Bonjou! Learn to Speak Haitian Creole

Bonjou! ...Mèsi! ...E Orevwa! Check out the Audio Lesson of the Week. Do as many exercises as you need. Take an online QUIZ and get your answers right away. Finish a crossword puzzle. Reinforce your learning with the Audio/Video exercises. Search for English or Haitian Creole words translation. Also search the whole site for expressions, idioms and grammar rules. And ask questions about the language in the ASK ME ANYTHING section.
Most requested translations added here for your convenience: I love you → Mwen renmen w. I miss you → Mwen sonje w. My love!Lanmou mwen!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Poukisa yo aprann timoun ayisyen pou pa gade nan je ni pou yo pa kwaze pye yo, et pou pa soufle?

Granmoun pa tolere timoun gade yo nan je. Se timoun odasye ki fè sa dapre yo menm.  Sa demontre yon timoun ki gen aksyon sou li. 
Men m poko janm jwenn yon nasyon ki ka pèdi tan l ap defigire yon moun delatètopye tankou Ayisyen.  Depi yo gade w, yo gendwa di si w "gwo" oubyen si w "piti".  Etranje va gade w anba linèt, men Ayisyen di w, Bondye ba l je, se pou l gade.  Ya kanpe sou ran pou yo gade w. Sèlman yo p’ap gade w nan je.
Men pou di w vre, m gen pwoblèm ak moun ki pa ka gade m nan je lè y’ap pale avè m.  Lè yo fè sa yo sanble y’ap kache m yon bagay.

Zafè kwaze pye a se menm bagay la. Si w gen respè pou moun ki pi gran pase w, ou chita devan l nan yon fason ki onore l….. yon fason ki soumèt. Se konsa m te leve.

Pou koze soufle a, m pa konn sa pou m di :)  Gramoun mwen ta flanke m yon kalòt si m pwenti bouch mwen ap soufle devan yo.  E si m ta mande yo, “poukisa m ka soufle sou granmoun?” yo ta flanke m on lòt souflèt.  Donk se granmou yo ki konnen sekrè a, paske yo pa’t janm ban m chans envestige sa :)


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Ki kote m kapab trouve roch galet?

Ou pral fè yon “resèt”?

Wòch galèt se nan larivyè ou ranmase sa.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

What is santi pise?

What’s the context? Besides the obvious meaning, you can find this in a name-calling type of situation.

Someone might call another “ti santi pise” meaning vagabond, worthless person

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“Se sa m bliye m pat fe” can you explain the usage of this term, specifically when can I use it? Thanks Mandalay.

Your example literally means it’s what I forgot I didn’t do basically meaning that I did everything

Or in the future tense Se sa m bliye m p’ap – (literally, it’s what I forget I will not do) meaning that I will do everything.

Pa egzanp:
Misye te tonbe joure m. Se sa l bliye l pa’t di’m. (notice past tense) – He began to curse at me. He really let me have it/ or He didn’t mince his words.

Another example of how it’s used:
John had not seen his wife for two weeks. When he called her on the phone to say he was coming home, he playfully said to her, Lè m rive lakay se sa m bliye m’ pa’p fè w. (notice future tense)- meaning that he’s  really going to indulge with her.

One more example:
N’ap desann Jakmèl pou wikenn nan avèk kèk ti medam. Napwen travay. Nanpwen obligasyon. Nou pral pran plezi nou nèt. Se sa n bliye n p’ap fè. Meaning We’re going to party hard (or something like that)


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how do u say lonbay in english

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bonjou, Mandaly! I'm reviewing Singular Definite Articles and I'm confused about one of the examples for the Special Note about the vowels "i" and "ou." You said words that end with "i" or "ou" and is preceded by a nasal sound will use "AN." Here's my confusion. You used "LENNMI AN" instead of "LENNMI A.


Although the H. Creole article “an” is used for words that end with a nasal vowel such “pen an, kan an, pon an”; it’s  also used for words that end with a non-nasal vowel which is preceded by a nasal sound:

Examples:

You'll say "zanmi an" instead "zanmi a", because of the nasal sound "zan..." in zanmi
You'll say "fanmi an" instead of "fanmi a" because of the nasal sound "fan..." in fanmi.

We say:
jou a
or jou an
avangou a 
or avangou an
bouk la
or bouk lan
soukous la
or soukous lan
lanmou an because of the nasal sound "lan..." in lanmou

Thus “lennmi an”

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Ki jan w di "the matter at hand" Eske w Gen yon fraz pou sa nan kreyol?


