Creole languages Spanish Impacted

A creole language is basically a mix of different languages that contacted, and it is considered a language since there are native speakers of this language and it is different from a simplified language called “pidgin”.

There are several creoles that the Spanish language has affected, and I would like to talk about Palenquero and Papiamento.



Palenquero is a creole language that is spoken by roughly 2,000 people in San Basilio del Palenquero, Colombia. This town is founded by escaped slaves in the beginning of the 17th century, and those descendants who favored being isolated and preferred their development and preservation lived until the beginning of the 20th century. And, when they went outside of the town to work, they had to learn Spanish to do so. Because of the social interaction with the Spanish language, Palenquero is called post-creole language. Meaning that this language is becoming similar to the dominant language of the region, which is Spanish in this case, in its syntax and vocabulary.


Papiamento is a Portuguese-based creole language, and Spanish impacted on this language later on. So it has a lot of similarities with Spanish. Papiamento is spoken in three ABC islands on the Caribbean ocean, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, and there are about 200,000 people who speak this language. This language is a little different from Palenquero because it has the status of the national language in Bonaire and it is an official language in other two islands even though the official language of these islands is also Dutch. Thus, this stable language is not only the popular language spoken by many people but also, it is a language of literature as well.

Despite these differences, they are creole languages that the Spanish language has impacted in many ways. Let’s compare personal pronouns of each language.


As you can see in the 2nd person singular and plural, they came from “vos” that is mainly used in many countries in Latin America. It is very common for Spanish speakers not to pronounce the last “S” so they would sound very familiar to native Spanish speakers.

These are how they express verbal aspect in both language, and they are put between the subject and the verb within a sentence.

Estar + gerundio “progressive marker”atata


Haber “perfect marker”aa

It can be deduced that this “a” came from “ha” as many verbs seem to be similar to 3rd person singular verbs in Spanish. Palenquero: ablá (speak) Papiamento: dseseá (hope)

“simple past tense”batábata

“Ba” might come from AR imperfect ending -aba.

“future tense”tãnlo

As you can see, since they lack verbal conjugation, it is much easier to form verbs in different tenses comparing to the Spanish language that requires verbal conjugation and formation of participle and progressive form of a verb.

It is very interesting to see these languages that are made up of several different languages, and many similarities in vocabulary and simplification of Spanish.