Whilst planning your Belize vacation you research about the country to give you a feel for what to expect. You spend a few minutes of the day looking at the Hamanasi website as you daydream about sitting on the beach as the Caribbean waters gently inch closer to your sandy toes with every passing wave. Anticipation is mounting with every click of the mouse! You remember reading somewhere that Belize is multicultural and its official language is English, which is great as it makes for easy communication!
But did you know that there is an English Creole language spoken by the locals in every corner of the country? Remnants of a colonial past when slaves tried to speak the master’s language, it is a language that has been honed and owned by Belizeans; one that is not taught in classrooms, but learnt at school. So if you find yourself in Belize for the first time or even the 100th time, a great way to enjoy this multicultural land is to pick up a few popular Kreol slangs! Practise while still at home so you can have fun with them when you finally get here!
1. Stop Bav
English interpretation: Stop being scared
Proper use: When you are adrenaline pumped to rappel down the waterfall but the person in front of you is having second thoughts. You would address this by saying:
Hey, come on, get going and stop bav!!!
2. Ketch feelings
English interpretation: To take it personally
Proper use: When something is said in jest that upsets someone else. This is addressed the following way:
Perhaps the jokes were a bit too much, it looks like she ketch feelings!
3. Go Soh!
English interpretation: Go away!
Proper use: This is what you say when someone or something is bothering you.
4. Try fi me
English translation: You must be kidding
Proper use: someone just said something outrageous about a situation or about you, your reply would be:
Wait, what? Oh no, try fi me!
5. Da so you feel?
English interpretation: That’s your current state of mind?
Proper use: When you go on vacation and see your vacation buddy having a cocktail at 10:00 am. To indicate his good mood you would say:
Da so you feel? Looks like you couldn’t wait for your vacation!
These 5 popular expressions are unconsciously used in every day interactions. If hand gestures are added to them along with perfect tone, your message will be very clear, even if the accent isn’t!
Bonus: You may see an advertisement by Quality Poultry saying “Dis da fi wi chikin!” It means, “This is our chicken!”