The Creole Language
in St. Lucia
Many St. Lucians are more fluent in the French-based Creole, also referred to as a French patois, than English. The proper name for this language is Kweyol, which some say is the only indigenous Caribbean language. Kweyol is spoken not only on St. Lucia but Martinique, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, Dominica, Haiti and slightly in Grenada and Trinidad.
In 1983, Bannzil Kweyol, the international organization of Creole speaking countries that also includes Mauritius and the Seychelles, decided at a Louisiana meeting to celebrate Jounen Kweyol, or International Creole Day, each year on October 28.
Since the 1990s, Kweyol has become more of a living language due to the publication of several important Kweyol-related books.
As yet, Kweyol is not taught in St. Lucia schools and the country’s one Kweyol newspaper closed down. However, brief news segments are presented on the radio in Kweyol and public figures frequently give addresses in Kweyol and English.