Many people have a misleading understanding of language. They think it is all about how we communicate with each other, either verbally or in written form, and nothing more. But there’s a lot more to language than meets the eye (or ears).
Language, as a system of communication, is unique to particular ethnic or racial groups of people, and it is a major unifying factor across the world.
The colonization of particular societies around the world played a big part in the development of Creole languages predominantly used in those societies today.
The Creole language is any unique language that is born of a union of two or more functionally distinct languages.
The Haitian Creole
In Haiti, Haitian Creole, commonly called Creole by Haitians, is the dominant language. It is spoken nationwide and has been the country’s official language since 1987.
In fact, Creole is the formal means of communication used at all levels by professionals working in all fields of education, to health delivery, to social services. What’s more, the language is the most important French-based Creole language all over the world.
The Creole was developed as a result of interactions between African slaves working on sugar plantations in Haiti and their colonial masters, the French. Since these two groups of people often needed to communicate with each other but had their own functionally distinct languages, they were forced to strike a middle ground and devise a new form of communication — the Creole.
Are You Interested in Learning Haitian Creole?
If you are planning a trip to Haiti, be it for business or pleasure, you may want to learn some basic conversational words or phrases in Creole so you can communicate easily with the native speakers of the language.
Even if you don’t have plans to travel to the country any time soon, you may be interested in learning the language for other personal reasons.
Translating English to Creole
Now that you have a clue about the history of Haitian Creole, you probably appreciate that the language has come a long way since the days it was developed.
With that said, let’s learn some common words and phrases in English and translate them to Creole.
Top 25 Creole Words to Learn
- Greetings — Bonjou
- Please — Tanpri
- Morning — Maten
- Noon — Midi
- Afternoon — Apremidi
- Evening — Aswè
- Night — Lannwit
- Food — Manje
- Water — Dlo
- Hotel — Otèl
- Cab — Kabinè
- Hospital — Lopital
- Money — Lajan
- Police — Lapolis
- Luggage — Bagaj
- Boy — Gason
- Girl — Fi
- Man — Nonm
- Lady — Fanm
- No — Pa gen okenn
- Yes — Wi
- Come — Vini
- Goodbye — Orevwa
- Okay — Dakò
- English — Anglè
Top 10 Creole Phrases to Learn
- Good Morning — Bonjou
- How are you — Koman ou ye
- What’s your name — Kijan ou rele
- Excuse me — Eskize m
- Thank you — Mèsi
- How much — Konbyen
- See you — Wè ou
- Do you speak English — Èske ou pale angle
- I am fine — Mwen byen
- Please come — Tanpri vini
Keep in Mind…
Learning Creole words and phrases is one thing — knowing how to pronounce the words and phrases correctly is a totally different thing.
Even if you have taken French classes, spoken Creole may not sound all too familiar to you. This is probably because African languages have had a greater influence on Haitian Creole more than other French Creoles.
For precise translation, you might want to consider enrolling for a Haitian Creole course or hiring a professional translator for the Creole language. There are many Creole courses offered online or at local colleges and universities, so you should be able to find a program that works for you.
Don’t Forget the Friendly Nature of the Haiti People
The culturally-rich people of Haiti have a history that is rooted in African tradition and anchored in French influence. To fully understand the origin, development, and importance of the Creole in the Haitian society, you will need to learn various aspects of Haitian culture.
Local Haitians are a friendly people — they won’t mind helping you to learn their challenging and intriguing language through vivid art, storytelling, music and lively dance, and other fun ways.
The Haitian Creole is Destined for Greatness
As one of Haiti’s two official languages, Creole has had a huge impact on Haitian culture and way of life. Indeed, almost the entire population of the country speaks the language, which is also closely linked to other French Creoles spoken in Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Martinique, and French Guyana as well as in Louisiana.
From the look of things, it seems Haitian Creole is going to remain the dominant French Creole language for several more years to come.