The matter at handsijè, kesyon; sijè ki sou tab la, kesyon ki sou tab la

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

what is dyayi? I've seen many different translations. i know it means to dance or move your body some way but what does mean "mwen pral dyayi sou ou"?


 M pral djayi sou ou” seems to mean “I’m going to flip out on you” (to be angry or furious).  I’m not sure what the context is.

It also translates to shake, to have the shakes, to go into a trembling fit.
Egzanp:
Fanm nan t’ap kriye nan antèman pitit li a.  Li t’ap djayi atè a.  Se dis gason ki t’oblije kenbe l anvan l te vin resi kalme.

Djayi” can also mean “to dance”.

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What are some synonyms for "ugly" besides "lèd" regarding people or thing? for example, "That house around the corner is ugly." "Flavor of love or flavor flave is an ugly person." What are some degrees of ugliness in creole(if there is any)?


What are some synonyms for "ugly" besides "lèd" regarding people or thing? for example, "That house around the corner is ugly." "Flavor of love or flavor flave is an ugly person." What are some degrees of ugliness in creole(if there is any)?

Degrees of ugliness?  Is that about comparatives?

You should listen to Maurice Sixto’s Sentaniz where the mistress of the house calls Sentaniz ugly in many many different ways….

In Haitian Creole we may use  koukou, makawon,  mafweze, kaka zonbi, mangousa, malfouti,  chwèt, makoubi, etc….

As for describing an ugly object, we might use gwosomodo

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Lè yo rele mwen “blan” an Ayiti

This post is written by Scott. 

 
Bonjou mesyedam, lasosyete d Ayiti.

Jodiya mwen vle diskite yon mo mwen tande trè souvan an Ayiti – “blan.” Lè m flannen nan santye andeyò, lè m achte pwovizyon nan mache, lè m fè dekabès, lè m ap rele “Anmwey !” aprè pikan pike gwo zotèy mwen, mwen tande moun di “Blan.” E se pa yon sèl fason pou yo di l. Moun ka rele l, moun ka chwichwi l, moun ka tchwipe l, e moun ka salye avè l ak tout politès. Kelkeswa ka a, mwen konn tande l.

Sa k fè moun di sa alantou mwen tout tan? Oke chè lektè, m ap mete sekre rèd pa m nan lari. Mwen menm, mwen gen po blan, je vèt, mwen fèt lòtbòdlo. Donk, an Ayiti moun konn rele mwen "blan." E jodiya, mwen ta vle pataje yon ti tranch esperyans mwen genyen ak mo sa a nan bèl peyi nou.

Bon, an palan de esperyans pa m, mwen ka fè de (2) kan moun ki konn rele mwen "blan."

            Premyeman, gen moun ki rele mwen "blan" premye fwa yo wè mwen paske yo poko konnen kijan mwen rele, yo wè mwen se yon etranje, e san touche gwo istwa kolonyal, se nan jan sa nou konn kalifye moun konsa an Ayiti. Aprè sa nou koze, nou bay blag, nou mande youn lòt anpil kesyon. Mwen aprann konbyen sè ak frè yo genyen, e mwen di yo manman mwen byen, menm si sante li pa pafè. Mwen esplike kòman mwen travay nan yon lekòl. Nou pataje esperyans nou ak lide nou sou sistèm edikasyon, e nou diskite ki wòl kominote entènasyonal la ak dyaspora a ka genyen nan zafè sa yo. Kòm mwen se yon Kreyolis, souvan nou pale sou wòl lang kreyòl ak lang franse nan sosyete a tou.

Pale nou fin pale youn ak lòt, mwen pa "blan" ankò, mwen se “zanmi,” “Msye Scott,” ou “Tiscot.” Men wi, gen kèk moun ki konn rele m “blan” toujou. Mwen di yo “Se pa konsa fanmi mwen lòtbo konn rele m, non papa!” (gen kèk ti grenn moun ki parèt sezi. "Non ? Manman w pa rele ou blan ?" Adje.) E si nou rive fini koze a nèt, mwen pa vle moun ki konnen mwen byen rele mwen "blan" paske se kòmsi nou ka bliye tout lòt karatèristik, lefèt ke nou chak gen pwòp istwa ak rèv nou, e se sèlman koulè ki enpòtan. Aprè mwen di sa, moun konn reponn "Tout moun se moun. Tout moun gen menm valè." Pifò Ayisyen konprann sa byen. Anfèt, jeneralman isit la moun konprann sa pi byen pase lòt kote sou latè, e se pou sa mwen renmen pale avèk Ayisyen e mwen gen anpil zanmi Ayisyen.

