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!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The best translation for the following verse: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Will be leading a class of children for Vacation Bible School, and usually try to put the Kreyol words to music! Thanks for your help.

Dakò :)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Mwen di nou bagay sa yo dekwa pou nou gen lapè nan mwen.
Nan monn sa nou va genyen pwoblèm. Men pran kouraj! Monn nan deja pèdi devan m.”

John 16:33
Jan 16:33

Jan sèz(16) vèsè tranntwa(33)

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

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I'm currently tracing my ancestry back (it's SO exciting!) and I've discovered that Martinique and Guadeloupe are two of the MANY places it traces back to. ^_^ I just found out about "Kreyol Gwadloupeyen" and "Kreyol Matnik." As far as learning the languages goes, will learning "Kreyol Ayisyen" help with these other two Creoles OR should I pursue those languages separately like you told me about French? OR are the three languages so similar I don't have to learn these two other Creoles at all?

You might be able to get the gist of the conversation or hear a word or two (or a sentence or two) when listening to some "mostly French-based" Creole languages if you were to speak Haitian Creole fluently, but you do have to specifically learn that Creole language separately in order to benefit from it.

Kenbe la tande!

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

Kisa sa a vle di? "Lamenm". Tankou sa a: "Lamenm, li bliye tout bagay."

It means “immediately, right away, on the spot”
Lamenm
Lapoula
Latou
Menm kote a
Soulechan
Imedyatman
Tousuit
Are all used about the same way.

Lamenm, li bliye tout bagay.
She/he forgot everything immediately

Lè’l pran kiyè enpi l reyalize li te cho anpil, lamenm li jete l atè.

When she grabbed the spoon and she realized it was very hot she dropped it immediately

Fanm nante  touche rad Jezi, e li te geri lamenm.
The woman touched Jesus' robe and she was healed on the spot.

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

God bless you. I'm puertorican, I took basic creole lesson my question is is it ok "10 liv yo" or I can omit the "yo'" because of the number and say 10 liv. mesi anpil.

It depends.
If you’re talking about ten particular (ten specific books), then yes add “yo”
Pa egzanp:
Eske w te achte dis liv yo m te mande w achte a.
Did you buy the ten books I asked you to buy.
So we’re talking about ten particular books that I had asked ou to buy.

Li te boule tout dis liv yo.
He burned all ten books.

Or if we’re being non-specific we omit “yo”.
Pa egzanp:
M bezwen dis liv.
Mwen t’achte dis liv nan libreri a.

Magazen sa a pote dis liv sèlman.

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What does "Anwo pa desann, anba pa monte" mean? Thank you.

Anwo pa moute, anba pa desann
Nothing’s moving (as if at a standstill).

We also say:
Anwo pa moute, anba pa desann, Ti Mari rete rèd
Anwo pa moute, anba pa desann, Ti Mari rete tennfas
Or
Anwo pa moute, anba pa desann, nan mitan rete rèd
(same meaning)

A somewhat literal meaning would be “nothing moving up there, nothing moving down here and it’s also stiff in the middle :)

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

When can I use "nan" or "a" after a sentence? Like, depi famn nan kite m nan, m pa t ka dòmi byen, or like, pwoteje ou kont jwisè yo ki deyò a? Or, se sa m vlè a? When can I use them and what are the rules?

You will have to know the rules for the definite articles. Here’s a couple of links: 
The definite articles a, an, la, lan, nan

There are some good exercises there especially toward the bottom.  Let me know if that helped after you've gone through it. Thanks

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

Taking public transportation in Haiti is horrible.the body odor is unbearable especially if you’re in for a long haul.

Yeah I see what you mean, the smell of farmers going home after they sweated in the market selling their merchandise, the smell of teachers and students going home after they’ve been in a non-air-conditioned classroom the whole day, the smell of produce,  live chickens and mud on people shoes, and if it’s in the afternoon, the smell of burning garbage in the streets and don’t forget the smell of spicy foods cooking in the street corners , God I miss that :)

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

Eske m pwononse sa kòrèk? Eske m di sa bon? Are these proper translations of “Did I pronounce that correctly?” and “Did I say that right?” Are there better ways of asking this?

The first one is correct.  In the second sentence I’d say “byen” instead of “bon”.
Eske m di sa byen? – Did I say this correctly?
Eske m byen di l? – Did I say it correctly?
Eske m byen pale? – Am I right?
Men wi, ou di l byen. – Certainly you said it well.
Men wi ou kòrèk. – Yes you are correct.

