Annobonese Creole

Annobonese Creole

Fa d’Ambu
Native to Equatorial Guinea
Region mainly 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 639-3 fab
Glottolog fada1250[2]
Linguasphere 51-AAC-ae

The Annobonese 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 Annobon 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.

There is positive attitude in the country for the language and there are teaching courses in the capital, 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 of Portuguese and Forro, the creole of the freed slaves of São Tomé, probably from which Fa d'Ambu derives. The government of Equatorial Guinea financed an Instituto Internacional da Língua Portuguesa (IILP) sociolinguistic study in Annobon, which noticed strong links with the Portuguese creole populations in São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau.[3]


Annobonese is analogous to Forro. In fact, it must be derived from Forro as it shares the same structure (82% of its lexicon). After Annobon passed to Spain, the language may have gained some words of Spanish origin (10% of its lexicon), although it is difficult to be sure, 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.[4] Noncreolized Portuguese is used as liturgical language. Portuguese is being restored as an official language in Equatorial Guinea.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Annobonese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Fa d'Ambu".  
  3. ^ "Formação de professores e programas televisivos introduzem português na Guiné-Equatorial" [Teacher formation and television programs introduce Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea] (in Portuguese). Sol. 1\5 February 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "Fa d’Ambu". Ethnologue. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Equatorial Guinea Adds Portuguese as the Country's Third Official Language". PRNewsWire. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Proyecto de Ley Constitucional" (PDF). Gobierno de la Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2010.