The World of Info

REUNION
Language

Language

French is the official language of Réunion, but Creole is the language of the streets. Very few people speak English. The Creole of Reunion (in Creole, Kréol Réyoné) is too difficult even for many French speakers. The same word can have a completely different meaning in French or in Creole. And if a word does have the same meaning, the pronunciation is again completely different. Creole has many words and expressions that are the result of Hindi, Arabic or Malagasy influences. Sometimes a word or expression has arisen as a result of a misinterpretation of French.

There are two basic rules for pronouncing Creole: the "r" is generally not pronounced and the soft "j" and "ch" sounds become "z" and "s" respectively in Creole. So "manger" becomes "manzay", "jamais" becomes "zamais" and "chanter" becomes "sontay".

FrenchCreole
MaintenantAster (Ester), Koméla
HierYer
Aujourd'huiAzhordï, Zhordï (zordi, jordu)
Ce soirAsoir
DemainDëmin (domin, démin, demin)
BientôtTaler
RapidementVitman
DoucementDoussman, Mouramour, Tipa tipa
EnsembleAnsanm, sanm
TrèsBien
PresquePresk
ToujoursTouzhour
HabituellementDabitïd (dabitid, dabitud)
ParfoisParfoi
RarementRarman
JamaisZhamé (zamé, jamé)
BeaucoupBonpë
RécemmentTrozhour
À l'heure oùLërk

Sources

Ellis, R. / Mauritius, Rodrigues & Réunion : the Mascarene Isles
Bradt

Mauritius, Réunion & Seychelles
Lonely Planet

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated February 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info