Wi ou byen pale. – Yes you’re right

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

Sunday, July 6, 2014

As you know, I have to start my Creole lessons over. But do you think I should learn French simultaneously or at least pursue French at some point since Haitians also speak it? Would learning French help me with the Creole at all or vice versa?

No, that would not be a good reason to learn French.  French and Haitian Creole are two very different languages – the grammar and spellings are totally different.  Learning French will not help you to learn Haitian Creole any better.  You’ve been doing well so far. So keep at it :)

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

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I love the song "Ayiti Cheri", but there are so many expressions that are unfamiliar to me. For example what is the meaning of AYITI TOMA please? Or what's a MARABOU or a GRIFONN KREYOL? or a KAYIMIT?

Ayiti Toma is the African name of Haiti, meaning “this land is mine”.
Also you will sometimes hear Ayiti Kiskeya, which “Kiskeya” is Haiti’s Indian name

Grifòn refers to a dark-skinned Haitian woman born possibly of a light and dark-skinned individual.
Marabou is a dark-skinned woman with flawless skin, luxuriant hair and beautiful teeth that is rooted in violaceous  gums
Kayimit is a fruit with skin dark violet in color.  Looks like plum.

Haitians sometimes say “po kayimit” which means “refined and vibrant dark skin”
All are considered beautiful.

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

How do you say promote? and How do you say "expect" in creole and what does temwen mean?

1.Promotepwomote, bay jarèt, jarete, bay piston, or pistonnen
          egzanp: Lè misye te nan lekòl medsin tout moun nan katye a te ba l bon jarèt paske yo te konnen li ta pral itil yo yon jou.

2. Temwen – witness

       a. Mwen se yon temwen – I am a witness.

       b. Ou dwe sèvi m temwen.
          You must serve as a witness to me.
          Be my witness

      c. Se pou Bondye sèvi n temwen … – May God be a witness …

      d. Yo te mande m sèvi kòm temwen … - They asked me to be a witness to …..


3. Expect – atann (pronominal verb)

    e. Mwen te atann mwen a sa. – I was expecting this.

    f. Mwen pa’t atann mwen a sa. – I was not expecting this.

    g. Nou pa’t atann nou a sa  ditou. – We were not expecting that at all.

   h. Nou tout te chita ansanm enpi li parèt sou nou sanzatann (san-z-atann).
       We were all sitting together and she showed up unexpectedly.



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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Can you please post the lyrics to this song that says, "Pouki move jou yo fe nou doute?"

Pouki move jou yo fè nou doute
Jezi mande pou nou pa enkyete
Nou se yon ras eli
Nou se yon pèp aki
Se nou Bondye chwazi pou temwen’l

Pandan n’ap avanse leve men ou anlè
Chante glwa a lanyo Bondye a
Valè moun ki mouri nan tout fanmi nou yo
Se nou Bondye chwazi pou temwen

Eske nou pa konnen nou se yon pèp espesyal
Se nou Bondye chwazi pou temwen

Valè moun ki dejwe nan tout fanmi nou yo

Se nou bondye chwazi pou temwen’l

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

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Yo pa gen anyen aswe a vini demen swa pito

Yo pa gen anyen aswè a. Vini demen swa pito.

They don’t have anything tonight. Come tomorrow night instead

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

A few translations please ...

english to creole translation:
assume – sipoze, imajinen
stop the car – kanpe machin nan
excited – eksite, anlè anlè, antyoutyout, sou sa
bald  - chòv
spot - tach
callus – kò, zonyon
flood - inondasyon
sand - sab

creole to english:
deprime - depressed
exprime – to express
lanjèz – malicious and backbiting woman
debouyèz - resourceful

foke – fuck up, insane, crazy
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

hat does "makrel" mean. For example when someone calls you makrel

Ki sa li signifye le w di “bay yon moun kou an angle” e ki sa "ou se libate"signifye an angle?

Your second word is selibatèsingle
Ou selibatè? (Eske w selibatè?)Are you single?


