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Encyclopedia > Krio

Krio is a language spoken in Sierra Leone. It is a creole language derived primarily from English, with substantial influence from African languages, particularly Yoruba. Krio is used as a lingua franca for communication between different ethnic groups in Sierra Leone. // A Creole is a language descended from a pidgin that has become the native language of a group of people. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Yoruba (Yorúbà) is a language or dialect continuum of sub-Saharan Africa. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ...

The early roots of Krio go back to the the Atlantic slave trade period when a hybrid language (called by historians "West African Pidgin English" or "Guinea Coast Creole English") arose to facilitate the coastal trade. Later, this already existing language was enriched by the speech of various groups of freed slaves landed in Sierra Leone during the late 1700s and 1800s.

The following sentences are examples of Krio speech:

Kushe [Hello]

Au di bohdi? [How are you?]

Di bohdi wel [I'm well]

Usai yu dey go? [Where are you going?]

A dey go na mi os. [I am going to my house]

Na usai yu kohmot? [Where are you from?]

A kohmot Hastings [I am from Hastings]

The word "Krio" also refers to a group of people in Sierra Leone who speak Krio as their native language. The Krios are the descendants of various groups of freed slaves landed in Sierra Leone between 1787 and about 1855. These include the Black Poor (from England), the Nova Scotians (from the North American Colonies), the Maroons (from Jamaica) and the Liberated Africans. This last group was freed by the Royal Navy from slave ships and taken to Freetown, now Sierra Leone's capital city. The Liberated Africans were never taken to America, and their diverse African languages and cultures blended with the influences already brought by the freed slaves from North America and the West Indies. The result was the distinctive language and culture of the Krio people.



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