Friday, September 10, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in Saint Kitts and Nevis

North AmericaSaint Kitts and NevisLanguage & Phrasebook in Saint Kitts and Nevis

The language of St Kitts and Nevis is English. However, if you have never been to the Caribbean, you may have difficulty understanding the dialect spoken by the locals, or more precisely Creole, which is based on English but does not sound like it at all to the untrained ear. For example, “a-come” means “come”, “a-knock” means “knock”. Most striking is the simplification of pronoun usage as in “I and I”, which replaces all other pronouns such as they/them, we/me, your, their/their and our. Caribbean patois has its roots not only in African languages (Western, Central and Nigerian), Standard English, Scottish and Spanish, but also in Persian Arabic and Sanskrit. Unusually, the end result is not only a language but also a philosophical statement that emphasises the group rather than the personal relationship.