The Info List - Sranantongo

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SRANAN (also SRANAN TONGO or SRANANTONGO "Surinamese tongue", SURINAAMS, SURINAMESE, SURINAMESE CREOLE, TAKI TAKI) is an English-based creole language spoken as a lingua franca by approximately 500,000 people in Suriname

Because the language is shared between the Dutch -, Indigenous -, Javanese -, Hindustani -, and Chinese -speaking communities, most Surinamese speak it as a lingua franca among both the Surinamese in Suriname, a former Dutch colony , and the immigrants of Surinamese origin in the Netherlands
, the United States
United States
, and the United Kingdom .


* 1 Origins * 2 See also * 3 References * 4 Further reading * 5 External links


Message written in Sranan Tongo in the guestbook in the Land of Hayracks , an open-air museum in Slovenia
(April 2016)

The Sranan words for 'to know' and 'small children' are sabi and pikin, which is due to the Portuguese having been the first explorers of the West African coast, where they developed a pidgin language from which a few words became common in interactions with African by explorers who came afterward, including the English. However, research has established that, as far as its lexicon is concerned, Sranan is mostly an English-based creole language, with a substantial overlay of words from Dutch, due to the Dutch takeover of Suriname
in 1667.

Sranan Tongo's lexicon is thus a fusion of English, Dutch, Portuguese and Central and West African languages . It began as a pidgin spoken primarily by African slaves in Suriname
who often did not have a common African language. Sranan also became the language of communication between the slaves and the slave-owners, as the slaves were not permitted to speak Dutch. As other ethnic groups were brought to Suriname
as contract workers, Sranan became a lingua franca.

Although the formal Dutch-based educational system repressed its use, Sranan became more accepted by the establishment over time, especially during the 1980s when it was popularized by Suriname's then dictator Dési Bouterse
Dési Bouterse
who often delivered national speeches in Sranan.

Sranan remains widely used in Suriname
and in large Dutch urban areas populated by immigrants from Suriname, especially in casual conversation where it is often mixed in freely with Dutch. People often greet each other using Sranan, saying for example "fa waka" (how are you) instead of the more formal Dutch "hoe gaat het" (how are you).

Sranan as a written language has existed since the late 19th century, and was given an official spelling by the government of Suriname
on July 15, 1986 (resolution 4501). A small number of writers have used Sranan in their work, most notably the poet Henri Frans de Ziel ("Trefossa"), who also wrote Suriname\'s national anthem (the second verse is sung in Sranan Tongo).


* Dutch-based creole languages * English-based creole languages


* ^ A B Sranan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ Sranan Tongo at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000). * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sranan Tongo". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


* Iwan Desiré Menke: Een grammatica van het Surinaams (Sranantongo), Munstergeleen : Menke, 1986, 1992 (Dutch book on grammar of Sranan Tongo) * Jan Voorhoeve and Ursy M. Lichtveld: Creole Drum. An Anthology of Creole Literature in Suriname. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975. * C.F.A. Bruijning and J. Voorhoeve (editors): Encyclopedie van Suriname. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Elsevier, 1977, pp. 573–574. * Eithne B. Carlin and Jacques Arends (editors): Atlas of the Languages of Suriname. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002. * Michaël Ietswaart and Vinije Haabo: Sranantongo. Surinaams voor reizigers en thuisblijvers. Amsterdam: Mets & Schilt (several editions since 1999) * J.C.M. Blanker and J. Dubbeldam: "Prisma Woordenboek Sranantongo". Utrecht: Uitgeverij Het Spectrum B.V. , 2005, ISBN 90-274-1478-5 , www.prismawoordenboeken.nl - A Sranantongo to Dutch and Dutch to Sranantongo dictionary. * Henri J.M. Stephen: Sranan odo : adyersitori - spreekwoorden en gezegden uit Suriname. Amsterdam, Stephen, 2003, ISBN 90-800960-7-5 (collection of proverbs and expressions) * Michiel van Kempen and Gerard Sonnemans: Een geschiedenis van de Surinaamse literatuur. Breda : De Geus, 2003, ISBN 90-445-0277-8 (Dutch history of Surinam