            Gen yon dezyèm gwoup moun ki konn rele mwen blan tou. Men okonmansman yo pa rele mwen blan. Non, odebi se “Monsieur Scott, bienvenue en Haïti. Comment allez-vous?” Tre janti, non? Men, sa pa dire twòp tan. Menmsi mwen eseye mare lang mwen, mwen gen tandans antre bouch mwen nan koze EPT (Edikasayon Pou Toutmoun) oubyen sou valè lang Kreyòl Ayisyen an, e kòman m ap etidye kilti ak istwa d Ayiti. Epitou, mwen ka fè wè nan de tan twa mouvman yo konstate mwen pa rich. Donk, mwen pa rich, mwen pa sòt. Kisa yo ka fè ak yon etranje ki pa ni sòt ni rich ?

            Bridsoukou, se pa « Bienvenue Monsieur Scott » ankò. Bridsoukou, se yon blan mwen ye. Yon etranje, yon moun ki sòt yon lòt kote. Yo pale ak zanmi yo devan mwen e yo di "Kominote entènasyonal la ap toujou mete tèt yo nan zafè nou." Yo pase m nan tenten, yo rele mwen “yon blan fou.” Yo pa reponn lè mwen pale ak yo an kreyòl. Mezanmi, sa preske fin dekouraje mwen nèt.

Bon, san fè okenn konklizyon, mwen ka kondanse esperyans mwen ak mo “blan” an konsa:

Pou pifò moun an Ayiti, plis mwen pale kreyòl, plis mwen fè efò pou konprann sosyete Ayiti, e plis nou di ansanm ke yon bon edikasyon se yon dwa pou tout timoun, kèlkeswa koulè, kèlkeswa nasyonalite, kèlkeswa lang, e kèlkeswa klas, plis yo konn ban mwen yon non pase jis “blan.”

Men pou yon dezyèm ti gwoup, dotan mwen pale sou lide sila yo, dotan yo konn rele mwen “blan.” Men mwen santi gwoup sa a sèvi ak mo a nan yon lòt fason. Genlè se pa sèlman yon jan pou kalifye mwen, men se yon metòd pou fè m santi m kòm yon moun deyò, pou betize mwen, e, dabò, pou fè mwen fèmen bouch mwen ak tout koze Edikasyon Pou Toutmoun sa a.

Mwen pa ka di mwen konprann tout bagay nan sosyete Ayisyen an, e donk jodiya m ap sèlman pataje esperyans mwen  ak nou. Epi, si nou vle, nou ka eksplike m kisa li siyifye.

-pa Scott

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mési anpil for all your speedy responses, Mandaly! Now another question. How come "You" plural is "Nou" like the Haitian Creole "We" instead of "Vou" or something like that? Won't this be confusing? Also, do you have any audio lessons for these pronouns? I can't even try to imagine what these contractions sound like, "L, N, and Y" for "Li, Nou, and Yo." I'm starting to run into a bit of challenge from not hearing as I read. Xoxoxo

Usually if the word is within context, you will not be confused.

If I come onto a group of people and I want to say hello, I’d say: Kouman nou ye mezanmi? How are you all doing? (Actually that’s how I usually greet a group of people)

Or in a speech, the speaker might say to the audience.

Nou pa dwe bay legen.  Nou pa dwe fè bak.  Se pou nou kenbe la. Se pou nou vanse douvan. – You must not give up. You must not back down.  You must hang in there.  You must move forward.
It’s easy to see that “nou”, in both examples above, translates as plural “you” here?
 
And if both of us were having a conversation, and I said:
Kisa pou nou fè menm?So what should we do?
Here, we know that “nou” translates “we”.

So it’s all in the context.

And regarding listening exercises, the more you listen to all types of conversations the more your ears will be trained and eventually be comfortable in understanding and hearing the pronouns whether they’re contracted or not.
 
Kenbe la.

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what does it mean to "fe sisisy" in hcreole? btw i probably spelled it wrong! thanks?

Do you mean fè lasisin, or is it something else?  Fè lasisin – taunt, to tease someone with food

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Mandaly. From what I have been reading about Ayiti and alcohol; it seems to indicate that the Creoles there do not drink strong drink. The articles imply that they drink milder drinks on the average. I am talking about common Creole folk. Pa vre? Also, does Ayiti brew a national beer or a national hard liqueur such as vodka, whiskey or bourbon? I am trying to get my travel plans in order. Mesi bokou


We have a few alcoholic beverages that are native to Haiti in addition to some homemade cocktails.  Kleren (Clairin) may be the strongest:

Kleren (clairin) – Strong alcoholic drink distilled from sugar canes.

