Guinea-Bissau Creole

Embassine Evangelical Church cropped reduced

Portuguese Creole, also spelled various other ways like Krioulu or Kriyol, is the national language of Guinea-Bissau. Portuguese is the official language of Guinea-Bissau, but Creole is spoken here way more than Portuguese. According to the data I have, there are only about 5,000 mother-tongue speakers of Portuguese here and more than 230,000 mother-tongue speakers of Creole, and that number is growing. Portuguese Creole isn’t necessarily the most populous language group of Guinea-Bissau; that honor goes to Balanta. But if you combine mother-tongue speakers with another 600,000 who use it extensively as a second language, then Creole is the biggest language group here in Guinea-Bissau. There are a number of other large, vigorous language groups here as well.

Christianity isn’t the dominant religion in Guinea-Bissau, but there is a large, dynamic Evangelical Christian church here, and at least in the capital of Bissau Creole is the language of the church. Shown above is just one of the many full Creole-speaking churches on Sunday. The reason I am in Guinea-Bissau now, and have been coming since 2009, is to help with the Creole translation of the Bible. This week we finished checking the translation of the Gospel of John.

About David Frank

descriptive linguist, linguistics consultant, translator, editor
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1 Response to Guinea-Bissau Creole

  1. Cutsau Nhuta says:

    Thank you for your help.

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