creole language spoken in Suriname
Phrasebooks > Sranan phrasebook

Sranan (or Sranan Tongo) is a creole language spoken as a lingua franca by approximately 300,000 people in Suriname. Sranan is the most commonly used language in the country, even though Dutch is the official language used by the government. For many years, the Dutch suppressed the use of Sranan, but it has risen to become the most spoken language of Suriname after a former military leader took over the government of the country. As the population of Suriname consists of Dutch-, Javanese-, Hindustani-, and Chinese-speaking communities, and many inhabitants do not speak either Dutch or English, Sranan took its place as the common language of communication for peoples of different ethnic backgrounds. It is also used among immigrants of Surinamese origin in the Netherlands.

Sranan has relatively few written resources. If you know English, however, it is relatively easy to learn as the language basically is a fusion of English, Dutch, Portuguese and Central and West African languages. Don't plan on learning the language by watching television. While seemingly odd, you will hardly be able to learn either Sranan or Dutch from television in Suriname, as those languages together only make up about 7% of all television broadcasts. 40% of the broadcasts are in Hindi, 30% in English, and around 20% in various Chinese dialects. This makes it more difficult to learn Sranan or Dutch in-country.

Pronunciation guideEdit

Some phrases:


  • Fa waka? - What's up? Literally: how's (your) walk ( FA-WA-KA)
  • Fa i go? - How are you? Literally: how's (it) going? ( FAI-GO )
  • e go! - it's going! (answer) ( I-GO )
  • Fa yu tan? - How are you? ( FA-YOU-TAN )
  • Ala suni bun? - (is) everything well? ( ALLA-SANNY-BOENG )
  • Mi lobi dati! - I love that! ( ME-LUBY-DATY )
  • Mi sorri! - I'm sorry! ( ME SORRY )
  • Omeni wan? - How much is one? (What's the price?)
  • Mi gwe! - I'm leaving
  • Mi de go na oso - I'm going home
  • Mi go na winkri - I'm going to the store
  • Su-ma na yu? - Who are you? ( SUE-MA-NA-YOU )
  • Pe yu e go? - Where are you going? ( PAY-YOU-AH-GO )
  • Pe yu e de? - Where are you? ( PAY-YOU-AH-DAY )
  • Omany? - How much? ( O-MANY )
  • Yepi! - Help ( YEPY )
  • Pe disi presi? - Where's this place? ( PAY DEE-SEE PRACY)
  • Soot bus mi mus teki? - What bus must I take? ( SOOT BUS ME MUZ TAKY )
  • Skowtu! - Police! ( SCOW-TWO )
  • Pe de skoru de? - Where's the school? ( PAY-DAY-SCEW-RUW DAY )
  • Pe yu de wroko? - Where do you work? ( PAY-YOU-ROCK-O-GI )
  • Pe mi kan fini wroko? - Where can I find work? ( PAY-ME-KAN-FINY-ROCK-O )
  • O lati? - How late? (or) What time is it? ( O-LATY )
  • odi masra (misi) - good day mister (miss)
  • fa waka? - how are you?
  • fa yu tan? - how are you?
  • mi bun - I am fine
  • mi siki - I am ill
  • grantangi - thanks
  • mi o si - see you later
  • tan bun - stay well
  • disi na mi masra (uma) - this is my husband (wife)
  • mi wroko gi ... - I work for ...
  • mi komopo de ... - I come from ...
  • yu abi wan ... gi mi - do you have a ... for me?
  • yu sabi pe mi man feni ...? - do you know where I can find ...?
  • mi abi tu pikin - I have two children
  • mi manpikin abi seybi yari - my son is seven years old
  • mi umapikin tan na oso - my daughter stayed home
  • mi lobi ... - I like ...
  • a presi dati fara? - is that place far away?
  • omeni? - how much?

VowelsEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Common diphthongsEdit

Phrase listEdit

BasicsEdit

Common signs


OPEN
CLOSED
ENTRANCE
EXIT
PUSH
PULL
TOILET
MEN
WOMEN
FORBIDDEN
Hello.
. ( )
Hello. (informal)
. ( )
How are you?
? ( ?)
Fine, thank you.
. ( )
What is your name?
Fa yu kari?( ?)
My name is ______ .
A nen fu mi de ______ . ( _____ .)
Nice to meet you.
. ( )
Please.
Dankidanki. ( )
Thank you.
Grantangi. ( )
You're welcome.
. ( )
Yes.
Iya. ( )
No.
No. ( )
Excuse me. (getting attention)
. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
. ( )
I'm sorry.
Mi sari. ( )
Goodbye
Adyosi. ( )
Goodbye (informal)
. ( )
I can't speak Sranan [well].
[ ]. ( [ ])
Do you speak English?
Yu taki Ingristongo? ( ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Suma taki ingristongo dya? ( ?)
Help!
Yepi! ( !)
Look out!
! ( !)
Good morning.
. ( )
Good evening.
. ( )
Good night.
. ( )
Good night (to sleep)
. ( )
I don't understand.
. ( )
Where is the toilet?
Pe na da plei? ( ?)

