Annobonese Creole

Annobonese Creole is a Portuguese creole known to its speakers as Fa d'Ambu or Fá d'Ambô (Portuguese: Fala de Ano-Bom). It is spoken on the Annobón and Bioko Islands off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, mostly by people of mixed African, Portuguese and Spanish descent. It is called annobonense or annobonés in Spanish.

Fa d’Ambu
Native toEquatorial Guinea
Regionmainly on Annobón island; Bioko island, some speakers in Equatorial Guinea's mainland
Native speakers
5,000–6,000 (2010)[1]
Portuguese creoles
  • Lower Guinea Portuguese
    • Annobonese
Language codes
ISO 639-3fab

The attitude in the country towards this language is positive. It is taught in special courses in the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo.


The creole language was spoken originally by the descendants of intermixing between Portuguese men and African women slaves imported from other places, especially from São Tomé and Angola, and therefore descends from Portuguese and Forro, the creole of the freed slaves of São Tomé. The government of Equatorial Guinea financed an Instituto Internacional da Língua Portuguesa (IILP) sociolinguistic study in Annobón, which noticed strong links with the Portuguese creole populations in São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau.[2]


Annobonese is analogous to Forro. In fact, it may be derived from Forro as it shares the same structure and 82% of its lexicon.[citation needed] After Annobón passed to Spain, the language incorporated some words of Spanish origin (10% of its lexicon),[citation needed], but it is often difficult to say from which language the word derive, given the similarity between Spanish and Portuguese. Today, the Spanish language is the official language of the island, although it is not much spoken and the Portuguese creole has vigorous use in the island and in the capital Malabo and with some speakers in Equatorial Guinea's mainland.[3] Noncreolized Portuguese is used as liturgical language. Portuguese has been declared an official language in Equatorial Guinea, but so far is rarely used in Bioko and Río Muni.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ Annobonese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "Formação de professores e programas televisivos introduzem português na Guiné-Equatorial" [Teacher formation and television programs introduce Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea] (in Portuguese). Sol. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Fa d'Ambu". Ethnologue. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Equatorial Guinea Adds Portuguese as the Country's Third Official Language". PRNewsWire. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  5. ^ "El portugués será el tercer idioma oficial de la República de Guinea Ecuatorial" (in Spanish). Gobierno de la Republica de Guinea Ecuatoria. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  6. ^ "Proyecto de Ley Constitucional" (PDF). Gobierno de la Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  • Araujo, Gabriel Antunes; Agostinho, Ana Lívia dos Santos; Silveira, Alfredo Christofoletti; Freitas, Shirley; Bandeira, Manuele (2013). "Fa d'ambô: Língua crioula de Ano Bom". Cadernos de Estudos Lingüísticos. 55 (2): 25–44. doi:10.20396/cel.v55i2.8637289.
  • Zamora Segorbe, Armando (2010), Gramática descriptiva del fá d'ambô, Barcelona: Centro de Estudios Internacionales de Biología y Antropologia

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