Your first wordbay koumeans “to punch, to hit”

1. Bay yon moun kouto hit someone

2. Li te ban m kou. – He hit me

3. Mwen te ba l kou. – I hit him.



You also use bay kou (actually “bay kout …”) when you strike with any object (tangible or not):

4. Bay kouto punch, to strike, to hit someone
       Li te ban mwen yon kou nan vant.He hit me in the stomach

5. Bay kout pwento strike with the fist
       Li ban m yon kout pwen.She punched me with her fist.

6. Bay kout pye – to kick with the feet
       Li ban m yon kout pye. – She kicked me.

7. Bay kout batonto hit with a club
        kout baton – a strike of the club
        Polis la bay misye san (100) kout baton.- The police officer hit the man with the club 100 times

8. Bay kout sentiwon – to hit with the belt
       kout sentiwon – strike of the belt
       Papa m ban mwen 15 kout sentiwon. – My father hit me with the belt 15 times.

9. Bay kout dan(or mòde)   – to bite
        yon kout dan– a bite
         Chen an te bay pitit la yon kout dan.  The dog bit the child.
          Mesye a bay pòm la yon gwo kout dan enpi tout dan l tonbe. – The man took a big bite out of the apple and all his teeth fell out.

10. Bay kout kouto – to stab with a knife
11. Kout manchèt – to stab with a machete
12. Kout chèz – to hit with the chair
13. Kout sandal – to hit with sandals
Etc….


14. Kout tèt is different.  This expression means a "repeated bump of the head when one’s trying to fall asleep, especially if they are sitting down."
      Bay kout tèt – to bump one’s head repeatedly a a result of falling asleep

      Pandan misyonè a t’ap bay mesaj la tout moun ta ri paske 
      yo te kapab wè pastè legliz t’ap bay kout tèt sou chè a.- 
      While the missionary was delivering the sermon everyone was 
      laughing because they could see the church pastor falling asleep 
      on the pulpit.

      Li te sipoze etidye, men se kout tèt l’ap bay sou biwo li. - He was supposed to study, but he’s falling asleep at his desk.


15. Bay kout men – to assist, to support, to sponsor
          Kout men – assistance, help
          
          Ban’m yon kout men tanpri. – help me please

          Ban’m yon kout men ak valiz la. Li lou anpil. – Help me with the bag. It’s heavy.


16. Kout lang – malicious gossip

           Menm si yo ba w kout lang pa okipe yo. Kwè nan tèt ou. Pa kite sa yo di deranje w. - Even if they spread malicious gossip about you don’t worry about it. Believe in yourself. Don’t let what they say about you get to you.


17. Kout pitit – when a women try to pass another man’s child as the child of a man she’s already with.
            Pitit sa a pa sanble avè w ditou. Sanble madanm ou ba w yon kout pitit.- This child does not look like you at all. Your wife lied to you.


18. Kout je  - a scornful look

            Lè fanm nan te antre nan legliz la tout moun t’ap koupe l kout je.         Kongregasyon an te bliye ke yo menm tou yo se pechè.  - When the woman entered the church everyone was looking down at her.  The congregation had forgotten that they also are sinners.


19.  Kout entelijan (or Kou entelijan) – to outsmart someone

      Machann nan fè yon kou entelijan ak touris la. Misye vann fanm nan yon fo tablo pou anpil lajan.- The seller tricked the tourist.  He sold her a fake painting for a lot of money.


20. Kout pa konprann – to pretend to be naïve about something


              Pa vin ban’m okenn kout pa konprann la a. Ou konnen trè byen sa k’ap pase.  - Don’t play dumb with me you know very well what’s going on?

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

Bonjou, my wife is asking, what can be the opposite of "pa gendwa"---"it is good when you do that"--- for our granddaughter. Mesi

You may use "gen dwa" or "mèt (don’t use with negatives)"

gen dwa - may, to be allowed, to be permitted
pa gen dwa - may not, to not be allowed, to not be permitted
mèt  - mayto be allowed, to be permitted
Do not use "pa" after "mèt"  for these instances.  There are circumstances where you can use "pa" after "mèt", but this is not one of them.

Here are some examples:

1. Ou gen dwa vini si w vle. – You may come if you want.

2. Nou gen dwa fè sa n vle. – You may do as you please.

3. Ou mèt vini. – you may come.

4. Nou mèt manje kounye a. - You may eat now.

5. Ou mèt jwe ak jwèt ou yo lè'w fin fè devwa w. - You may play with your toys when 
you've done your homework.

6. Ou mèt rele'm vin chache w lè klas ou fini. - You may call me to pick you up when your class is over.

7. Ou mèt antre. – you may enter.  You may come in
But you would say

8. Ou pa gen dwa antre – You may not come in.

9. Ou mèt ale. – You may go.
But you would say

10. Ou pa gen dwa ale nan sinema avèk vagabond sa a. – You may not go to the movies with this jerk.

11. Ou mèt ale nan kizin nan men ou pa gen dwa antre nan chanm mwen, se refij prive m.
You may go into the kitchen but you may not go in my room, that’s my private refuge.


