Sranan Tongo

Sranan Tongo (Taki Taki) is an English base creole found in Suriname, along the coast. Although Dutch is the official language, Sranan is the lingua franca of Suriname. The language is related to other creoles spoken in the interior of Suriname, among the maroon societies-- Saramaccan, Boni(Aluku), Paramaka, Kwinti, and Ndjuka. It used to be referred to as Taki-Taki, which means 'chit chat.' The term is no longer used which is perceived as derogatory. 

Sranan Tongo can be broken into two forms, foto taki and dipi taki. Foto taki means 'high language' and is influenced more by English and Dutch. Dipi taki means 'low language' and is spoken in the rural areas. 

Sranan had its beginning in 1651, when the English first colonized Suriname. In 1667, the Dutch captured Suriname. By 1690, no Englishmen were in Suriname. The English phase represent the early development of Sranan's core vocabulary. It was also when African born slaves outnumbered native born slaves. In a period of 40 years, the core lexicon of Sranan was developed. 

J. G. A. Koenders did much to legitimize Sranan as a national and literary language.


Works Cited

West, Alan(2003). African Caribbeans: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group, pp. 177-178. ISBN 0313312400, 9780313312403

Sebba, Mark(1997). Contact languages:pidgins and creoles. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 146-148. ISBN 031217571X, 9780312175719

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