Aboriginal English – Kriol – Traditional Language

Happy NAIDOC Week!

I am an Aboriginal Australian studying Linguistics at the University of Oxford. Rather than write my thesis (ugh), I signed up for Deadly Bloggers’ Carnival and thought I’d use my turn to share some Aboriginal English and Kriol from Western Australia.

Both of these videos are from youtube and are infomercials showing how to be a good tenants for the Department of Housing. It is really cool to compare the speech of both videos.


This first video is listed on youtube as Kriol. I tend to think it is a lighter version of Kriol and leans towards to the Aboriginal English end of the continua. Having said this, we don’t know exactly where it is from, but I have a feeling it might be Broome Kriol.


This second video is listed as English, however you can here some Aboriginal English words sneaking into the speech. Taking into account the rhythm, speed and intonation of speech in addition to the AE words, I would say that this is a very light Aboriginal English. (I’ve just discovered that I can’t embed the vid – but watch it in youtube by clicking on the link)


Of course, Aboriginal English can change from mob to mob, area to area and from something closer to English or more towards Kriol. Aboriginal English speakers are not one homogenous group, so what is shown here will not apply to all speakers. But, it is still pretty cool to have some examples to look at.


As an added awesome bonus – here is the same youtube clip (with different actors) speaking in Walmajarri


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