Krio is the most widely spoken language in Sierra Leone and is native to the Creoles who are freed slaves from Britain, The United States and West Indies. It is mainly derived from English but has influences from other African languages (Yuroba for example), European languages (such as French) and also contains some expressions found in the West Indies.
NOTE: The writing system used here is the recommended orthography used in schools and colleges in Sierra Leone. The orthography uses phonetic symbols for some vowel sounds in krio.
An important thing to note is that each symbol represents ONE and only ONE sound, and each sound is represented by only ONE symbol. The vowel sounds are usually the problem. Below is a guide to the pronunciation of the vowels of Krio.
1. ɛ as in English ‘bed.’
2. e as in English ‘day’
3. ɔ as in English ‘cot’
4. ʌ as in English ‘cut’ (not found in Krio)
5. ə as in English ‘ among’ (not found in Krio)
6. o as in English ‘bowl’ or ‘boat’
7. u as in English ‘fool’
8. I as in English ‘seat’
Also, the velar nasal sound, ŋ , as in English ‘King,’ is used in Krio ‘fulɔp piŋ’ (full to the brim), and in Temne ‘kʌ lɛŋ’ ( to grow grey hair).