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San Andrés–Providencia Creole

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Title: San Andrés–Providencia Creole  
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Subject: English-based creole languages, African Colombian
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San Andrés–Providencia Creole

San Andrés and Providencia Creole
Islander Creole English
Native to Colombia (San Andrés and Providencia islands)
Native speakers unknown (12,000 cited 1981)Template:Infobox language/ref
Language family
English-Spanish creole
  • Atlantic
    • Western
      • San Andrés and Providencia Creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3 icr
Linguist List Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
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  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
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Linguasphere 52-ABB-ah

San Andrés–Providencia Creole is a Creole language spoken in the San Andrés and Providencia Department of Colombia by the natives (the Raizal ethnic group), very similar to Belize Kriol and Miskito Coastal Creole. Its vocabulary originates in English language, but it has its own phonetics and many expressions from Spanish and African languages, particularly Kwa languages (particularly Twi and Ewe), and Igbo languages). It is not just a dialect with different phonetics and syntax. It has its own grammar distinct from English and Spanish. The language is also known as "San Andrés Creole", "Bende", and "Islander Creole English".[1]


  1. It marks the time. The auxiliar wen (~ben~men) marks a past simple. Future tense is marked with wi and wuda. Progressive tense is marked by de.
  2. The auxiliars beg and mek before the sentence is a polite way to ask permission or asking something.
  3. Other auxiliar words before the verb mark probability like maita, mos, mosi, kyan, and kuda; willingness with niid and waan; and obligation with fi, hafi and shuda
  4. There is no grammar distinction for gender.
  5. Plural is marked with dem after the noun.

The San Andrés–Providencia Creole is an official language in its territory of influence according to the Colombian Constitution of 1991 that guarantees the rights and protections of languages in the country. The population of the Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina uses three languages (Creole, English and Spanish). English was kept in the Baptist churches for liturgy, but the coming of satellite television and growth of foreign tourism has revived the use of the English in the islands. The presence of migrants from continental Colombia and the travel of young islanders to cities like Barranquilla, Cartagena de Indias and Bogotá for superior studies, has contributed to the presence of Spanish. However, the interest in preserving the Native Creole has become a very important element for locals and Colombians in general. Island creole is very similar to the English creole spoken in the Moskito coast of Nicaragua, and the Anglophone Caribbean.

See also


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