Dominican Creole French

Dominican Creole French is a French-based creole, which is a widely spoken language in Dominica.[2] It can be considered a distinct dialect of Antillean Creole.

Dominican Creole
kwéyòl, patwa
Native toDominica
Native speakers
(43,000 cited 1998)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3acf


It is a sub-variety of Antillean Creole, which is spoken in other islands of the Lesser Antilles and is very closely related to the varieties spoken in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, Grenada and parts of Trinidad and Tobago. The intelligibility rate with speakers of other varieties of Antillean Creole is almost 100%. Its syntactic, grammatical and lexical features are virtually identical to that of Martinican Creole, though, like its Saint Lucian counterpart, it includes more English loanwords than the Martinican variety. People who speak Haitian Creole can also understand Dominican Creole French, even though there are a number of distinctive features; they are mutually intelligible.

Like the other French-based creole languages in the Caribbean, Dominican French Creole is primarily French-derived vocabulary, with African and Carib influences to its syntax. In addition, many expressions reflect the presence of an English Creole and Spanish influences are also very much present in the language.

In 1635, the French seized Guadeloupe and Martinique and began establishing sugar colonies. Dominica, for its part, had not been colonized because all attempts to colonize it had failed. Before 1690, lumberjacks (English and French) had traveled to Dominica for its forest resources. Subsequently, French from Martinique and Guadeloupe and their slaves settled in Dominica by establishing small farms of coffee, cotton, wood, and tobacco. Creole thus develops among the slaves, Dominican Creole thus comes from the mixture of the Creoles from Guadeloupe and Martinique, and then it is enriched further with Amerindian and English words. From now on, the Creole would stay until the present. Despite the future transfer of the island to the English and the addition of English words, the Creole remains strongly French in Dominica and despite what is said, is his place in the center of the Dominicans culture. The underdevelopment of the road system in Dominica hindered for a long time the development of English, the official language of the country, in isolated villages, where Creole remained the only spoken language.[3]

Kwéyòl pronouns

English Créole Remarks
I Man, Mwen, An The three forms are perfectly synonymous
you(singular) Ou/Vou
He/She I Creole has a neutral pronoun that can be synonymous with him or her.
He Misyé Example: Misyé pa djè ni tan (he hardly has much time).
She (Unmarried Girl) Manmzèl Example: Manmzèl pa djè enmen jwé (she does not like playing much).
We Nou
You(plurial) Zòt, Zò This is not a "you" of familiarity. is used in Guadeloupe
They Yo Example: Yo ka Jwé (they play).

Kwéyòl alphabet

Créole IPA


Standard pronunciation
g g hard G like in Garage
h h use like in Ham
i i Pronounced like "ee" as in see
j ʒ Pronounced as french J.
k k Replaces hard "C", "Qu". K as in Kick
w w W replaces R in some words derived from French, but in Creole, they are two different letters.
s s Replaces the soft "C" and pronounced like "S" in Soft
y j pronounced like "Yuh" as in Yuck
z z Replaces "S" when used between vowels, and pronounced as in Zebra
an ɑ̃ nasalized sound used in French. Does not exist in English
àn an Pronounced as a not nasalized sound with an emphasis on the "N" "ane" in English
ann ɑ̃n an nasalised French "an" with long "n" sound "Pronounced like "anne".
anm ɑ̃m an nasalised French "an" with long "m" sound "Pronounced like "ahmm".[4]
ay aj Pronounced as "eye" in English
in in Never nasalised.
en ɛ̃ Always nasalised
enn ɛ̃n Pronounced as in Garden
on ɔ̃ Sound does not exist in English. It is a nasal on as used in French.
onm ɔ̃m Nasal sound + M.
onn ɔ̃n Nasal sound + N.
ch ʃ Pronounced as "Sh" in English
a a pronounced as a short a as in Cat
b b Pronounced as B in English
f f Pronounced as F in English
d d Pronounced as D in English Like Dog
m m Pronounced as M in English Like Man.
n n Pronounced as N in English Like Never
ò ɔ Pronounced as "Or" as in More
r w, ɤ, ɹ Often replaced by W in beginnings of words, but pronounced as Racquet
p p Pronounced as in Pea
t t Pronounced as in Tea
v v Pronounced as in Volcano


Definite articles comes after the noun in Creole, unlike in French where they always precede the noun. "La" follows nouns that end with a consonant or "y". When a noun ends with a vowel, it is followed by "a" only.

