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Basic Mauritian Creole

December 19 2018

One of the reasons why travelling to new and unique destinations is so fulfilling is because travellers are afforded a chance to experience a totally new culture in novel surrounds. While Mauritius is largely famous for its absolutely extraordinary island appeal, there’s so much more to this dream-worthy Indian Ocean gem than meets the eye. The island has a fascinating history, one influenced by a number of different cultures and religions, making it the wonderfully unique destination it is today. 

 

People of Mauritius


 
The ample cultural influences—from African and European to Asian—can be seen in almost everything from the architecture (such as that found in Port Louis and many of the old plantations, both of which were heavily influenced by the Dutch and French settlers) to the delicious food and the many religions practised. You can also see the influence when it comes to the languages spoken in Mauritius. 
 
While there’s no official language in this multilingual country (contrary to common belief, English is not the ‘official’ language in Mauritius), French and English are widely used in parliament and the education sector, and administrative documents are required to be in English. 
 
You might also hear other languages in Mauritius, such as Mandarin or different dialects from various parts of India, but the language you are sure to hear the most is Mauritian Creole, spoken by some 85.6% of the population, with French being the second most widely spoken language in Mauritius. In fact, Mauritian Creole (which has French as its lexifier) is often spoken at home in Mauritius, while French is typically spoken in the workplace (the tourist industry is an exception—English is widely spoken at the hotels in Mauritius). As Mauritius was a French colony, it’s little wonder that the French language has such a strong presence. 
 
If you are heading to the gorgeous holiday destination of Mauritius and would like to connect with the locals in their language (it’s sure to impress them, potentially give them a chuckle), here are some useful phrases in Mauritian Creole ( or “Kreol Morisyen”), the French-based Creole spoken in Mauritius:
 

 

 

 

English

Mauritian Creole

Basic Guide to Pronunciation

Hello

Bonzour

bon-zoor

Hi (informal)

Allo

Ah-low

Good evening

Bonswar

bon-swaar

What is your name?

Koma ou appélé?  

Koh-moha oo ap-pele?

My name is ______ .

Mo appele ______ .

Mow ap-pele _____ .

Nice to meet you

Enchante

ehn-shan-tay

Please

Sil to/ou plait

Sil to pleh

How are you?

Ki manyer?

kee-mah-nee-air?

I’m fine

Mo bien

mow bee-en

Well, thank you

Byen merci

Bee-en mersy

Are you alright?

Eski to OK/ Eski to korek?

ess-kee tow okay/ ess-kee tow koh-reck?

Sir

Misyé

mis-yeh

Madam

Madam

Madam

Don’t worry/ No worries

Pas traka/ Péna traka

pah tra kah/ pay-nah tra kah

I am glad

Mo content

Mow content

No problem

Pena Problem

pay-nah proh-blemm

Everything is okay

Tou Korek

two koh-reck

What are you doing?

Ki to pe fer

kee tow pay fair

What would you like to do?

Ki to envi fer

Kee tow en-vee fair

What is this?

Ki été sa

kee eh-tay sah

Why?

Kifer

kee fair

I am hungry

Mo faim

mow feih

I am thirsty

Mo soif

mow soo-aff

Goodbye

(allez) bye

ah-lay bye

 

Later (informal)

Taler

tah-lair

Very good/great

Mari bon

mah-ree bon

Awesome (informal)

Mari top

mah-ree topp

 

These are just some of the very basic Mauritian Creole words to get you started but you can take a far more complex Creole language course to really delight the Mauritians! Have some fun with it and see how speaking even a little Mauritian Creole will help to enhance your incredible trip to paradise (and perhaps help you to make a few friends along the way).

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