You may use “gen dwa” like this:

12. M gen dwa pa’t wè l.
I may not have seen it.

13. Li pale avè w men li gen dwa pa renmen w.
She talks to you but she may not like ou.
In this example, do not put “pa” after “gen dwa”.  If you do the meaning of the sentence would change

14. Li di w li renmen w, men li gen dwa pa di l nan fason ou panse a.
She says she likes you but she may not mean it in the way you think.

15Li gen dwa te di sa kòm zanmi.
She may have said it in friendship.

16. Nou gen kèk tan nou pa wè l. Li gen dwa te kite peyi a. Li gen dwa te marye. Li gen dwa pa nan kad nou.  Oubyen li menm gen dwa mouri.
We haven’t seen her in some time. She may have left the country.  She may have gotten married.  She may not want to have anything to do with us. Or she may even be dead.


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

alez alez???

Alèzlaid back, at ease, comfortable

1. 
Mete w alèz.
Relax
Loosen up
Take it easy
Make yourself at home

2. 
Tanpri mete w alèz avè l.
Please ease up on him.

3. 
M mete m alèz.  
I’m laid back.
I loosened up.

4.
Li te mete l alèz.
He kicked back and relaxed  

5.
Ayisyen renmen etranje ki mete yo alèz ak tout kalite moun.
Haitians love foreigners who are comfortable with all types of people.    


Expression: alèz kou Blèz ki chita sou chèz san pinèz – to be contented, pleased, very comfortable, well-off, on cloud nine

6.
Misye genyen nan lotri a, kounye a li alèz kou Blèz ki chita sou chèz san pinèz.
He won the lottery now he's on cloud nine.

7.
M te mete m alèz avè l, m pa konn poukisa li pa’t alèz avè m.
I was at ease with him I do not know why he was uneasy with me.

8.
Eske w alèz? – Are you comfortable?

9
Wi m' alèz mèsi.
Yes I'm comfortable thanks.

Your other question:

Franchman – Frankly

Franchman ou fè m fache.
Pou di w laverite ou fè m fache.

To tell you the truth you make me mad

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

In a text I saw the following sentence: Ou te ka konte .......

In a text I saw the following sentence:

Ou te ka konte sou li san onz
wa (san n pa bliye wa nan peyi Afrik yo)

this shows that in some case, when there is a sentence with san there is also a negation pa in it.

I would like to understand when you can have the negation pa in a sentence that start with san and when you do not have it.

Also, is it possible to put the past te in the above sentence ?? like below ?

Ou te ka konte sou li san onz
wa (san n pa  TE bliye wa nan peyi Afrik yo)

Can you say
Fok nou pati san n pa fè brui
Fok nou te pati san n pat fè brui


Mèsi anpil

Does the sentence have to start with “san”?

I guess you can say WHAT WILL HAPPEN with the “lack of….”.  Example:

1.
San ou mwen pèdi.
Mwen pèdi san ou.
I’m lost without you.

2.
San tretman doktè mwen ta gentan mouri.
Mwen ta gentan mouri san tretman doktè.
I would have already died without medical treatment.

Or you could say WHAT WILL NOT HAPPEN with the “lack of…..”
3.
San ou mwen pa konn sa m ta fè.
Mwen pa konn sa m ta fè san ou.
I don’t know what I would do without you.

4.
San lalwa pa gen la libète
Pa gen libète san lalwa.
“Without laws there’s no freedom”

5.
Here’s how I would translate the last two sentences:
Fok nou pati san n pa fè brui. – We should leave without making noise
Fok nou te pati san n pa’t fè brui. – We should have left without making any noise

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

I am familiar with 'mouri' (to die), but I am unfamiliar with 'al bwachat'. Could you give me a bit more information on this expression (i.e. its etymology)?

