NEDERDUITSCHE ZAMENSPRAKEN VOOR DE ZENDINGS-SCHOLEN IN SURINAME. Paramaribo, 1864.
This is a very early Dutch-Sranan Tongo book published in Paramaribo, Suriname. An early conversational guide to Sranan Tongo, the Creole of Suriname, printing sixty conversations in Sranan with parallel Dutch translations. OCLC locates only two copies, one at the University of Amsterdam and one at Yale. Of this rare and interesting Suriname imprint Buku – Bibliotheca Surinamica own a later (second?) edition from 1889.
A number of the books from my collection deal with the phenomenon language.
For that subject I have a certain liking. I think that it is because language played of course a large role in the emancipation process of the black population of Surinam. But also because Suriname is such a complex society with so many different Europeans languages, of African slaves, Amerindians and the languages of indentured laborers coming from China, India and Java. Religion also plays a large role at the first written works in the Sranan Tongo. The missionaries of the Moravian Brethern started with translating bible texts in the Sranan Tongo. It would take a very long time before the first literary texts in this language would appear. On the one hand the colonial powers tried to use Sranan Tongo to communicate with the slaves. On other one the side they tried to block the education of slaves.