Sranan is a creole language spoken by about 300,000 in Suriname, where it is used as a lingua franca. There are also Sranan speakers in the Netherlands. It is a mainly English-based creole with vocabulary from Dutch, Portuguese and languages of West and Central Africa, and it developed from a pidgin used by slaves and slave owners who didn't share a common language.
The language is also known as Sranan Tongo (Surinamean tongue), Surinaams, Surinamese, Suriname Creole and Taki Taki), and was formerly called nengre or negerengels.
Although use of Sranan in the Dutch-based education system of Suriname was repressed, it gradually became acceptable to the establishment. During the 1980s Desi Bouterse, the then dictator of Suriname, helped to popularise Sranan by making speeches in it, and an official spelling system was established in 1986.