The Mauritian Creole language, also known as Morisyen, is a French-based vernacular language, closely related to such languages as Seychellois Creole, Rodriguan Creole, and Chagossian Creole. Mauritian Creole is spoken on the small island situated in the southeastern Indian Ocean, about 800 kilometers east of Madagascar. The name of the island is Mauritius.
The Mauritian Creole language appeared as the result of communication between French colonizers and the people they enslaved. In other words, the language was created due to the mixture of such languages as French (used by colonizers) and Malagasy, Wolof, and a number of East African Bantu languages (used by the enslaved people of Africa). By the time of the Indian immigration to the island of Mauritius in the second half of the 19th century, Mauritian Creole was already fully structured.
Mauritian Creole is considered the island’s national language. Nevertheless, it is worth to mention that the term Creole is used by Mauritians to denote ethnicity that refers only to African or multiethnic descents. Also, it is important to note that the Constitution of the Republic of Mauritius does not designate any official languages in Mauritius. Still, the de facto official language is English and the most widely used language on the island is French. Mauritian Creole, along with some other oriental languages like Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telegu, Marathi, Gujrathi, Mandarin, and Arabic are also spoken on the island. The Mauritian Creole language is mainly used in electronic media, while such languages as English and French are used in written media and are taught as early as at primary level up to tertiary level.
Mauritian Creole is considered to be the most widely used language among the island’s population of Mauritius. Nearly 95% of the Mauritian population regardless of the different ethnic groups speak this language.
Mauritian Creole is mainly based on the French language. Nevertheless, there are also borrowings from such languages as English, Hindi, and Chinese.