Wonm Babankou (rhum Barbancourt) – Haitian rum

Prestij (Prestige) – Haitian Beer

Kremas (Cremas) – Creamed coconut alcoholic beverage

Like (liqueur) – red alcoholic beverage primarily flavored with beets

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Mon vlé mandé an kwésyon...es moun ayisien sevi pawol-la "zot"? adan dominik,gwadloup, st.lisi e matnik we use that when talking to a group of people. Pa egzanp...zot pa ka manjé (are you all not eating). Also in dominica we use "sa" to able/can. For example...mon pa sa kopwann kwéyòl pyes (I can not understand creole at all) .Curious if these are used in haiti. Mési anchay

1.
Enpe moun te konn itilize “zòt” lontan lontan.  Men kounye a, depi alfabetizasyon Kreyòl la, yo pa itilize l fasil ankò. Kounye a, depi kèk tan, nou itilize “nou” nan plas “zòt”.

Pa egzanp, nou di:
Kòman nou ye? (to a group of people)
How are you all doing?

Ou kapab jwenn mo “zòt” la nan liv ki te ekri lontan ak nan ansyen bib Kreyòl Aysiyen an
 

2.
WI, nou itilize “sa” pou nou di “kapab” (nan fraz negatif).
Pa egzanp:
M tonbe m pa sa leve. – I’ve fallen I can’t get up.
M pa sa konpran anyen nan sa w’ap di. – I can’t understand anything that you’re saying.
Yo tèlman sezi yo pa sa pale. – They are se shocked they can’t talk.
…..
3.
Lòt bagay:
Nou pa itilize aksan sou “e” paske nan lang Kreyòl la nou pa genyen prononsyasyon “e” Franse a.
Pa egzanp:
Nou di rele nan plas rélé
Nou di pale nan plas palé
Etc…


Mwen konprann Kreyòl ou, eske ou konprann Kreyòl mwen ?

 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How can I use the expression SE PA PALE like you did in the email. I don’t get it .do you a couple of example. mesi


Se pa pale  - it goes without saying,  needless to say, there’s no doubt, unquestionably, for sure

1. Timoun alèkile pa respekte paran yo. Sa ki rich yo menm se pa pale, yo pi mal. - Kids these days do not respect their parents.  The wealthy ones, for sure, are the worst.

2. Mina te entelijan anpil.  Li te maton nan chimi, biyoloji, syans natirèl yo, etc...  Matematik menm se pa pale, nanpwen yon pwoblèm matematik li pa t ka rezoud. - Mina was very smart.  She was good with chemistry, biology, the natural sciences, etc… As for math, that’s for sure, there wasn’t a math problem that she couldn’t solve.

3. Misye te lage nan plezi nèt.  Li te nan nayklib chak swa.  Li pa’t refize dwòg.  Li t’ap depanse adwat agoch. Kanta pou fanm menm, se pa pale, chak swa li te kouche ak youn diferan. – He was living a life of pleasure. He was at the nightclubs every night.  He didn’t refuse drugs.  He was spending money left and right.  As for women, needless to say, he slept with a different one each night.

 

Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

panama m tonbe sa ki deye ranmase l pou mwen. what is panama?

What would profite translate here “Tigaso an te byen profit pendan l te avek nou la”

Pwofite – to seize to occasion, take the opportunity

Ti gason an te “byen” pwofite pandan l te avèk nou - The boy thrived “well” while he was with us
 
 

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Bonjou, Mandaly! I've completed up to Lesson 12 and I'm about to start Lesson 13 after I review all my notes and things from Lessons 1-12. And guess what? I took my first test (Definite Articles) and got 100%! M KONTAN!!! ……..

"Bonjou, Mandaly! I've completed up to Lesson 12 and I'm about to
start Lesson 13 after I review all my notes and things from Lessons 1-12. And
guess what? I took my first test (Definite Articles) and at 100%! M KONTAN!!!
^_^ Right now I'm reviewing the practice portion of the notes I took from your
video lessons about the Singular Definite Articles. Well, here's my question.
For "The book is in the box" to be translated as "Liv la nan bwat la." Why is
that? I don't understand what "NAN" means here. I Only know "NAN" to be one of
the Haitian Creole forms of "THE" but....that wouldn't make sense in this
sentence. Does this word mean something else now?"


