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French Proverbs – Creole Language Posted by on Nov 9, 2009 in Geography, Vocabulary

La France d’outre-mer (French overseas territory) includes the DROM or les Départements d’outre-mer (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and La Reunion) which are subject to French law and therefore their citizens have the exact same rights as mainland France citizens; the COM or les Collectivités d’outre-mer (Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis Islands and Futuna Islands) which have certain autonomy and are a bit separate from the French state; the POM or les Pays d’outre-mer au sein de la République (French Polynesia and New Caledonia) which are regions that will quite possibly gain independence in the future; and the administrative districts known as TOM or les Territoires d’outre-mer (Amsterdam Island, Saint Paul Island, the Crozet Islands, Kerguelen islands and Adélie Land). It is worthy noting, however, that French soveriegnty is not recognized internationally in Adélie Land.

La Reunion is a small island of about 970 square miles and a population of approximately 827,000 that lies right in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  The people of La Reunion obviously speak French as that it is the national language, but the Creole language also exists.  Today, I’m going to give you 6 Creole proverbs from La Reunion and see if you can match them up with an English explanation.

1. Couler la peau la pas couler lo ker. A. When the boss isn’t happy, watch out.
2. Quand gros bèf y charge, sorte devant! B. To hear, but not want to show you heard.
3. Faire z’oreilles cochon. C. There’s no going back.
4. A pa sa ka travay plis ka manjé plis. D. You shouldn’t judge people by the color of their skin.
5. Dlo pa ka monté mòne. E. People always want more.
6. Ba yo pyé yo ka pran men. F. The richest are not necessarily the ones that work the most.
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  1. Sara Coffey:

    While in Lousiana doing hurricane relief work, we were told of a French / Creole saying folks say after a long day of work that meant ” I am really exhausted ” or something like that. It sounded sort of like “Ah ye ya sof a mall”. Can someone who knows it give me the proper spelling of the phrase and the phonetic pronounciation in English.
    Many Thanks,

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