Creole languages are languages which arise from a merging of other languages. They develop from pidgins, simplified mixtures of languages that appear when groups speaking different languages come into sustained contact. If a pidgin becomes more stable and children begin learning it as their primary language, it becomes a creole, a bona fide new language. Most Creoles are based on one European language and have admixture of several non-European ones. Mutual intelligibility can range from impossible to challenging but doable for native speakers. Code-switching (i.e. switching between different forms of language) is common, especially if both the Creole and the Metropole version of the language are official locally. Educated locals are generally also able to speak the Metropole version of the respective languages.
Creole languages include:
- Antillean Creole (Patois) — spoken on many islands in the Caribbean, French based
- Bahamian Creole — spoken in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, English based
- Bajan — spoken in Barbados, English based
- Belizean Kriol — spoken in Belize, English based
- Bislama — spoken in Vanuatu, English based
- Cape Verdean Creole — spoken in Cape Verde, Portuguese based
- Guinea-Bissau Creole — spoken in Guinea-Bissau, Portuguese based
- Guyanese Creole — spoken in Guyana, English based
- Haitian Creole (Patwah) — spoken in Haiti, French based
- Jamaican Creole (patois) — spoken in Jamaica, English based; a variant known as Limonese creole (Mekatelyu) is spoken in parts of Costa Rica. Similar Creoles are spoken along the Eastern coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras.
- Louisiana Creole — spoken in Louisiana, United States, French based
- Mauritian Creole — spoken in Mauritius, French based
- Norfuk/Pitkern — spoken in Norfolk Island and the Pitcairn Islands, English based
- Seychellois Creole — spoken in the Seychelles, French based
- Sranan — spoken in Suriname, English based
- Tok Pisin — spoken in Papua New Guinea, English based
- Torres Strait Creole (Brokan) — spoken in the Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia, English based
Creole may also refer to a cuisine or to various groups of people. The Spanish word Criollo which has similar routes can refer to anything or anybody native to the Americas but not of indigenous descent in its broadest sense but usually refers to the white native born elite in colonial South America which ultimately overthrew the colonial government and dominated politics throughout the 19th century and sometimes to this day.
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