Answer:

Awesome.  Mwen kontan deske ou kontan :)

"nan", here, is the preposition "in", "inside"

liv la      | nan  | bwat la
the book | in    | the box
The book is in the box.

Here is another example
kouto a   | nan | gode a
the knife | in   | the cup
The knife is in the cup.

If you were to have "nan" as a definite article and "nan" as preposition, you would write down both.
example:
Madanm nan |  nan |  chanm nan
The woman   | in     | the room
The woman is in the room.





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Mesye bonjou or madan bonjou?

Larèn nan pa konprann. Li mande plis esplikasyon mezanmi :)

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mache prese pa domi san sou pe

This question is about fek and soti. I see that you use it for past tenses, you wrote ‘m fek pale ave l’ – ‘I just spoke to her’. Would it make sense to add ‘te’ to that sentence: ‘m fek te pale ave l’ or is it ‘m te fek pale ave l? would it mean the same thing then? Mesi


Fèk and sòti, in this case, will indicate an event that happened a short while ago, very recently, not too long ago

FYI: Some people may say fèk, fenk,fèrank, or fenrank

Some people may say sòti or sot

And sometimes they may use fèk sot together

Egzanp:

1. M fèk wè papa w. – I just saw your dad (not too long ago)

2. M sot benyen, se pousa cheve mouye konsa. – I just showered that’s why my hair is so wet.

3. Nou pa grangou. Nou fenk sot manje. – We’re not hungry. We just ate. (a short while ago)

 

If you do add “te”, the  Haitian Creole past tense determiner, then it will make the difference between past tense or present perfect and past perfect.

4. M fèk pale avè l – I just spoke to her. OR I’ve just spoken to her

5. M te fèk pale avè l – I had just spoken to her.

It’ll make more sense in the next sentence:

6. Nou te fèk fin manje ansanm lè lapolis te parèt douvan pòt la. - We had just finished eating together when the police showed up at the front door.

You could not have said: Nou fèk fin manje ansanm lè ….

 

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Ki denye mo ou lan sa? What’s “lan sa”?


lan sa – (in this literally), on the subject, on the matter

Ki denye mo ou lan sa?”

What’s your last word in this? literalman

What are your thoughts?

What’s your perspective?

What’s your opinion on this?

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Do you know why a humming bird is called WANGANEGES in Creole? I was under the impression the word WANGA has to do with voodoo.

Yes, the name wanganègès is made up of two common words in Haitian Creole.

wanga - sorcery, magic spell, luck; nègès – black woman

Besides getting praise for its beauty and radiance the wanganègès has been known to be used as love potion to gain a woman’s affection. Specifically a man may kill the bird, burn it and concoct a powder mixture with the ashes. He would carry the powder in his handkerchief.
Kolibri, another type of wanganègès, will also be translated as hummingbird.

Have you heard the song about a humming bird Kolibri by Ticorn? On Youtube: http://youtu.be/v3yVPiMj2Fw

 

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Mandaly. Ki jan ou di an Kreyol Ayisyen a mixed group of boys and girls? Is it as in Spanish; the masculine form "los muchachos" / "gason yo"? Mesi bokou.


We say mesyedam for mixed group of males and females.

How’s your trip to Haiti coming along? I was thinking of you and thought you had left already :)

Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

How do you say culture, to be cultured, to harass


To harassentimide, toumante, kaponnen, pèsekite, ran (subject) san souf

Culturekilti, levasyon

Culturedkiltive, edike, save

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

What does "kalewes"mean ? Example "tout moun ap kalewes yo"


Kalewès – to sit around and do nothing, to loaf, to chill, to bum around

"tout moun ap kalewes yo" – Everyone is sitting around doing nothing, or Everyone is loafing around.

Kèl lòt egzanp:

-Mesye sa yo pa gen responsablite.  Tout lajounen y’ap kalewès.

-Fanm nan chita sou bouda l maten midi swa ap kalewès. 

-Kalewès pa peye lwaye.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A woman in Haiti told me of a medicine that helps kids to stop sucking their fingers.I may spell this wrong it’s lalwua and something else. Would you happen to know what it is and where to get it?