Nonm-la The Man
Fanm-la The Woman
Payay-la the Papaya
Lawi-a The Street
Zaboka-a The Avocado



0 Nòt/Zéwo
1 yon
3 twa
4 kat
5 senk
6 sis
7 sèt
8 wit
9 nèf
10 dis
11 wonz
12 douz
13 twèz
14 katòz
15 kinz\tjenz
16 Sèz
17 disèt
18 dizwit
19 diznèf
20 ven
21 ventéyon
22 venndé
23 venntwa
24 vennkat
25 vennsenk
26 vennsis
27 vennsèt
28 venntwit
29 ventnèf
30 twant
31 twantéyon
32 twantdé
33 twantwa
34 twantkat
35 twantsenk
36 twantsis
37 twantsèt
38 twantwit
39 twantnèf
40 kawant
41 kawantéyon
42 kawantdé
43 kawantwa
44 kawantkat
45 kawantsenk
46 kawantsis
47 kawantsèt
48 kawantwit
49 kawantnèf
50 senkant
51 senkantéyon
52 senkantdé
53 senkantwa
54 senkantkat
55 senkantsenk
56 senkantsis
57 senkantsèt
58 senkantwit
59 senkantnèf
60 swasant
61 swasantéyon
62 swasantdé
63 swasantwa
64 swasantkat
65 swasantsenk
66 swasantsis
67 swasantsèt
68 swasantwit
69 swasantnèf
70 swasantdis
71 swasantwonz
72 swasantdouz
73 swasanttwèz
74 swasantkatòz
75 swasantkenz
76 swasantsèz
77 swasantdisèt
78 swasantdizwit
79 swasantdiznèf
80 katwèven
81 katwèventéyon
82 katwèvendé
83 katwèventwa
84 katwèvenkat
85 katwèvensenk
86 katwèvensis
87 katwèvensèt
88 katwèvenwit
89 katwèvennèf
90 katwèvendis
91 katwèvenwonz
92 katwèvendouz
93 katwèventwèz
94 katwèvenkatòz
95 katwèvenkenz
96 katwèvensèz
97 katwèvendisèt
98 katwèvendizwit
99 katwèvendiznèf
100 san
200 dé san
300 twa san
400 kat san
500 senk san
600 sis san
700 sèt san
800 wit san
900 nèf san
1 000 mil
2 000 dé mil
3 000 twa mil
4 000 kat mil
5 000 senk mil
6 000 sis mil
7 000 sèt mil
8 000 sit mil
9 000 nèf mil
10 000 di mil
100 000 san mil
200 000 dé san mil
300 000 twa san mil
400 000 kat san mil
500 000 senk san mil
600 000 sis san mil
700 000 sèt san mil
800 00 wit san mil
900 000 nèf san mil
  • 1 000 000 = yon milyon
  • 1 000 000 000 = yon milya
  • 1 234 = yon mil + dé san + twantkat
  • 30 153 = twant mil + san + senkantwa
  • 412 489 = (kat san douz) mil + kat san + katwèvennèf
  • 12 356 734 = (douz) milyon + (twa san+senkantsis) mil + sèt san+twantkat


  • 1st = pwémyè
  • 2nd = dézyènm
  • 3rd = twazyènm
  • 4th = katriyènm
  • 5th = senkyènm
  • 6th = sizyènm (Notice the second "s" in "sis" is pronounced as a "z")
  • 7th = sètyènm
  • 8th = wityènm
  • 9th = nèvyènm (Notice the "f" in "nèf" is pronounced as a "v")

All the other numbers are formed like this: Number + [yènm]

See also


  1. Saint Lucian Creole French (Dominica) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. "The Creole Language of Dominica". Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  3. Lennox., Honychurch (1995). The Dominica story : a history of the island. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0333627768. OCLC 60126665.
  4. Fountaine, Djamala. Dominica's Diksyonnè.
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