Yu Ku Reed ahn Rait Kriol ...Skroal way dong pahn dis payg fu sohn kwik kwik lesn pahn how fi reed ahn rait Kriol! [Scroll down to the end of this page for some quick lessons on how to read and write Kriol.]
If you are a Belizean who has learned to read and write English, but you are not accustomed to reading and writing in Kriol even though it may be your mother tongue, then this book is meant for you. Perhaps you have seen a book written in Kriol, and you wondered why the writing system looked different from English. Or maybe you tried to write a letter in Kriol, but you did not finish because you did not know how to spell some of the words.
There are probably no languages in the world which use exactly the same spelling system. English is spelled differently from Spanish, Spanish is spelled differently from French, and Kriol has yet another spelling system. This is because each language has its own sounds and rules for speaking, which need to be represented in writing.
Because English is the official language of Belize, and because Belize Kriol is one type of English-based Creole language, many of the same symbols (or letters) are used for Kriol that are used for English. However, there are also many differences.
English is one of the most difficult languages in the world to read and write correctly because there are often several ways to spell the same sound. For instance, you hear the same vowel sound in weigh, name, and say. Sometimes letters that look the same are pronounced in different ways, such as ough in the following four words: tough, though, ought, bough. One reason for this is that English has been written for many years, and many words were added to English without changing their spelling.
In 1994 a writing system was developed for Kriol in which the spelling of many words was based on English spelling. This made Kriol easier to read for those who were used to reading English. However, it caused some difficulty in the writing of Kriol, as one had to think how a word is spelled in English before it could be written in Kriol.
In revising the writing system for Kriol, it was decided to change to a phonetic system, i.e. one in which each sound is represented by only one symbol. Once a person learns the symbols for each sound, he/she will more easily know how to spell any word in Kriol. The goal is not to dictate how Belizeans speak Kriol, but to help us all find a standardized method in which to write down what we say, so that we can share our thoughts more easily with one another. The resulting writing system may seem strange at first for those used to reading English, but in the end it will make Kriol easier both to read and to write.
We wish you much pleasure as you work through this book. When you are finished, go ahead and write a letter to a friend who speaks Kriol. We think you will find that it is not so difficult after all!
The Belize Kriol Project Committee
Kriol-Inglish DIKSHINERI – English-Kriol Dictionary
This is a bilingual dictionary. The main part, Kriol to English, is arranged alphabetically according to Kriol key words, with an English definition and other entry items, such as part of speech, sample sentences, etymology, and cross-references. The second part of the dictionary, English to Kriol, is arranged alphabetically according to the English key words, with the correlating Kriol word(s). It serves to direct the reader to the correct spot in the Kriol section for more complete information. The front of the book features a Foreword by Sir Colville Young, a Guide to Using the Dictionary, a guide to the Kriol Writing System and Grammar Notes.
Compiled and edited by Yvette Herrera, Myrna Manzanares, Silvaana Udz, Cynthia Crosbie, and
Ken Decker; with Paul Crosbie as editor-in-chief.
Published by the Belize Kriol Project 2007, with the help of The National Kriol Council, The Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Culture and History, and SIL Iinternational. Printed at Print Belize; now in the 3rd printing.
Book: 465 pages; 9x6 in., bound.
Local retail price: approx. $30.00 - $35.00
Available in Belize City from Bible Society Bookstore, Angelus Press, Brodies Northern Highway, Image Factory, National Handicraft Center and the National Kriol Council Office.