I do not know of any medicine in Haiti that would do that.  The woman may have told you about lalo (aloe) or a plant like aloe which they cut and slice and rub on the kid’s finger.  It’s bitter.  Haitians also try other things like covering the finger with a sock or smearing it with piman (hot pepper) or kaka poul (chicken feces) – imagine the handful of harmful bacteria a child could ingest with that last one.  They say that most kids eventually grow out of this behavior, but if he/she doesn’t and you are worried then talk to a doctor.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hello, Mandaly! I'm making steady progress through your lessons! Wa cheri mwen is SOOOO proud of me! Ha, ha! Anyway, I have a quick question. I seem to have hit a tiny snag--I have so much trouble pronouncing "w." I was like, OU is such a tiny word already! It's even SHORTER? :-O ha, ha. My question is....do I HAVE to use contracted forms? Is it mandatory since you said Haitians commonly use it? Xoxo (One more thing...how do you pronounce your name? ^_^)

Bonjou zanmi :)
Keep up the progress
My name is pronounced Muh-n-dah-lee with the accent on the first syllable. Some of my friends call me Mandy. Close Haitian friends call me Manda or Mandarine :)

No you do not have to use contractions if you’re not ready for them.  What I usually tell people is that even though you don’t use them you do have to know what they sound like and how they’re used since people that are having conversations with you will be using them.

The best way to be familiar with them is to listen to a lot of Creole.   Here these three posts might be helpful to your specific question.  The first and third post contain audio: http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/search/label/you%20%22ou%22%20%22w%22

Pase bon jounen J

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Mandlay, 'eske' seems to have many, many uses. Could you please explain


We use “eske” to form “yes or no” questions.  In English you have the auxiliary “do” or “did”, “will”, “should”, etc… In Haitian Creole just use “eske”.  

Here’s a couple of examples:

Are you ready?Eske ou pare?  (verb to be – present tense)

Were you here before me?Eske ou te la anvan m? (verb to be – past tense)

Do you want to eat now?Eske ou vle manje kounye a? (auxiliary “do”)

Should we help this poor kid?Eske nou dwe timoun mizerab sa a? (asking question with auxiliary verb “should”)

Can please close door after you leave? – Tanpri eske ou ka fèmen pòt la lè w sòti? (with auxiliary verb “can”)

Etc…

We can also ask questions in Haitian Creole without using “eske”.

Questions for you? – Were these the “many” uses you were talking about?  Mèsi.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Premye So Pa So (Audio)

Download link for this audio:
http://limanecasimi.audioacrobat.com/download/45300580-3676-ff73-5667-3c08a876cfa3.mp3

Click here to listen to this audio:
http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WqmkhStW


Saw genyen figi w kagou konsa?
What’s wrong your face is so down and out?
Why do you look so down?
 
M santi lavi a mete pye sou kou m. Tout sa m fè pou m libere tèt mwen pa reyisi.
I feel life has put a foot on my neck.  Everything I do to free myself has been unsuccessful.
I feel that life has a foot on my neck.  I’ve tried unsuccessfully to free myself.
 
M pa janm tande w pale konsa avan.  Sa’w genyen?
I’ve never heard you talk like that before.  What’s wrong?
 
Janm travay di pou konmès mwen mache enpi sa pa janm fèt!  Men kounye a m pral oblije fèmen biznis mwen. M pa konn sa m va fè kounye a.  M pa janm reyisi nan anyen m fè. Mwen toujou echwe nan tout sa m fè.  Petèt m pa t fèt pou m gen siksè nan lavi a ditou.
I’ve worked so hard for my business to flourish and it’s never happened.  So now I’ll have to close my business.  I don’t know what I’ll do now. I never succeed in anything I do.  I always fail at everything I do.  Maybe I was not meant to be successful in life at all.
 
Sa  w’ap di la?  Sanble ou deside fè bèk atè nèt?
What are you saying?  It’s seemed that you have totally surrendered.
 
Men wi, m fin dekouraje  nèt.
Of course, I’m totally disappointed.
 
Pa dekouraje w zanmi m. Premye so pa so ditou.  Ou ka kilbite plizyè fwa nan lavi a, men lè w tonbe se pa pou w rete atè a.  Se pou w leve pou kontinye lite.
Don’t be discouraged my friend.  The first "fail" is no failure at all.  You may stumble many times in life but when you fall you shouldn’t stay down.  You must get up to continue to fight.
 
Mwen fin bay tout enèji m ak tout sa m te genyen .  M pa gen fòs ki rete pou rekòmanse ankò.
I have given all my energy and all that I had.  I don’t have strength left to start over.
 
