Saturday, February 17, 2007


Everyone on Ambergris Caye speaks English. Many have Spanish as their first language, and many use Creole among themselves.

The Creole that we heard in Belize is a total hoot. One of our guides told us that it originated among the slaves as a way for them to communicate among themselves so that the slave owners could not understand what was being said. He told us that the Creole of Belize was a mixture of English, Spanish, and other words. The end of many words is snipped off, they are spoken quickly and kind of run together, and frequently there is a warm, humorous twist.

For example, I saw two guides saying goodbye to each other at one of the Mayan ruins. Rather than saying "See you later." or something, one guide said to the other "Don' step on no tourists, mon."

Other examples we heard were: "Bot Go" meaning "The boat is leaving." and "Dat known 'roun de worl." meaning "Everyone knows that."

After we talked to our guide about Creole, we started listening carefully, and we could indeed begin to understand what they were saying. Nevin started telling shop keepers "Hide de conch, mon. Our wives be shopping."

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