Friday, July 22, 2011

Meltingpot Musings -- The Language of Belize

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Recently I had a passing conversation with a beautiful man from Belize named Armando. I'll probably never see him again, but something he said captured my imagination. He told me, speaking with a slight accent, that the languages of Belize were, English, Spanish, Creole and Mayan. I always thought Belize was only an English speaking country, the only English speaking country in Central America, in fact. Honestly, I don't know that much about Belize, but when I lived in New York City I met quite a few expats from the country and they all spoke English exclusively. They often joked that people expected them to speak Spanish and they always had to disappoint.

Armando changed that perception for me. When chatting in Spanish, his accent sounded native even though his fluency was a little dicey. But still.

Tell me Meltingpot readers, what do you know about the language of Belize? I'd like to know more. Especially about the creole. I've always wondered if a Spanish/African/English creole language existed and if so, where.

I'm listening.



Alida said...

We have lived in Belize for almost a year. We hear Chinese, Spanish, Kriol, and low German (Mennonites are here) spoken on a daily basis. Business though is conducted in English. And all the signs are in English. Most of the people we have met speak more than one language and I love that.

Amy said...

Belize and other Central American and Caribbean countries have such a rich and interesting mix of languages due to different migration and settlement San Pedro de Macoris in the DR descendants of sugar workers (called Cocolos) from other Caribbean islands speak Patois and Haitian Creole and English and French dialects from the neighboring islands in addition to Spanish.

I'm assuming your absence from the Meltingpot means you've had your baby. If that's the case congrats!!

soy yo said...

Wendy (Colombia Mami) said...

Wishing you well. I thought of you when I read an article about Rosa Parks. Rosa would be a great name, easily said in English and Spanish.