Sranan (Sranan Tongo)

Sranan is an English-based creole language spoken by about 400,000 people in Suriname, where it is used as a lingua franca. There are also Sranan speakers in the Netherlands. It is a mainly English-based creole with vocabulary from Dutch, Portuguese and languages of West and Central Africa, and it developed from a pidgin used by slaves and slave owners who didn't share a common language.

The language is also known as Sranan Tongo (Surinamean tongue), Surinaams, Surinamese, Suriname Creole and Taki Taki), and was formerly called nengre or negerengels.

Although use of Sranan in the Dutch-based education system of Suriname was repressed, it gradually became acceptable to the establishment. During the 1980s Desi Bouterse, the then dictator of Suriname, helped to popularise Sranan by making speeches in it, and an official spelling system was established in 1986.

Sranan has been used in writing since the late 19th century, and a small number of writers currently use it in their work.

Sranan pronunciation

Sranan pronunciation


Information about Sranan pronunciation compiled by Benjamin Riggleman


Sample texts

A ben de so taki wan dei mi mama ben bori okro. Dan mi mama e bori a okro, ai bori a okro. Dan now a taigi wan fu den pikin sisa fu mi fu bori a okro go doro. Dan mi kon wraak. Mi no wani du neks moro ini a oso. Mi go sidon na wan sei. Dan baka wan pisten mi yere: "Sam, luku. Mi o poti fu yu nanga Daniel na ini wan komtyi dya."

Source: Sranan Tongo Library

Ala den man gebore fri èn leki wan ini grani èn den leti. Den ben gi den rutu èn konsensi. Den musu abi lespeki gi ibriwan

Translation by Charlie Aasen


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in Sranan

Information about Sranan | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Sranan

Sranan dictionaries and stories

Sranantongo Verb Conjugator

Creole languages

Betawi, Bislama, Cape Verdean Creole, Chavacano, Chinook Jargon, Dominican Creole French, Fanagalo, French Guianese Creole, Guadeloupean Creole, Guinea-Bissau Creole, Haitian Creole, Jamaican, Kituba, Manado Malay, Mauritian Creole, Nagamese, Ndyuka, Norfuk, Nubi, Palenquero, Papiamento, Pijin, Réunion Creole, Sango, Saramaccan, Seychelles Creole, Sierra Leonean Creole, Singlish, Sranan, Saint Lucian Creole, Tok Pisin, Torres-Strait Creole

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 10.01.23


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