Bonjou! Learn to Speak Haitian Creole

Bonjou! ...Mèsi! ...E Orevwa! Check out our Audio bits. 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 QUESTIONS HERE 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!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How would you say, "you are dreaming?" As in, you are imagining that you are going to get that, but you are not. "W'ap reve" apparently doesn't translate the same. Mèsi pou tout ou fè!

You could say:
W'ap tronpe tèt ou.
W'ap pase tèt ou nan betiz.
You're fooling yourself if you think that 'this' is going to happen.

There are many other unconventional ways to say this in Creole, depending on the situation.
And instead of 'w ap reve', people might say, 'Ou nan rèv.'  or 'Ou dwe nan rèv.' which means the same as 'you must be dreaming'.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

kisa manfouben ak vag vle di? eske se menm bagay?

Wi. Yo kapab genyen menm siyifikasyon,

Manfouben means irresponsible, sloppy and careless
Vag - vague
They can be synonymous when 'vag'   means unconcerned or nonchalant.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

If I wanted to say ‘look at Matthew chapter 20 verses 25-28’ would it be: ‘gade nan Matye chapit 20 vèsè 25 rive nan 28’? And for ‘look at John 3:16’ could I say ‘gade nan Jan twa sèz’ or do I need to say ‘gade nan Jan chapit twa, vèsè sèz’?

'gade nan Matye chapit 20 vèsè 25 rive nan 28' is correct.
and it will also be correct if you said:
'gade nan Matye chapit 20 vèsè 25 a 28'

gade nan Jan twa sèz' and ‘gade nan Jan chapit twa, vèsè sèz’ are both correct. It is isn't necessary to say the latter for people to understand.

Kenbe la :)

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

What is ou pa ban m (mwen? is it?) bouch pou pale?

pa bay bouch pou pale, pa bay bouch pou di anyen - when one's babbling/talking is so much that you don't get a chance to reply or say anything.
ex: Marie and Esther are having a conversation. Mary's talking is so continual that she doesn't give Esther any room to reply or say what she thinks. Then you would say that Marie pa bay Esther bouch pou l pale.
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senkant kob a degouden? meaning please?

senkant kòb ak degouden - the same thing, one in the same

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Can you please translate this, 'm pa janm konnen ou te ka alsiyis konsa', for which online translating tools is no help. Thanks

Oh man! That is some serious r-rated stuff :)
M pa janm konnen ou te ka alsiyis konsa - I didn't know you could moan like that.
(sexually related)
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Friday, August 21, 2015

How do you say "She is 5' 2"" Do you use 62 santimèt? How would you say she weighs 110 lbs (50 kilograms)? Zanmi mwen petèt ka fè wob karabela la pou pitit fi mwen.

Yes, you may use centimeters or feet for the height which, for 5'2", should be about 157 cm.

We say "liv" for pounds. So 110 pounds will be translated as 110 liv.

Zanmi mwen petèt ka fè wob karabela la pou pitit fi mwen.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hi Mandaly, can you explain this phrase please: yo pa t kò konnen okenn mal

Hi

Yo pa t kò konnen okenn mal.
yo - they
pa t kò (or patko, pa te ko) - not ...yet (past tense) [present tense is: poko, ponkò, pako]
konnen - to know
okenn - any, none
mal - evil, wrongdoing, immorality

Yo pa t kò konnen okenn mal.
They were still in their innocence.
They did not know any evil yet.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

door to door in h. Creole please?

door to door - de pòt an pòt

Yo te mache de pòt an pòt pou te bay bon nouvèl la.
They walked door to door to deliver the good news.

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I understand that pesonn in Creole means no one, personage means older person and lapesonn means someone. Can you clarify this?

Sure.
1.
Pèsòn or pèsonn translates no one or nobody
Example:
Pa gen pèsòn nan kay la. – There’s nobody in the house.

Here’s another example:
-A ki moun ou te pale?
-Ak pèsòn.
-To whom did you talk?
-To no one.

2
Yes, pèsonaj is used for the elderly.
Example:
Mezanmi, repekte bouch ou. Ou pa ka ap derepekte yon pèsonaj konsa.
Watch your language. You can’t be disrespecting an elderly in this manner.

3.
Lapèsòn means you-know-who, use when talking about someone without revealing his/her name.



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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sa'k nan men ou se li ki pa ou? Thanks

Sa k nan men w se li k pa w.
What's in your hand is what's yours (literally)
You are only sure of the things you have.
Do not make plans or have expectations on things you don't have.

Dakò?

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How would you explain 'rale mennen kase' or is it 'rale mennen vini'? Are they both the same? thanks

rale mennen vini (brase lide, echany lide) , which can be used as verb and also noun, is a get-together with the objective of exchanging ideas on a particular issue.
 rale mennen kase can describe the same thing, but also has other meanings.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

What is Pase Pou in front of a sentence? mesi

It means rather than:

Pase pou m marye m pito mouri.
rather than I get married I prefer to die (literally)
I rather die than get married.