Si tout moun t’ap fè tankou w.  Si yo te bay legen nan premye echèk yo fè anpil envasyon sou latè a pa t’ap egziste.
If everyone was doing the same as you, if they gave up at their first failures many inventions on earth wouldn’t have existed.
 
Men mezanmi si m’ap pede tonbe leve konsa, moun va di se madichon ki nan kò m kifè m pa ka reyisi nan anyen.
But If I keep going up and down like this people would say that it’s a curse that makes me unsuccessful.
 
Bliye sa tout moun panse oubyen di – Se pa pou yo w’ap viv.  Apre Granmèt la se ou menm ki mèt tèt ou.  Gade machè met fanm sou ou tande! Premye so pa so.
Forget what everyone thinks or says.  You’re not living for them. After God you are your own master.  Look my dear be courageous you hear!  The first fall is no fall.
 
Pou m di w laverite sa se pa ni premye ni dezyèm so mwen pran non.  Mwen kwè m sou katriyèm oubyen menm senkyèm.
To tell you the truth this is neither my first nor my second fall.  I believe I’m on my fourth or even my fifth.
 
Enben se pa gwo zafè.  Tank ou pran so se tank ou va jwenn divès fason pou pare so a.
Well that’s no big deal.  The more you fall, the more you’ll find diverse ways to break the fall.
 
A! petèt yon jou m’a envante kouman moun pare so.   Mèsi pou ankourajman ou.  Mwen te byen bezwen sa.
Ah! Maybe one day I’ll invent ways for people to break a fall.  Thanks for your encouragement. I really needed this.
 
Pa gen pwoblèm.  Kontinye eseye e kenbe la.
No problem.  Keep trying and hang in there.
 
 

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madichon k nan ko ou? (k nan ko ou?)

Madichon ki nan kò w
Madichon k nan kò w
or
devenn ki nan kò w.
You must be cursed or you must be under a curse

Pa bon ki nan kò l.
He's no good.
He's up to no good.

Mechan ki nan kò l.
He's wicked.

Vagabon ki nan kò l.
He's being a stud.

Poukisa w'ap kriye.  Pa okipe Mario.  Se anmèdan ki nan kò l.
Why are you crying. Pay no attention to Mario.  He's just being a tease.

Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

"bonnanj li pati, loloj li chavire" which one can be used for "crazy in love" as opposed to "crazy lunatic" or do you know some other expressions that I can use. thanks

I believe that you can use both unless there's something specific you want (or don't want) to imply..... such as you want to say "infatuation" instead of ..."crazy"
for example you could use:
Bonnanj li pati
Bonèt li chavire
Lòlòj li chavire
Tèt li pati
Tèt li fin cho
Li fin fou

as opposed to:
Li andyable
Li fin andenmon
Li fin anraje
etc....


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what is ke soubisket? could you use in a sentence please?

kè sou biskèt  (kè sote, kè kase) - apprehension, nervousness, fear, suspense
(pronoun)sou biskèt - to be anxious

1. Depi maten kè m sou biskèt.
    I've been anxious since this morning.

2. Kè manman m toujou sou biskèt depi l gen randevou kay doktè.  Li toujou pè pou doktè a pa ba l move nouvèl.
    My mom is always anxious when she has doctor's appointment.  She's always afraid that the doctor will give her bad news. 

3. Kè tout moun te sou biskèt lè asansè a te bloke. Men nanpwen moun ki te di yon mo.
    Everyone was tense when the elevator got stuck.  But no one said a word.

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Iam working with an orphanage in Port-au-Prince and a couple of our kids get these things on their skin which the staff calls "Klou" or "bouton". I know 'klou' is blister but these don't look like blisters. They get infected and fill up with puss, then they pop (yo pete sou po a, tout moun di). I've tried to look this up to find out what they are but I can't find anything anywhere. Any ideas?

This requires a professional examination by a licensed medical doctor in order to diagnose it. I hope the kids are okay and I pray that they recover from this quickly.

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"bèkatè"? what does that mean Mandaly? Mesi anpil.


Bèk atè (Fè bèk atè) -  to be defeated, to sag,  to fall flat

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Can you please post the lyrics to this song Chè Senyè. Thank you.

