Seselwa--The Creole of the Seychelles

There are three official languages in the Seychelles: French, English and an Indian Ocean Creole known as Seselwa (which is the Creole pronunciation of the French word meaning, "Of the the Seychelles" or "Seychellois"). Seselwa was the result of African slaves who were forced to learn the language of their French masters. It is essentially a simplified form of French, with no tenses, and its written form (which came later) is entirely phonetic.

Here is a little lesson in Seselwa.

"Bonzour" is the Seselwa form of "Bonjour," meaning "Good day."
"Konman ou sava" is the Seselwa form of "Comment ca va," meaning "How is it going?"

If you are familiar with French pronunciation, then Seselwa pronunciation is almost exactly the same. Here is the Lord's Prayer in Seselwa.

Ou, nou papa ki dan lesyel,
Fer ou ganny rekonnet konman Bondye.
Ki ou renny i arive.
Ki ou lavolonte i ganny realize
Lo later parey i ete dan lesyel
Donn nou sak zour nou dipen ki nou bezwen.
Pardonn nou pour bann lofans
Ki noun fer anver ou,
Parey nou pardonn sa ki n ofans nou.
Pa les tantasyon domin nou,
Me tir nou dan lemal.

Notice some French words rendered phonetically? "Lesyel" is "Le ciel," for instance? Here is the French for comparison.

Notre Père qui es aux cieux,
que ton Nom soit sanctifié,
que ton règne vienne,
que ta volonté soit faite
sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd'hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offenses,
comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
mais délivre-nous du mal.


cyrilla said…
This was a nice reminder of Moricien, the mauritian creole which i was able to understand after being there for a little while. Just like Melanesian Pidgin, it makes a lot more sense if you read it aloud, cause otherwise the spelling trips you up if you think of the French too much!

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