Pase pou m fè vye travay nan peyi Etazini, m pito tounen nan peyi m.
rather than I do menial jobs in the U.S, I prefer to go back to my country. (literally)
I rather go back to my country than do degrading jobs in the U.S.

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What does ban'm pan'm san dous mean?

It's a popular (very well known and used phrase) from a Haitian song.
Ban m pa m san dous, m a mete siwo ladan l.
Don't add sugar to mine, I'll sweeten it myself. (basically)

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I hear this a lot:"Mwen byen kontan" Does the word byen mean 'well' here? (I am very well happy or I might as well be happy?)

Here it means truly, really, very, so, so much

Nou byen kontan ou te vini. - We're very happy that you came to see us.
Mwen te byen sonje w pandan w pa t la a. - I truly missed you while you were away.
Kè m byen fè m mal pou ou. - I feel so sorry for you.

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Please help me find the melody for that song " Pèsonn pa ka kanpe pou’l fè m pa louwe Satan pa ka bare’m pou’l fè’m pa chante Boulvès kapab vin"


 

Pèsonn pa ka kanpe pou l fè m pa louwe 
Satan pa ka bare m pou l fè m pa chante 

Boulvès kapab vini
Lè sa a, piga w kouri
Tout pòt kapab fèmen
Ou pa wè pèsonn pou rele
Satan kapab rale pye w
Jis pou l fè ou tonbe
Asire w nan bondye
M garanti w ou p ap tonbe

Le ènmi vin atake w
Mwen p ap dekonsantre
An nou tout fè linite
pou n kapab fè travay Bondye
Satan la pou l divize
Nou menm n ap resoude
Na p kenbe pye Bondye
E m konnen n ap rive.


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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kijan ou di "flipflops" oswa "thongs". Sapat yo?

Hi :)
Yes, flipflops and thongs are called sapat, sandal, or sandal drive.

Thongs are especially referred to as sandal jezikri.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

How do you ask: How many bags you are checking in? Where is your final destination?

How many bags you are checking in? - Konbyen valiz w ap tcheke?
How many suitcases are you checking in? - Konbyen malèt w ap tcheke?
Where is your final destination? - Ki destinasyon final ou?

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Is there a Creole equivalent to the expression: "finding common ground"?

common ground - pwen komen
finding common ground - genyen yon pwen komen

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Friday, August 7, 2015

When someone says "ou metdam" what does that mean?

It means "You're clever."
mètdam - clever, quick-witted, ballsy, crafty

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The HaitiHub interview

Hey Everyone!
I got to talk a little bit about myself with the HaitiHub crew, and I enjoyed it.
Chapo ba! (Hats off!) to HaitiHub for continuing to be the go-to people for learning the Haitian Creole language online and for being a big voice in the kreyòl movement.
See The HaitiHub interview right here: https://haitihub.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/have-a-creole-question-ask-her-anything/

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

This is a reprint: What are some phrases or songs or rhymes that teachers use to get the attention of children in a group? I know in English we use phrases like "1-2-3 all eyes on me!" and the children respond "1-2 eyes on you!". Are there any that you know of? Thank you!


Rachel has left a new comment on your post " What are some phrases or songs or rhymes that teac...": 

When I was in Haiti last week, our translator used a cute little saying to get the kids' attention - similar to "1,2,3 eyes on me" in that it uses counting. He'd get the kids to all say together "youn-lance, de-lance, twa-lance, kat-lance, senk-lance, SILANCE!" :) I thought it was pretty clever! 

Mandaly says:
I absolutely love this. Clever indeed :)
Thanks Rachel


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Bonjou Mandaly! I love today's Haitian Creole Daily Word.Does the term jou pou jou mean the same as de jou anjou? mèsi!

Hi :)
Non. De jou an jou means day by day, day after day.
ex:
Ti pitit fi Mercidieu a t ap grandi. Li t ap vin pi bèl de jou an jou.
Mercidieu's little girl was growing. She was getting more beautiful day after day.

jou pou jou  is the date on which an event took place in some previous year.
ex:
Jou pou jou ki pou fè maryaj Ti Mari ak Fanfan an setan, yo te divòse.
Seven years to the day of Fanfan and Ti Mari's wedding, they got a divorce.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hi Mandaly. I love your blog... My mom is an ESOL teacher in an almost 100% Haitian school and she's making a list of the most common English words. She wants to have them in Kreyol as well. Could you translate the following into Kreyol? the, of, and, to, a, in, that, is, was, he

Hi,
We do not have an official 'most commonly used words' in Creole ... yet.
A lot of the words that you have here can be translated or used many different ways.
In order for your mom to make this Haitian Creole list of words, it would be best to think in Creole, not English.
 
1. The article THE can be translated as a, la, an, lan, or nan depending on the words that precedes it.
ex: 
the car - machin nan
the door - pòt la
the girl - fi a
the friend - zanmi an
the watch - mont lan
 
2. OF is omitted in Creole sentences.
ex:
The roof of the house - do kay la
a glass of water - yon vè dlo
the day of the wedding - jou maryaj la
etc...
 