Chè Senyè, kenbe men m, ede mwen rete fèm
Mwen bouke fatige tèlman
Nan loraj, nan fènwa, klere wout la devan m
Kenbe men m, chè Senyè fè m rive

Lè chemen difisil, e m bezwen ou anpil
Senyè rete la tou pre mwen
Lè mwen prèt pou m ale, ede m pou m pa bite
Kenbe men m, chè Senyè fè m rive

Lè solèy la kouche, e nwit la  ap pwoche
E tout lavi mwen va fini
Ede m pa regrete nan ou sèl mwen konfye m
Kenbe men m, chè Senye fè m rive
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Enben Lotrejou motè a tonbe chofe nan men m(Can you translate ?) for 'nan men m'. kamsa hamnida


Nan men m (“nan men mwenwhen it’s not contracted) – literally: In my hands

The best definition for this expression would be : in my care, while I was in charge, while under my care.
1. Enben lotrejou motè a tonbe chofe nan men m. – Well the other day the engine started heating in my hands

We often say:

2. Pitit la tonbe malad nan men m. – The child fell ill while in my care.

3. Machin nan pran pán nan men m. – The car broke down while in my hands.

4. Ti bebe a manke mouri nan men m. – The baby almost died in my care.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What shows can you suggest to someone who would like to practice his/her listening comprehension in Creole? Nothing with a lot of French and shows that are clean with no innuendos to uncomfortable topics.Thanks

Haitian comedians of the 21st century are all about “uncomfortable” topics :-\
Have you tried the episodes of Lavi Nan Bouk la or Languichatte (in Youtube).  They may be old but most of them are pretty decent.  Are you able to watch Island TV from Miami?

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Mandaly, happened upon your website, Thank You! Question is: which dictionary would be more useful learning Creole, the one offered by Indiana U. or Kansas U.? Thanks again, peace, chuck

Bonswa Chuck.

Kansas University has more of a variety of materials including a medical dictionary that’s useful.  I have not seen the dictionary from Indiana University.  I was told it’s more recent.

For online use, see if you can download the Haitian Creole – English Dictionary with Basic English – Haitian Creole Appendix by Jean Targète and Raphael G. Urciolo.  It’s the most complete and, to me, most useful.

Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

How do you say shooting star in Haitian Creole? How do you say to wish upon a star.

Shooting starzetwal file, zetwal filant.
I see a shooting starMwen yon zetwal file

When you see a shooting star in Haiti, it means impending death – someone (not necessarily family – it might be a neighbor or someone else) is going to die.
After someone has passed, if you hear a Haitian say “I did see a shooting star”, they’re just saying that they saw it coming.
Sometimes people even say “yon gran tèt ki tonbe” meaning that someone important/significant has or is going to die.

To wish upon a starfè yon souwè sou yon zetwal.

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Mandaly. As in "Ki kote ou prale?" I am running into "prale" at the end of sentences, instead of "pral." Is "prale" like "genyen" at the end of sentences? In other words, with "genyen", you are supposed to use the long form at sentence end. Is "prale" the same way? Mesi bokou.

Yes you got it. We do not use “pral” at the end of a sentence.
Yes, the same goes for GENYEN and GEN.
And, the same goes for the following words below. Their contracted form is not found at the end of a sentence

1.
fini and fin (used as auxiliary) – to be done
Eske ou fini? - Are you done?
Do not say:  Eske ou fin? (“fin” cannot be used at the end of this question.)
But you can say:  Eske ou fin manje?Are you done eating?
 
2.
pote and pot – to carry, to bring
Kisa w te pote? - What did you bring?
Do not say:  kisa w te pot?
But you can say: Kisa w te pot pou mwen? - What did you bring me?
 
3.
mete and metto put
Ki rad w’ap mete?What dress will you wear?
Do not say:  Ki rad w’ap met?
But you can say:  Ki rad w’ap met sou ou?What dress will you wear?
 
4.
konnen and konnto know, to be used to
Eske ou te konnen?Did you know?
Do not say:  Eske ou te konn?
But you can say: Eske ou te konn nonm sa a?Did you know that man?
 
5.
ale and alto go
Ann ale. – Let’s go.
Do not say:  Ann al.
But you can say: Ann al nan sinema. – Let’s go to the movies.
 
6.
rete and ret – to stay, be left
Konben pen ki rete?How many breads are left?
Do not say:  konben pen ki ret?
But you can say Konben pen ki ret nan panye a?How many breads are left in the basket?

7.
soti and sot – to go out, to come from, to be derived from
Nou te soti. – We went out.
Do not say:  Nou te sot.
But you can say:  Nou te sot nan mache. – We came from the market.

8. 
Also adj piti and tismall, minor, little
Machin nan piti. – The car is small
Do not say:  Machin nan ti.
But you can say:  Se yon ti machin. – It’s a small car.

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