Pidgin, Creole

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This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

A pidgin is a local (often simplified but still bona fide) language that evolves when different language speakers in an area learn to communicate.

A creole is a combination of languages into a new stable language (often local).

Yes, those are descriptions that can overlap in practice.

If you want an (arbitrary) distinction, you could say that things pidgins when they are still being created, and become creoles when it is is taught to children.

The terms can also be used to refer to unintentional mistakes (see also Shibboleths), to a decent set of intentional neologisms (see e.g. Yinglish), to interspersing of words and other such practices that usually develop after migration.

It arguably also includes semi-standardized jargon-ish languages like Seaspeak, Airspeak (the NATO phonetic alphabet, and arguably the formulaic requests and responses), and Tunnelspeak.

See also

Something and English: