Guadeloupe: A bilingual Archipelago

In Guadeloupe Archipelago most of people are bilingual. Indeed, even though the official language is French, we are also Creole speakers. The Creole is the regional language and reflects our history based on a mix of French, West African and Amerindian languages.

What is Creole?

The creole is a mix of multiple languages to create a new one. There are various creole from all around the world as it reflects the history of the speakers. Therefore, you can meet two people speaking creole but with two different parents languages. For instance, there are English-based creole languages in Antigua, Jamaica, Saint-Lucia or Trinidad but you also have Arabic-based, Dutch-based, German-based, Malay-based, Portuguese-based, Spanish-based and French-based creole as it is the case in Guadeloupe Archipelago as well as others French Caribbean islands.

The creole in Guadeloupe Archipelago

The French-based creole from Guadeloupe Archipelago has emerged between the 17th and 18th centuries more precisely during the colonisation period. In addition to the French basis, other languages such as Dutch, English, Portuguese, Spanish and languages from some countries of West Africa have played a big part in the construction of the creole of Guadeloupe Archipelago.

For a long time, creole languages have essentially been oral and considered as dialects. Nowadays, the French-based creole is an official language with specific grammatical rules. Furthermore, in addition to numerous creole dictionaries you can find online, it is possible to begin higher education in creole in the French Caribbean Islands and French Guyana University. Some courses are also given to youngest in primary, secondary and high school depending on the school policy.

More than a language, the creole is part of our history and cultural heritage. The creole is also a way of living involving music, dances and cultural celebrations.

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