The Grenada Revolution Online

What is the Official Language of Grenada?

English, of course. And quite proper at that.

English is the official language of Grenada.

The language of Grenada evolved from its heritage of English, French and African ancestry.

Grenadian English is based upon a tradition of British education. An American may read a quaint word like 'whilst' and be charmed, but if you live in Grenada you get to use this word. The word 'labor' in the US spelling may be spelled 'labour' in Grenada, for example, or the word 'destabilization' in the US spelling may be spelled 'destabilisation.' This occurs often. The British lilt of some English heard in Grenada is pleasant and soon understandable. It has happened that upon hearing the British educational tone of spoken English, one assumes the speaker is Grenadian - no, there is a kind of international tone of the spoken language from the British educational system in the heritage of former British Colonial colonies - was the lesson of strict 'proper' English at work.

A French-speaking person may recognize a phrase like 'Morne Jaloux' or 'Lance aux Epines" which are locations, or numerous other words and phrases because of the remnants of French culture in Grenada.

French-African patois or Grenada Patois or Grenada Creole are some of the various names of Grenada's vernacular languages. Many sayings and colloquialisms are spoken, often with a mixture of African, French and English.

One of the late Alister Hughes' favorite topics Grenadianese

A Dictionary of Grenadianisms is the sure thing!

For a survey of 'patois,' visit Ron Kephart's Site. Check out the work done by Claud Francis at the Marryshow House Library.

Newly published is "Recollections of an Island Man" - full of Grenadianese words and sayings with a 27-page glossary. Anthony Wendell DeRiggs tells heart-warming stories that will move you from being a "stupidee" about Grenadianisms to a person utilizing words of "grand moves" with your new-found way of speaking.

Another published paperback is "Tales from Icebox Land" by Queen Macoomeh of Commess University. Queen Macoomeh writes:

Now fuh all doze who going to read de book but not accustom to we English, doh leh de words frighten yuh eh? Take yuh time an read troo, yuh go get de riddim.

Queen Macoomeh tells hilarious stories from her current life and tales from her memories of Trinidad. Included is an 11-page glossary.

An intriguing book was newly available September 2011 in Grenada about language. The title is "The Abridged Handbook of Grenadian Creole English and French Names - A Dictionary of Grenadian Creole English with Grammar & Syntax." Co-authored by a Grenadian couple, Thomas and Zarah Chase, the work has more than 3,000 entries.

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