At Veranda Resorts, travellers are introduced to Creole through animated workshops led by the hotel personnel. While the countdown to your vacation begins, get a head start and practice speaking Creole. These 20 phrases and expressions will help you get around Mauritius and connect with locals.
Mauritian Creole is a French-based creole language (its lexifier is French), which makes sense considering Mauritius was a French colony for almost a century (1715-1810). It is during the colonisation that Creole was born, a product of several languages including malagasi, english, hindi and bhojpuri.
Creole is primarily a spoken language (as well as the most spoken). French is the language of the medias and press while English is the nation’s official language and is taught in public schools. Bhojpuri, which stems from Hindu, is spoken among the Indo-Mauritian community and taught at school, while Sino-Mauritians sometimes speak in Cantonese, Hakka and Mandarin (though rarely).
Creole: Alo. Ki manier? Korek?
English: Hi, how’s it going?
2. Introductions (Meeting People)
Creole: Bonzour. Mo appel…, kouma ou apele?
English: Hello. My name is… What is your name?
3. What you did today
Creole: Azordi, mo finn fer letour lil.
English: Today, I toured the island.
4. Making Conversation: the Weather
Creole: Létan-la byen bon zordi.
English: Nice weather today!
5. Making Plans
Creole: Kotsa ou anvi ale / Ki ou anvi fer ?
English: Where do you want to go?/ What do you want to do?
Creole: Ki dernie pri ou kapav fer ?
English: Can you lower the price?
7. Picking Up the Phone
Creole: Alo, mo kapav koz ek…?
English: Hello, may I speak to…?
8. Looking For…
Creole: Bonzour. Mo pe rod…
English: Hi, I’m looking for…
9. Riding the Bus
Creole: Ki bis bizin pran pou al…?
English: What bus must I take to go to…?
10. Getting Around
Creole: Ki kote nou ete siouple?
English: Excuse me, where are we?
11. Thanking People
Creole: Mersi pou ou linvitasion
English: Thank you for the invite.
12. Needs and Wants
Creole: Mo anvi aprann inpe creole.
English: I would like to learn a bit of creole.
13. Expressing Feelings of Content
Creole: Mo bien kontan.
English: I’m very pleased.
14. Eating out
Creole: Ki nou pou manze ? / Kot nou pou manze ?
English: What are we going to eat?/ Where should we eat?
15. Hold the chilli!
Creole: Eski ou kapav pa fer manze-la tro for, siouple ?
English: Can you please not make it too spicy?
Creole: Ale do!/ Ayo!/ Mari Sa!/ Manman!
English: Let’s go!/ Aww, used to express mild protest, disappointment or affection/ Expresses astonishment, shock or admiration/ Expresses irritation or mockery.
17. Everyday Expressions
Creole: An plas!/ Kas enn poz/ Serye!
English: All good!/ To chillax/ Cool!
18. Pick Up Lines
Creole: Mon kontan twa
English: I love you
19. Popular Expressions
Creole: Fer katakata/ Li finn vann so koson/ Kwi vide
English: To stand on ceremony/ To break the bank/ No sooner said than done
20. A (Numeric) Coded Language
Creole: Trannsink (35)/ Vennkat (24)/ Ventwit (28)
English: A woman or girlfriend/ To eat/ To leave
Bonus: Sirandanes (riddles based on imagery)
Riddle: Mor kondir vivan./ The dead drives the living.
Answer: Soulie/ Shoes
Riddle: Piti bat mama./ A child hits his mother.
Answer: Laklos/ The bell
Riddle: Mo get li, li get mwa./ I look at him; he looks at me
Answer: Laglas/ Mirror
To learn more about kreol morisyen, Mauritian Creole, and the local culture, follow our blog.