Crioulenglish

Nha nome e Isaura e n ta pabia crioulo ku ingles mosturado pomede sometimes en ta skisi moda ke en ta fla words na crioulo.

If you’re not Cape Verdean, there’s a 99.9% chance you didn’t understand what I just wrote. That’s okay, I’ll explain.

Translation: My name is Isaura and I mix crioulo and english together because sometimes I forget how to say words in criuolo.

It’s a damn shame, huh? Well, not really.

I am 100% Cape Verdean. 100% cabo verdiana. 100% badia. I was born and raised in the United States, but I was born to immigrant parents. My first language(s) were criuolo AND English (bougie baby, I know). My Dad always tells me that my criuolo was on POINT. I would whine in crioulo, cry in crioulo, say everything in criuolo. Then came Sesame Street, Full House, Barney, Reading Rainbow, and most importantly, KINDERGARDEN (proud graduate, Class of ’99). That changed everything. I started speaking more english at home and at school. My parents also became fluent in english (Cape Verdean parents learn everything in one day. It’s a gift, really). As I got older, I started mixing crioulo and english together. It just became a habit. Then I started seeing the signs. The signs of crioulenglish. Phone calls to Cape Verde (I would grab the phone, run upstairs, and talk in the bathroom), my “American accent” (picture Kristen Wiig’s engagement party toast in Bridesmaids), and being at a loss for words when trying to have a conversation in crioulo. I do not want to be the stereotypical American-born 1st generation child who forgot her language. That isn’t cute. So what the H-E double hockey sticks am I going to do?! This is an epidemic. You know what they say when an epidemic arises…nothing. People freak the freak out and act irrational and get sad. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I’m setting a goal. By the beginning of summer 2013, I must be refluent in criuolo. As defined in the Isaura Dictionary, refluent is “the process of becoming fluent in a language that you once were fluent in” (Isaura Dictionary, 2013). So yes, this will be achieved. It’s going to take a lot of patience and practice, but it’ll be worth it. Like I said, it’s not a shame. We forget many things, but the cool thing about life is that you can always reflect on the past and learn both new things and old things. Remember kids, learning will always be cool.

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