ProblemsEdit

Leave me alone.
. ( .)
Don't touch me!
! ( !)
I'll call the police.
. ( .)
Police!
Skowtu! ( !)
Stop! Thief!
Tapu! Fufuruman! ( ! !)
I need your help.
Mi e abi yu yepi fanowdu. ( .)
It's an emergency.
. ( .)
I'm lost.
Mi losi. ( .)
I lost my bag.
Mi losi mi bagasi. ( .)
I lost my wallet.
Mi losi mi portmoni. ( .)
I'm sick.
Mi siki. ( .)
I've been injured.
. ( .)
I need a doctor.
Mi abi datra fanowdu. ( .)
Can I use your phone?
Mi e kan fasi yu telefun? ( ?)

NumbersEdit

1
wan ( )
2
tu ( )
3
dri ( )
4
fo ( )
5
feifi ( )
6
siksi ( )
7
seibi ( )
8
aiti ( )
9
neigi ( )
10
tin ( )
11
erfu ( )
12
twarfu ( )
13
tin-na-dri( )
14
tin-na-fo( )
15
tin-na-feifi( )
16
tin-na-siksi( )
17
tin-na-seibi( )
18
tin-na-aiti( )
19
tin-na-neigi( )
20
twenti( )
21
twenti-na-wan( )
22
twenti-na-tu( )
23
twenti-na-dri( )
30
dritenti( )
40
fotenti( )
50
feifitenti( )
60
siksitenti( )
70
seibitenti( )
80
aititenti( )
90
neigitenti( )
100
hondro( )
200
tuhondro( )
300
drihondro( )
1,000
dusun( )
2,000
tudusun( )
1,000,000
milyun( )
1,000,000,000
millard( )
1,000,000,000,000
bilyun( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.)
( )
half
( )
less
( )
more
( )

TimeEdit

now
now( )
later
bakaten( )
before
bifo( )
morning
mamanten( )
afternoon
( )
evening
( )
night
( )

Clock timeEdit

one o'clock AM
wan uru ( )
two o'clock AM
tu uru ( )
noon
( )
one o'clock PM
wan uru ( )
two o'clock PM
tu uru ( )
midnight
( )

DurationEdit

_____ minute(s)
( )
_____ hour(s)
( )
_____ day(s)
( )
_____ week(s)
( )
_____ month(s)
( )
_____ year(s)
( )

DaysEdit

today
( )
yesterday
( )
tomorrow
( )
this week
( )
last week
( )
next week
( )
Sunday
Zonde (SUN-DAY)
Monday
Munde (MOON-DAY)
Tuesday
Tudewroko (TWO-DAY-ROCKO)
Wednesday
Dridewroko (DREE-DAY-ROCKO)
Thursday
Fodewroko (FOE-DAY-ROCKO)
Friday
Fride (FRAY-DAY)
Saturday
Satra (SA-TRA)

MonthsEdit

January
Fosimun( )
February
Tumun( )
March
Drimun( )
April
Fomun( )
May
Feifimun( )
June
Siksimun( )
July
Seibimun( )
August
Aitimun( )
September
Neigimun( )
October
Tinmun( )
November
Erfumun( )
December
Twarfumun( )

Writing time and dateEdit

ColorsEdit

black
Blaka( )
white
Weti( )
gray
( )
red
Redi( )
blue
Blaw( )
yellow
Geri( )
green
Grun( )
orange
Oranje( )
purple
Lila( )
brown
Broin( )

TransportationEdit

Bus and trainEdit

How much is a ticket to _____?
( )
One ticket to _____, please.
( )
Where does this train/bus go?
( )
Where is the train/bus to _____?
( )
Does this train/bus stop in _____?
( )
When does the train/bus for _____ leave?
( )
When will this train/bus arrive in _____?
( )

DirectionsEdit

How do I get to _____ ?
( )
...the train station?
( )
...the bus station?
( )
...the airport?
( )
...downtown?
( )
...the youth hostel?
( )
...the _____ hotel?
( )
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate?
( )
Where are there a lot of...
( )
...hotels?
( )
...restaurants?
( )
...bars?
( )
...sites to see?
( )
Can you show me on the map?
( )
street
( )
Turn left.
( )
Turn right.
( )
left
( )
right
( )
straight ahead
( )
towards the _____
( )
past the _____
( )
before the _____
( )
Watch for the _____.
( )
intersection
( )
north
( )
south
( )
east
( )
west
( )
uphill
( )
downhill
( )

