Language of Seychelles & Translation Guide

French, English, and Seychellois Creole are the official language of Seychelles. Though the people are fluent in English, day to day conversations usually happen in Seychellois Creole which is also the language spoken by the majority of the population (approximately 95%). 

Seychellois Creole

seychelles language, seychellois creole
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Creole is like a derivative formed from a parent language but has its own set of norms and enunciations. The Seychellois Creole, or Kreol, has French as its parent language and came into practice after the occupation of Seychelles by the French. Several initiatives, like establishing an institute to formulate grammatical rules and phonetics have been taken by the government to promote its use ever since. It is considered to be a mark of their culture and pride. Even the national anthem 'Koste Seselwa' has been penned in this language.

The pronunciation of words in this Seychelles language is quite similar to that of French but with slight variations owing to the local twist to the nation's culture and usage. For example, Good morning is said as "Bonjour" in French, whereas it is said as "Bonzour" in Seychellois Creole. So you can see how the two bear resemblance.

French

seychelles language
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The French were the first ones to conquer the Seychelles islands which started in 1744 when the French East India Company first took control of Mauritius. Though the period of their colonization was short, the French customs and traditions had dominated the people of Seychelles completely. The modern-day culture of Seychelles is based on French principles to a vast extent. In fact, the creole used here derives its basic enunciations from French only. Presently, only a small proportion of the population converses in French and some media sources publish in French.

English

It was at the beginning of the 19th century (around 1811) when the British came and captured the islands. Despite this, French and Creole remained the most spoken languages due to the lack of interest shown by the British to impart their culture. After the Independence, to ensure that tourism flourishes without a hitch, English was made the official language of Seychelles. It is taught in schools and also used extensively in business and other formal communications. Almost everyone in the tourism industry speaks English to make travelling across the country easy going for the visitors.

Basic Translation Guide

For those of you who are planning their long overdue trip to Seychelles, check out our essential translation guide which will come handy for you during your trip to the country:

English to Seychellois Creole Translation

A look at the basic translations to help you communicate. The best thing about this dialect is that the words are written the way they are pronounced, i.e. phonetically.

English Seychellois Creole
Good morning Bonzour (Bozooh)
Good night Bonswar (Bonswaah)
Hello Allo
How are you? Komman sava? (Kommesava)
Thank you Mersi (mehsi)
What is your name? Ki manner ou apele?
My name is___ Mon apel
Please Silvoupel (sivooplay)
Yes Wi
No Non (noh)
Goodbye Orevwar
Sorry Pardon (pahrdoh)
Do you speak English? Eski ou koz Angle?
Help! Ed mwan!
Why? Akoz?
What? Kwa?
Who? Lekel?
How much is this? Konbyen sa?
I'm lost Monn perdi

English to French Translation

Here is your guide to the common sentences used for conversing. Since phonetics are a bit difficult for beginners, pronunciation has been given as well.

English French
Hello Salut (salew)
How are you? Comment allez-vous?
Do you speak English? Parlez vous anglais? (pahrlay-vooz-angh-glay)
I am from.. Je viens de? (jeh-viyan-deh)
Good morning Bonjour (bon-zhoor)
Good evening Bonsoir (bon-swahr)
Yes Oui (wee)
No Non (nong)
Excuse me Excusez-moi (ex-kewzay mwah)
Why? Pourquoi? (poor-kwah)
Where?  où? (oo)
What? Quelle? (kell)
How? Comment? (kummonh)
My name is..  Je m'appelle'...(Jhuh-ma-pell)
Thank you  Merci (mair-see)
Please S'il vous plaît (seel vou play)
Help me Aidez moi (Eh-de mwah)
You're welcome De rien (doh-rehyan)
What time is it? Quelle heure est-il? (Kell hyur es till)
I don't understand  Je ne comprends pas (zher ner kong-prahng pas)
Sorry Pardon (phardo)
Bye Au revoir (Oh-rer-vwahr)

You are now equipped with the common phrases in the Seychelles languages just enough to express basic and essential queries and acknowledgements too. A thorough reading of these will help you converse but keep a translator or a phrasebook handy in case you catch an unfamiliar sentence.

This post was published by Sonali Garg

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