Sunday, June 27, 2010

I like Creole

English is used everywhere in St. Lucia, but in the rural villages and occasionally walking down the street I hear Creole. I love how Creole sounds, and I’ve picked up a few phrases and words here and there. I can say: boy, darling, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, how are you, I’m fine, and don’t do that. I know it’s not much really, but I’ve enjoyed learning the meager phrases I know. I’m really kicking myself now for not taking a Creole language class, because it is such a fun language.

I can also say some other not so nice phrases… I mean you need to know how to cuss in every language right? If only so you can identify it when it’s being directed at you.

You might have read that Alleyne (my supervisor), Sarah, and I have a good working relationship. We are a cohesive team. Well, a few weeks ago Alleyne’s colleague, Della, was in our office and there was chit chat about this, that, and the other. Somewhere through the conversation I called Alleyne a “salop”. Pronounced: sah-lop. Doesn’t it sound nice? Well it’s not. Della’s eyes expanded 4 inches and they almost popped out of her head. “Did you teach that to her?!?” she asked. “No. Absolutely not. She learned it on her own,” Alleyne said.

Cut to lunch the previous day. Alleyne, Sarah, and I have the best work lunches. Seriously. Often they are the best part of my day because Alleyne usually regales us with various stories. On this particular day Alleyne told us about a friend’s wedding he had gone to, and that the bride’s ex-boyfriend was present at the wedding. Well this guy was a little drunk, and at some point during the reception got a hold of a mic and his speech in Creole went a little something like this, “Congratulations. I’m so happy to be rid of that %&*$”

“Wow! Can you say that phrase in Creole?” I asked Alleyne. So he did, and I zeroed in on the word “salop” which is apparently the worst expletive in St. Lucia and said it five times so I could remember it. See this student is a quick learner. Be careful what you teach me.

Alleyne still teaches me phrases, but he’s a little more selective now.


Debbie said...

verb? noun? adjective?

Valerie said...


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