TaxiEdit

Taxi!
( )
Take me to _____, please.
( )
How much does it cost to get to _____?
( )
Take me there, please.
( )

LodgingEdit

Do you have any rooms available?
( )
How much is a room for one person/two people?
( )
Does the room come with...
( )
...bedsheets?
( )
...a bathroom?
( )
...a telephone?
( )
...a TV?
( )
May I see the room first?
( )
Do you have anything quieter?
( )
...bigger?
( )
...cleaner?
( )
...cheaper?
( )
OK, I'll take it.
( )
I will stay for _____ night(s).
( )
Can you suggest another hotel?
( )
Do you have a safe?
( )
...lockers?
( )
Is breakfast/supper included?
( )
What time is breakfast/supper?
( )
Please clean my room.
( )
Can you wake me at _____?
( )
I want to check out.
( )

MoneyEdit

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?
( )
Do you accept British pounds?
( )
Do you accept Euros?
( )
Do you accept credit cards?
( )
Can you change money for me?
( )
Where can I get money changed?
( )
Can you change a traveler's check for me?
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed?
( )
What is the exchange rate?
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?
( )

EatingEdit

A table for one person/two people, please.
( )
Can I look at the menu, please?
( )
Can I look in the kitchen?
( )
Is there a house specialty?
( )
Is there a local specialty?
( )
I'm a vegetarian.
( )
I don't eat pork.
( )
I don't eat beef.
( )
I only eat kosher food.
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard)
( )
fixed-price meal
( )
a la carte
( )
breakfast
( )
lunch
( )
tea (meal)
( )
supper
( )
I want _____.
( )
I want a dish containing _____.
( )
chicken
Fowru( )
beef
Kawmeti( )
fish
Fisi( )
ham
Ameti( )
sausage
( )
cheese
Kasi( )
eggs
Eksi( )
salad
( )
(fresh) vegetables
( )
(fresh) fruit
( )
bread
Brede( )
toast
( )
noodles
( )
rice
Aleisi( )
beans
( )
May I have a glass of _____?
( )
May I have a cup of _____?
( )
May I have a bottle of _____?
( )
coffee
Kofi( )
tea (drink)
Te( )
juice
( )
(bubbly) water
( )
(still) water
( )
beer
Biri( )
red/white wine
( )
May I have some _____?
( )
salt
Sowtu( )
black pepper
( )
butter
Botro( )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished.
( )
It was delicious.
( )
Please clear the plates.
( )
The check, please.
( )

BarsEdit

Do you serve alcohol?
( )
Is there table service?
( )
A beer/two beers, please.
( )
A glass of red/white wine, please.
( )
A pint, please.
( )
A bottle, please.
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please.
( )
whiskey
( )
vodka
( )
rum
( )
water
( )
club soda
( )
tonic water
( )
orange juice
( )
Coke (soda)
( )
Do you have any bar snacks?
( )
One more, please.
( )
Another round, please.
( )
When is closing time?
( )
Cheers!
( )

ShoppingEdit

Do you have this in my size?
( )
How much is this?
( )
That's too expensive.
( )
Would you take _____?
( )
expensive
( )
cheap
( )
I can't afford it.
( )
I don't want it.
( )
You're cheating me.
( )
I'm not interested.
(..)
OK, I'll take it.
( )
Can I have a bag?
( )
Do you ship (overseas)?
( )
I need...
Mi nowtu....( )
...toothpaste.
( )
...a toothbrush.
( )
...tampons.
. ( )
...soap.
Sopo( )
...shampoo.
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)
( )
...cold medicine.
( )
...stomach medicine.
... ( )
...a razor.
( )
...an umbrella.
( )
...sunblock lotion.
( )
...a postcard.
( )
...postage stamps.
( )
...batteries.
( )
...writing paper.
( )
...a pen.
( )
...English-language books.
Den buku ini a Ingristongo( )
...English-language magazines.
( )
...an English-language newspaper.
( )
...an English-English dictionary.
( )

DrivingEdit

I want to rent a car.
( )
Can I get insurance?
( )
stop (on a street sign)
( )
one way
( )
yield
( )
no parking
( )
speed limit
( )
gas (petrol) station
( )
petrol
Oli( )
diesel
( )

AuthorityEdit

I haven't done anything wrong.
( )
It was a misunderstanding.
( )
Where are you taking me?
( )
Am I under arrest?
( )
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen.
( )
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate.
( )
I want to talk to a lawyer.
Mi wani e taki nanga wan afkati( )
Can I just pay a fine now?
( )
This Sranan phrasebook is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!