèt – 7
wit – 8
nèf – 9
dis – 10
wonz – 11
douz – 12
twèz – 13
katoz – 14
tjenz – 15
sez – 16
disèt – 17
sizwit – 18
diznèf – 19
ven – 20
twant – 30
kawant – 40
senkant – 50
swazant – 60
swazant dis – 70
katwaven – 80
dis – 90
san – 100

Simple Sentences in Creole

Mwen swèf. I am thirsty.

Mwen fen. I am hungry.

Mwen pa fen. I am not hungry.

Jodi sé yon bèl jou. Today is a beautiful day.

Lapli ka tonbé. It is raining.

I byen cho jòdi. It is very hot today.

Wela mwen sa tapé? Where can I find a church?

yon léglize?[/one_half]

Sa ki non’w? What is your name?

Non mwen sé Paul. My name is Paul.

Bon jou, Misyé. Good day, Sir.

Bonn apwé midi. Good afternoon

Bon swé. Good night.

Ki sa ou vlé? What do you want?

Mwen vlé yon bwè. I want a drink.

Although English is the official language of Dominica, much of the population also speaks Kwéyòl (Creole) – a French-based patois.

This content is provided by “Dominica’s Diksyonnè Kwéyòl -Annglé, English-Creole Dictionary” by Marcel Fontaine, 1991.  Marcel Fontaine published a Kwéyòl Diksyonne in 1991.

This useful book has over 6,000 entries, a Pronunciation and Grammar Guide and Common Phrases; it can be found in local bookstores.  Mr. Fontaine’s contribution in recording this traditionally oral language onto the written page is invaluable in helping to preserve it.

In this page we would like to give you the basics of the the kwéyòl language.

Learn Dominican Kwéyòl!

Written by by Sylvia Henderson Mitchell, this is an great book to learn the language basics and is easy to follow.

Colours

wouj – red
– green
woz – pink
blé – blue
kako – brown
owanj – orange
jòn – yellow
vyòlet – purple
blan – white
gwi – grey
nwè – black

Did you know?

In the northeast Villages of Marigot and Wesley creole is not widely spoken but instead a pidgin English called ‘Cocoy’ or ‘Kockoy’?

This is largely due to mass migration of labourers in 1870’s from islands like Antigua who brought their own English creole with them. Learn more about it here