If you’ve decided to travel to Central America I bet you’re in the process of downloading Google translate. What you might not know is that you don’t need it if you’re traveling to Belize. While the vast majority of Central America is Spanish speaking Belize is a former British colony making its official language – you guessed it, English! This doesn’t mean you won’t hear some interesting phrases during your stay. Belize’s geographic location is unique to say the least. As a part of both Central America and the Caribbean you’re likely to hear Spanish, and the famed Belizean Kriol during your everyday activities.
In order to truly immerse yourself in the authentic culture of Belize you have to know the words and expressions of the country which is why we’ve brought you a crash course on KRIOL!
Mawnin – Also known as “Good Morning” is the perfect way to start your day!
Bwai — Much like “boiz” bwai is an endearing and friendly way of referring to any male. “Bwai, thank you!”.
Gyal — Is used in the same context, but for females. “How are you, gyal?”.
Gwen — No, not the name. We mean where are you going? Or can be used to say I’m going. “I gwen tomorrow”.
Coh — If you’re going then you must be coming back at some point. Coh is also commonly used to say “come here”. “Coh over tonight”.
Lee — Lee is the perfect word to describe something that is small or short. “Pass me the lee cup”.
Puppy Foot — Someone who loves to travel! “Kayla puppy foot!”.
Rich — Ever had a meal that was too good for words to describe? Well let me tell you that food was rich!
Bashment — Ever heard of a wild party? Well, welcome to the basement!
Set it up! – This term is key for anyone looking to party often used to describe setting up a meeting or hangout.
Nice Up — Chances are at the party you might get a little tipsy or as Belizeans like to say nice up!
Goma — After a long night of drinking chances are you’ll have a hangover or goma.
Yuh Di Stin — If you have the perfect outfit on chances are yuh di stin! “Stin” is also used to describe “sting or stung”.
Weh di goan? – When talking to a friend you might want to ask “What’s going on?” “What’s up?” “What’s the plan?”.
Cho! – Sometimes the perfect word does not exist to describe your disbelief and shock, but the perfect sound does!
Lick Road — Let’s hit the road. “Mek we lick road to Sleeping Giant!”.