I am not 100% sure.
Other than Al bwachat or al bwa chat and mouri, other commonly used Creole expression for “to die” are:

trepase
Li trepase a minwi tapan. – He died at the stroke of midnight.
Mezanmi! Ede'm. M'ap trepase. - Help me, I'm dying.

ale nan Peyi san chapo
Manman nou kite n. L’al nan peyi san chapo.Our mom has left us. She died.

fè vwèl pou peyi san chapo
Kamyon an frape misye, li voye l al fè vwèl pou peyi san chapo. The truck hit him and sent him to his death

kase kòd
Kon minwi sonnen beng malad la kase kòd. - At the stroke of midnight, he kicked the bucket.

rann dènye soufto give one’s last breath

Li rann dènye souf li. – He gave his last breath
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

This Creole expression (I don’t exactly know how to write it, but I did get the exact translation), it says “he died for his eyes or for one’s eyes”. Do you know the meaning?

 Is it “Li mouri pou pwòp je l” or “Li mouri pou je l”? If yes, then it means that He/she died in vain.

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

Bwa ki nan main ou se ave l ou pouse chien. What’s the meaning please?

This expression basically means to “use your own resources/knowledge/ skills to your benefit” or “use what’s you got  to get what you want”
You’ll hear different version of the same expression depending on the circumstances:
Here are some of them with literal tanslation:

Baton ki nan men w se avè l ou pouse chen.  - The rod that’s in your hand you use it to push dogs away
Bwa ki nan men w se ak li ou pouse chen. - The wood that’s in your hand you use it to push dogs away
Baton ki nan men w se ak li ou pare kou. - The rod in your hand you use it to block a punch

Baton ki nan men se ak li ou bay kou. - The rod in your hand you use it to beat (someone)

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

What does this saying mean: "Pa kite double six mouri nan main'w?"

This expression means

Doubsisdoube-six

Doubsis mouri nan men (yon moun).
(Someone) whose youth is past.
It’s become too late for (someone) to marry.

Pa kite doubsis mouri nan men w.
Don’t let time pass until it’s too late to marry.
Don’t become an old maid.

Doubsis ap mouri nan men w.
You’ll become an old maid.

Pitit fi Papouch la ap fè enteresant, li pa vle marye ak Ayisyen. Li panse l twò bon pou nèg peyi l. Lò doubsis mouri nan men l li va mary nenpòt  avadra.

Papouch’s daughter is being cocky she doesn’t want to marry a Haitian. She thinks she’s too good for a man from her country. Once it becomes too late for her to marry, she’ll take any vagabond.

Another similar expression is "Fè dan zòrèy" which literally means "to grow wisdom tooth".  It can be translated as "being no spring chicken"

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

M’ap aprann kreyòl men m pa pale byen. Eske m di sa kòrèk?

Wi, ou di l byen e ou ekri l byen tou :)
Kontinye konsa enpi kenbe la

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

Creole approximation of "touchy-feely"?

Ending a letter in Haitian Creole

Mandaly!!
Ki kote ou ye? M'espere tout bagay anfòm. Nou sonje ou anpil la!
Enben, si ou te ale an vakans, bon vwayaj! (:
(O.o, Kijan ou fèmen yon lèt?)

Bondye beni ou,

Mwen la.
Tout bagay anfòm grasadye.
Mwen t’ap fatige tèt mwen ap fè anpil monte desann, ap travay, ap vwayaje tou. Eskize m, mwen te neglije blòg la pou yon moman.  Mwen retounen lakay mwen kounye a. Mwen mennen tèt mwen ba w (I’m all yours).
Bondye beni ou tou.
 ********************


Lè ou fin ekri yon lèt ou kapab ekri:
At the end of a letter you may write:

Sensèman… or Avèk senserite - Sincerely
Avèk tout senserite – Sincerely yours
Avèk respèRespectfully
Avèk tout respèRespectfully yours
Mèsi davans – Thanks in advance
Avèk lanmou … With love
Souwè or Tout souwè - Best regards
Tout bon souwè – Wishing you the best
Mwen pa ka tann pou m rankontre w - I am looking forward to meeting you
M’espere tande w byento – I hope to hear from you soon
Anpil lanmou – Lots of love
Anpil beze – Lots of kisses
Anpil mèsi – Many thanks
A la pwochèn - Until next time
Zanmi ou - Your friend
Pi bon zanmi ou – Your best friend
Pran swen tèt ou – Take care, Be well, Take care of yourself
Fè miyò – Be well
Kenbe la - Hang in there
Na wè byento – See you soon
Akolad – Hugs
Yon salitasyon pou tout moun – Greetings to all




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