Over time, efforts were made to ensure that Kriol was properly studied, written, and recorded as a language, thanks to the National Kriol Council, created in 1995 to promote all aspects of the Creole culture. Keeping this language going has been their goal, as a way of instilling a sense of identity and cultural pride in its people. It’s now spoken and understood by almost all Belizeans, even non-Creoles, and knowing a couple of phrases is a great way to immerse and break the ice.
Basic Phrases in Kriol
- Gud maanin! — Good morning!
- Weh di gaan an? — What’s up?
- Aarite. — All right.
- Cho! — What on earth!
- Weh yuh naym? — What’s your name?
- Yuh da Belize? — Are you from Belize?
- Weh gaan ahn gyal? — What’s up, girl?
- Da weh time? — What time is it?
- Mi naym da… — My name is…
- Si yoo lata. — See you later.
- Ah tayad/mi tayad — I’m tired.
- Weh/weh-paat… — Where is…?
- Evryting gud/aarite. — Everything’s fine.
- Haul your rass! — Get the hell out of here!
- Fu Chroo? — Really? (Is that right?)
- Gud night. — Good evening.
- Mi love Bileez! — I love Belize!
Sayings in Kriol
- Wahnti wahnti kyah geti an geti geti nuh wahnti. — You always want what you can’t have.
- Dah no so, dah naily so. — Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
- Wait bruk down bridge. — Don’t make me wait too long.
- Sleep wit’ yo’ own eye. — Only rely on what you know, not what others tell you.
- One one craboo fill barrel. — Every little bit counts (craboo is a Belizean fruit).
- Ah wah know who seh Kriol noh gat no kulcha? — Who said the Creole don’t have any culture? (A phrase coined by renown Belizean Creole artist and performer, Leela Vernon).
Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Belize.