The good news? Yes, there is a Kriol Dictionary! (a Kriol-to-English Dictionary to be precise). It was put together by those who worked on translating the Bible into Kriol. It was mostly written in the 1980s and 90s and hasn’t been updated very much since then.
The not-so-good news? The dictionary is not perfect so we recommend using it with caution. Some issues with dictionary are:
- Not every Kriol word is in there. There are also some words in there that Kriol speakers don’t use very much.
- Kriol is spoken over a very large area and has different dialects. Some of the words in the dictionary will be used in some areas but not others, but there is not really a way to tell just by looking at the dictionary.
- It is not being updated and is slowly becoming out-of-date.
- There are also sometimes issues with meanings and spellings not being completely accurate.
However, it is a still a very useful resource and a really good start. Making dictionaries is very difficult and time consuming! We are really grateful to AUSIL (Australian Society for Indigenous Languages) for the work they have done to put together the Kriol-English Dictionary.
Our program recommends that if you need help with Kriol that requires a dictionary, it is preferable to work with Kriol speakers (especially those who can read and write Kriol well) rather than depend too heavily on the dictionary. Then, we recommend using the dictionary as a supporting resource. That way, you will get information about Kriol spoken in the area you are working in and will avoid carrying mistakes from the dictionary over into your work.
If you have questions or need help, you can also contact us!
Here is the link to AUSIL’s Kriol-English Dictionary: http://ausil.org.au/Dictionary/Kriol/index-english/index.htm