Difference Between Pidgin and Creole

Pidgin vs Creole

What happens if a German individual who does not know English is made to sit and try to converse with a person who knows nothing but English language? Well, they may try to communicate using their hands and body language but ultimately what happens is that the two of them develop a new language that combines the elements of both the parent languages. This is what happens when a pidgin language takes birth when two cultures come in contact with each other. There is another word called Creole that confuses many because of its similarities with pidgin language. Despite similarities, there are differences that will be talked about in this article.


In a multiethnic society where different groups speak different languages but are required to communicate on account of trade or any other necessity, there is often the birth of a common language that is composed of words from several languages spoken by the population. This is called a pidgin, a crude language that has simplified grammar and is task oriented and not a language in the classic definition of the word.

A pidgin is often a necessity when two groups come in contact with each other and these groups do not have a common language. A pidgin never develops as a full-fledged language past a certain stage of development. It does, however, give birth to a Creole language.


Creole is a language that is developed as a result of mixing of two languages. Many believe that when children adopt a pidgin as their primary language of communication; it develops and becomes a Creole. Adults develop pidgin as a tool for communication, but children adopt it as their primary language and develop it as a Creole. Creole develops as a result of extended contact between two different groups of people having different languages of their own. Creole becomes a standard language in its own right.

What is the difference between Pidgin and Creole?

• Pidgin is the first stage of development of a language while Creole is the secondary stage of development.

• Creole becomes a mother tongue of the later generation of speakers whereas pidgin remains a mere tool of communication.

• Grammar in Creole is fully developed, whereas it is rudimentary in pidgin.

• Extended contact between speakers of two different languages gives birth to Creole as children of adults that develop pidgin adopt Creole as their primary language.

• The word pidgin comes from English pigeon who was used as a messenger in early times.

• Creole comes from French creole that means to create or to produce.

• Pidgin is not a standard language while Creole is a fully developed language.