5 Things You need to Know about Mauritian Creole Language

5 Things You need to Know about Mauritian Creole Language

90% of the population of Mauritius speaks the Mauritian Creole language. Have you heard of this language before? Let’s tell you five interesting things about this language.

It is strange but true that Mauritius has no official language. Mauritius’s Constitution states, “The official language of Mauritius shall be English, but any member may address the chair in French.” This implies that both English and French are the official languages of Mauritius. However, 90% of the population of Mauritius speaks Mauritian Creole, which is French-based Creole.

What is Mauritian Creole?

Creole is a language that has developed by mixing different languages. Creole is usually formed when people from distinct languages come together and start speaking a common language which also becomes the native language of that place.

In the case of Mauritian Creole, it was founded by the convergence of French with different African languages, also including the elements of English, Hindi, and Chinese.

Five things you should know about the Mauritian Creole language before visiting Mauritius:

1. Widely Spoken Language of Mauritius

People in Mauritius speak Creole mostly and easily. In day-to-day life, most of the population of Mauritius speaks Creole. However, for official purposes, they prefer French or English. Students who are privileged to go to private schools are good at speaking French and English. Professionals like doctors or lawyers talk entirely in English. Also, people at restaurants or stores can speak good English.

The second most spoken language of Mauritius is, however, French. As Mauritian Creole is French-based, people who know Creole also understand French a bit. Mauritius is a country of immigrants. Therefore, you will also hear people speaking other languages, that is, their native languages. Languages like Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Marathi, etc., are also spoken in Mauritius by many people.

If you know French, you will not face many problems understanding Mauritian Creole. You can also have a good time there if you know only English.

2. Not an Official Language

Yes, you read it right. Mauritian Creole is a widely spoken language in Mauritius but not an official language. The official language of Mauritius is English, while the article also allows members of the National Assembly to address the chair in French. The constitution of Mauritius is written in English, while some laws are also in French.

For media and literature, you will usually hear French. Being both a French and English-speaking nation, Mauritius is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie. For music and literature, Asian languages are usually preferred in Mauritius. Kids are taught both English and French in schools.

Mauritius is a multilingual country, and most of the population of Mauritius is proficient in speaking at least two languages, if not more.

3. No Standardized Orthography

Mauritian Creole is the mother tongue of Mauritians. It is a spoken language but doesn’t have any written form. Creole can be written like other languages but does not have standard orthography. The Mauritian government introduced orthography in 2011, but you will still find variations that are different interpretations or the same word is spelt differently.

Creole is written regularly in Mauritius. Flyovers and boardings in Mauritius are either in French, English, Creole or a combination of two or three languages. Would you like to have a look at the Mauritian Creole alphabet?

5 Things You need to Know about Mauritian Creole Language

4. Learnable Language

If you look forward to living long in Mauritius, you will start understanding Creole and respond to people in Creole if you know French. However, Creole will be a little difficult for you if you don’t know French. Mauritian Creole is not hard to learn, but if you don’t understand French, you must learn every word from scratch, like learning any new language. However,  if you speak French and plan to live in Mauritius for some time, you should go for it. As Mauritian Creole is French-based, you would know the essential words already and have to learn sentence formation mainly. It would add just another language to your tongue, which is impressive.

If you are visiting Mauritius for a short trip, investing time in Creole is not worth it. English can help you to communicate with Mauritians. If you are from Asia, you will enjoy communicating in Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, or another Asian language with the people of your community.

5. Evolution in Mauritius Creole

Languages like Mauritian Creole, which were not from starting and have been founded by the convergence of two or more languages, are fascinating. The question that arises about the Creole languages is what is the scope of the language? Will the language grow or get restricted to its community only? After the standardization of Mauritian Creole, the number of speakers of the language has increased. There is no proper survey about the number of speakers of Creole; studies have limitations and do not display an accurate picture. Mauritian Creole is a simple language that is easy to learn and speak. Various researchers have stated that Mauritian Creole is becoming widespread in Mauritian, and they are looking forward to where it goes.

Since you have read it so far, here are a few common phrases in Mauritian Creole that you can use while visiting Mauritius.

Wishing to say "Hello" to a fellow stranger? say, "Bonzur!"

While on phone calls, they will greet you by saying, "Allo!"

If they say, "Ki Maniere?" They are asking, "How are you?". 
Tell them that you are having a good time in Mauritius.

"Where are you from?" is said as "Alo! Kot to Sorti?" 
Answer "I'm from" by saying " Mo sorti…...(name of your place)".

This is enough of Mauritian Creole that you will remember. Learn the rest of it from Mauritians.

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Registered in February 2015, YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals, and today it has mobilised thousands of young people with a simple aim of creating a better future for children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.

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