This is a Creole dialect that is spoken in the whole of Trinidad. Trinidadian Creole has been influenced largely by the diverse population in Trinidad. The population is made up of people of Chinese origin, East Indian descent, African decent, Mid-Eastern and European descent (mostly Spanish, Portuguese, Lebanese, French and Syrian descent) and also people of mixed race. Most of these groups of people came to the island as slaves, labourers, or immigrants thus having an influence on the language. Trinidadian Creole has borrowed a few words from different languages such as Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, French, and English.
Patois has contributed a lot to the vocabulary in different domains such as the traditional carnival (Santi-manitay, Dame Lorraine, JabJab and so on), folklore (Lajablesse), flora ( for instance Bois Bandi, Cerise, Chennette, Ditay Payee, Geritout), fauna (Biche, Jashwa, Kobo, Pag, Mapipire), a number of foods (such as Toolum, Macafouchette, Kouveti Pocham, Paime, Soupee), and also a number facets of everyday life in the islands (for example Lagli, Maco, Bazodee, Cagoo, Flambeau, Macomere, Jamette, Zwill and many more.)
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This is a different kind of French that is spoken in the islands and it is believed that it does not have real grammar and that it is not a real language. Patois can also be referred to as Patu, Patwa, Kreyol, or Kwyl. In mid-19th century, Patois became the lingua franca especially in Trinidad as it crossed every geographic, social, and ethno-linguistic boundary in the islands thus enabling communication among the different speakers of more than 20 dialects. During this time, most of the Patois speakers could also talk in French. This was also the case with the French speakers, especially French Creole who could also speak Patois.
French Creole is still spoken in some regions of Trinidad and Tobago but the islands have never been colonized by the French. How then did French Creole become one of the languages spoken in the islands? When the country was under the Spanish rule, the Spanish settlers appeared to have been inefficient in managing the available resources and towards the end of the 18th century, the population, which was made up of Spaniards, a few slaves from Africa, and some Amerindians was wiped out by diseases thus stagnating the economy as a result of no manpower. To solve this situation, the King of Spain in 1783 published acdulade poblacinto invite any catholic individuals of a monarch that was friendly to the Spanish Crown to come and settle in the island of Trinidad. Favourable conditions were set such as grants of land and so on and these attracted a huge number of French colonists who wanted to leave French due to the natural disasters and the political unrest which was starting to be felt. These people were accompanied by the families and slaves thus bringing their language with them which eventually developed in the regions they had settled. The French Creole spoken in Trinidad and Tobago is very similar to that spoken in the French islands, particularly in Martinique. The French Creole has, however, developed its own features especially in its lexicon.
While Standard English is mostly used in official settings, Tobagonian Creole and Trinidadian Creole are mostly used in domestic settings and for communication between members of the society and friends. It is important to note that these two types of Creole are not similar as most people believe. This difference could be as a result of the history of the two islands and the ethnic groups that make up the population of each island.
The population of Trinidad and Tobago is very diverse and is mostly made up of West Indians who originated from Africa and the rest are East Indians. Approximately 17% of the populace is composed of different groups of people mainly from Asia, especially Western Europe, China and the Middle East. Due to the diverse population in the islands, the languages as expected are diverse too. English is the main language used in Trinidad and Tobago but is some parts of the country other languages such as French, Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi dialects are used. Some of these languages will be discussed in brief below.
The lexicons from these languages have an effect on all the elements of Trinidadian Creole. Various words can be used for the same meaning in both the Standard English and Trinidadian Creole. An example of this is /frak/ which is used for dress, bacchanal for spectacle, confusion, bodice for blouse, e.t.c. A few Standard English words can also be integrated into Trinidadian Creole and can be used to mean something totally different. Other English terms can also be spoken in reverse order in Trinidadian Creole. An example of this is tongue tied which when reversed becomes tied tongue. Also, note that this dialect is non-rhotic. This means that the letter r does not occur after vowels, with the exception of recently borrowed names or words from Arabic, Hindi/Bhojpuri, and Spanish.
Patois is presently flourishing in the form of Christian Kwch (crche) music especially in Paramin. The language still lives on in the vocabulary and grammatical compositions of the day to day speech of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
This language is spoken by the Chinese Trinidadian and Tobagonian. These are Trinidadians and Tobagonians who are of Chinese descent. This group consists of people from Overseas Chinese, China, and Hong Kong who had moved to the islands. Their ancestors had immigrated in Trinidad and Tobago to work as labourers in the cacao and sugar plantations. Most of the Chinese people in the country originate from the province of Guangdong, particularly among the Hakka people.
The common type of Chinese spoken by this community is Cantonese. This language was derived in the old city of Canton which is present day Guangzhou which is the largest city and the capital of the Guangdong province. The language is usually referred to as Yue in Chinese. Besides Cantonese, other Chinese languages can be heard in the islands. These include Fujianese and Mandarin which were introduced by people from outside the Guangdong province.
Trinidad and Tobago officially referred to as the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island nation located off the northern border of South America mainland. It lies 6.8 miles (11 kilometres) off the coast of north-eastern Venezuela and about 81 miles (130 kilometres) south of Grenada. Trinidad and Tobago borders the Caribbean to the north and it shares maritime borders with other countries such as Grenada to the north-west, Barbados to the north-east, Venezuela to the west and south, Guyana to the south-east, and Grenada to the north-west. The country is also positioned outside of the hurricane belt.
Patois was the first language of proverbs, calypso, folktales, and riddles. The language is, however, endangered but it is still spoken in cities such as Valencia, Santa Cruz, Paramin, Lopinot, Arima, Blanchisseuse, Cameron, Mogura, and Toco, and a few other communities especially where cocoa was grown.
This is an English-based Creole dialect that is normally spoken in Tobago. It is different from Trinidadian Creole and is a little bit similar to other Lesser Antillean Creoles whose grammar and vocabularies are made up of components from African and Carib languages. When compared with Trinidadian Creole, this dialect in its purest nature has a lot of similarities to the Creole that is used in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands. It has words that are not found in Trinidad. Its grammar is also closer to its West African roots as compared to Trinidads.
This is the official language in the two islands. It is used in hospitals, schools, for government, and also for business purposes. The country even has English television and radio station, and English newspapers too. People from both islands speak and write Standard English in official settings. It is, however, important to note that each island prefers its own kind of Creole English. The two types of English include Trinidadian Creole and Tobagonian Creole. These forms of English have their own unique grammar and articulation. As a result of this, most local phrases and words have found their way into the day to day communication. A few of the words in these two dialects are actually Standard English words that have assumed, to some extent, different meanings.
Queens Royal College in Trinidad,SourceThis is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in North India in the Bhojpuri area. It is also spoken in Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Pakistan, Jamaica, Bangladesh, and the Caribbean. In the islands, the language is spoken by the Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian people who are of Indian descent. Many of them were immigrants from India who had moved to the islands to escape poverty in their country and to look for employment that was being offered by the British for jobs either as educated servicemen or labourers. This mostly took place in the period between 1845 to 1917. Most of them ended up settling down in the islands thus continuing their culture and heritage and they have been able to maintain their language too.