News Releases

Patois brought back to life as new songbook launches

For Release Upon Receipt - June 4, 2009

St. Augustine

A new songbook and CD are expected to breathe new life into Patois when they are launched on Saturday 6th June, 2009. The songbook and CD, called Vini Chanté an Patwa (Come Sing in Patois) will be launched at the Centre for Language Learning (CLL) Auditorium, The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. The Patois songbook and CD were created to ensure the posterity of the French Creole (Patois) language in Trinidad. The launch will highlight the heritage, development and status of Patois in Trinidad from 1738 to 2009.

This ingenious songbook showcases twenty-nine traditional Patois (Kwéyòl) songs, along with a monologue. All items in the songbook are translated into English, alongside explanations detailing the modern spelling system used for Patois. The project was organised by Ms Florence Blizzard and Mr Nnamdi Hodge, and was made possible by the grant of a bpTT Spirit of Community Award in Arts and Culture to the organisation Women Working for Social Progress (Workingwomen). The songbook also provides readers with a brief history of the language in Trinidad. The CD, which accompanies the book, features the voices of members of the Vini Chanté choir, born out of a Workingwomen Patois class taught by Mr. Hodge.  Mr Hodge is a graduate of UWI, where he read LING 2899 French-lexicon Creole (Patois) in the Department of Liberal Arts. The songbook is published by the UWI-based Society for Caribbean Linguistics.

For further information, please contact the Songbook editors, Dr. Merle Hodge at (868) 662-2002 Ext. 3032 or, or Dr. Jo-Anne Ferreira at (868) 662-2002 ext. 3029 or

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