Forro Creole

Forro Creole
Native toSão Tomé and Príncipe
Native speakers
70,000 (1999)[1]
Portuguese Creole
  • Lower Guinea
    • Forro Creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3cri
Location São Tomé and Príncipe AU Africa.svg
Location of São Tomé and Príncipe

Forro Creole is a minority Portuguese-based creole language spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe.[3] It is also called by its native speakers as sãotomense creole or santomense creole.

It should not be confused with São Tomean Portuguese, the non-creolised form of Portuguese spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe, also spoken by majority of São Toméans.


São Tomé is an island of the Gulf of Guinea, discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century. It was uninhabited at the time, but Portuguese settlers used the island as a center of the slave trade, and there was a need for slaves in the island. Since both parties needed to communicate, a pidgin was formed. The substrate languages were from the Bantu and Kwa groups. This pidgin then became fixed (creolized) as it became the mother language of children born from Portuguese men and African women slaves. Mixed marriages were then encouraged by the Portuguese Crown, for the sake of settlement.

Later because of Dutch and French pressure to gain the island, many Portuguese settlers left. Children of Portuguese and black women were, eventually, not considered African or slaves; some were considered full right Portuguese citizens. Those mixed-raced that did not have the status of Portuguese, those with darker skin, often gained a "forro" designation, because their Portuguese fathers did not want to enslave their children. The São Tomean Creole is mostly known as "Forro", the language of the freed slaves or Crioulo Santomense, not to be confused with São Tomean Portuguese (a variety and dialect of Portuguese in São Tomé and Príncipe). Portuguese is the main language for children until their early 20s, when they relearn Forro Creole. The rich São Tomean culture also preserves a unique mixture of Portuguese and African cultures.

Other Languages
asturianu: Criollu forro
brezhoneg: Forro
català: Forro
español: Criollo forro
Esperanto: Forra lingvo
français: Forro
italiano: Lingua forro
Nederlands: Forro (taal)
Piemontèis: Lenga sãotomèisa
português: São-tomense
русский: Форру
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Forro jezik