Creglish – Creole Meets English Part I

I, hereby declare Creole (Kreyòl) the easiest language a native English speaker can learn.  That’s a very bold statement, which I’m going to back up by first introducing you to the the similarities between the two languages in terms of phonetics using a subset of the alphabet.  A substantial number of words are spelled identically between the two languages, example: A, Ale, Ban, Do, Gate, Kite.  Later we will help grow your vocabulary by showing you the similarities in terms of spelling.

Speak Kreyòl with close to perfect pronunciation by calling out some letters in English combined with the slang word “Yo”; no prior experience required.  This will enable you to begin mastering pronunciation, which for many, is the toughest part of leaning a new language. I know this will come as a surprise to most, understandably so.  However, you will soon see that there are more similarities between English and Kreyòl than previously “taught”.  

Each letter below pronounced in English sounds like a Kreyòl word

papy's-thing3

 

Tongue and Mouth Movement

While the following is not critical at this stage, you can achieve a highly authentic accent by making two key adjustments. The first is to shorten the sound that every letter makes. You may not be aware of it, but in English, we tend to prolong the ending sound of the letters and words, for example, “C” sounds like “seeee,” D sounds like “deeee,” K sounds like “keeey” and Yo sounds like “yooo”.  Do your best to shorten the sounds, ending them briskly and suddenly.  This is applicable for every sound of every letter and word; it’s even more prevalent with the “e” and “k” that sounds like “ey” and “key”, but should end so suddenly that the “y” is not audible.

letter-wordsimple-DOWN1

The second is to establish the proper tongue position when pronouncing “D” and “T”.  In English, when pronouncing “D” or “T”, your tongue touches the roof of your month, but in Kreyòl you need to move it to the edge of your teeth, as with the letter “C”. Try it and note the difference.  By pronouncing “D” and “T” while touching your front teeth with your tongue, you just pronounced the word “di” and “ti” perfectly in Creole.  “Di” has two meanings: to say (or tell) and hard, while “Ti” means little (or small).  

Begin speaking Kreyòl instantly; no prior experience required

Call out the letters and English words by running one onto another as if you were reading a sentence. I can guarantee they will be understandable after a couple of tries.  We will work on improving the pronunciation later, but for now, I want you to try saying the sentences, with absolutely no Creole-specific instructions from me.

Pronunciation Meaning
S-K yo D-K yo P-T? Did they say they are small?
Yo D-K yo P-P-T They said they are the smallest
Yo D-K-V Yo D They said their life is hard
Pronounce the letters in English; do not call out the dashes “-“

In Part II, we combine some of these letters resulting in additional vocabulary words.

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