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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Summary Details

Query:   English-based creole textbook
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Language Documentation

Language Family:   Northern Eastern Atlantic Creole
Southern Eastern Atlantic Creole
Unclassified Atlantic Creole
Western Atlantic Creole

Summary:   A while ago I posted a query as to the existence of a sort of "English creole
as a second language" textbook. I had done some searching but not found
anything but linguistic studies. There appeared to be no materials to help
one actually learn to speak an English-based Atlantic pidgin or creole,
although there are plenty for French-based creoles, like Haitian.

My query elicited very few responses, and it appears there aren't any such
texts available in English. I find this sad, since I consider it more useful
to learn to speak a language to some degree before actually "teaching" about
it in courses.

Anyway, here are the few resources respondents noted:

Jacques Arends:

>While not a textbook, Lise Winer's (1993) 'Trinidad and Tobago' in the
>'Varieties of English around the world' series (Amsterdam: Benjamins)
>contains texts in Trinidadian English Creole plus cassette.

Claus Pusch:

>There exists an introduction to Jamaican creole, written in German and
>for (preferably young) German tourists who want to travel to Jamaica and
>get in touch with Creole speakers. It contains mainly phrases and short
>texts for practical purposes though there is also some grammar included.
>The advantage of this booklet is its moderate price and the fact that it
>comes with a tape recording. Here is the bibliographical reference:

>* KMMEL (Kmmel), Annette E. 1991: Patois fr Jamaica (=
>Kauderwelsch Vol.59). Bielefeld: Peter Rump Verlag. ISBN 3-89416-249-X
>(textbook) and ISBN 3-89416-123-X (tape). 15 DM (textbook) + 15 DM

I was able to get this book, and one on Tok Pisin, from www.amazon.de (not
www.amazon.com!). Germanists might be interested in the array of German
dialect handbooks, with cassettes, that this same publisher offers. The URL
for their foreign languages page is:


They have an interesting collection of language introductions from all
continents, and they take orders over the web.

Thanks very much to everyone who responded to my query.

James Kirchner

LL Issue: 9.1727
Date Posted: 06-Dec-1998
Original Query: Read original query


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