3. AND can be translated as e, ak, avèk or avè
 
4. TO sometimes is translated as nan, and sometimes is omitted
 
5 A is translated as yon
 
6. IN is translated as nan,  or lan 
 
7. THAT, as a relative pronoun or conjunction  is translated as ke, it is omitted sometimes.    THAT (or THIS), as demonstrative, is translated as sa a.
 
8. IS - verb to be (SE) is omitted in some instances such as noun + attribute combination
She is happy. - Li kontan.
as opposed to a noun + noun combination
She is an artist. - Li se yon atis.
 
9. WAS - there's no translation for WAS, but past tense indicator (for all verbs) is te.
He was shocked. - Li te etone.
past tense indicator te is used for other verbs too.
He came home last night. - Li te rantre lakay li yèreswa.
We had three cars. - Nou te gen twa machin.

 
10. HE, SHE, IT can be translated as li.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

what exactly is 'simagri' in Creole? I know about 'grimacing'. Someone told me it means gesture and I asked if it was any type of gesture like waving hello. She said no. What kind of gesture do you use this word for then? Thanks.

You can use it to describe gestures that are annoying, activities or patterns that are irritating, and even disorderly or hysterical conduct.

Let's say: a comedian/performer who's on stage trying to make funny gestures, but is not funny at all.
You can say: Misye moute sou podyòm nan, li fè yon bann simagri. Pa gen moun ki ri.

Let's also say: a grown person throwing a huge tantrum because he didn't get his way.
You can say: Misye lage kò l atè, li fè yon bann simagri.


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how do you say 'next door' as in 'next door neighbor'? Thanks Mandaly . Awesome blog!

nextdoor neighbor - vwazen, vwazen a kote a, vwazen ki tou pre a, vwazen ki anfas la
use vwazin for female neighbor

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What is a LAGON? Ex: frape baton an sou lagonan ak tout rezèvwa dlo yo Thanks

lagon - lake, river, lagoon

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Salut, m panse siw te konekte blog a ak lot sosyal network tankou facebook e twitter ou tap jwenn plis trafik. mesi, Haitien

Mèsi anpil! Petèt mwen va fè sa.
M'apresye kòmantè ou.

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What is a GANMÈL in this sentence please: yo te vin nan pi a pou yo pran dlo e pou yo plen ganmèl yo ak dlo

Ganmèl is a container for holding water. It maybe used for showers as a wash basin or for water storage.
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What is the meaning of the word CHOUKÈT in the following sentence please: Li di yo: “Lè n ap ede medam ebre yo akouche , lè nou wè yo sou choukèt, si nou wè timoun nan se yon tigason, touye l, men si se yon tifi, kite l viv.”

Choukèt is a birthing stool or chair which women use to support their hips during childbirth.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How do you write happy in Creole

Hello, Please help me with this. How is the word twouve used when it begins a sentence. For example: Twouve, te vin gen yon gwo grangou nan peyi a, apre premye gwo grangou ki te genyen nan epòk Abraram nan

We say twouve, vin twouve ke or twouve ke - it so happens that, it happens that or incidentally

Madanm nan te voye toude timoun yo lekòl la san dejene. Twouve ke m te gen yon ti monnen nan pòch mwen, mwen te tou achte de (2) wayal ba yo.
The women sent both kids to school without breakfast. Incidentally I had some change in my pocket, so I bought them 2 wayal.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

What is a common or colloquial name for farmers? Is there a common name or phrase used to describe farmers or those involved in agriculture? A sort of collective name?

Most Haitians would say abitan. In more cultivated environment educated people would say  kiltivatè or agrikiltè
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Is there any good better version of gospel song Jéricho miray la kraze because I can't find any?

You must be asking about a better 'audio' version.
I haven't come across a professionally recorded version yet.


Jeriko miray la kraze (3 fwa)
nanpwen miray Jezi p ap kraze

Ad lib
Miray peche
Nanpwen miray Jezi p ap
Miray pwoblèm
Nanpwen miray Jezi p ap kraze

Gen yon men ki frape nan pòt la (2 fwa)
O O Senyè
Gen yon men ki frape nan pòt la



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Friday, July 24, 2015

Hi Mandaly, are the terms moute kabann and pran kabann interchangeable? also, what is pran sak?

moute kabann (ale kouche) - to go to bed
pran kabann - to be confined to bed because of illness, depression or some type of suffering
pran sak - to pray on sackcloth

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hi I learned about FE MANTI (lying) and BAY MANTI(to tell a lie), but what is NAN MANTI?

It also means to be lying, to be full of lies

To tell a lie
Fè manti
bay manti
nan manti ak
also:
benyen ak manti (use when there's an object)
sometimes:
benyen anba manti (use when there's an object)

examples
1.
He lies.
Li manti
Li nan manti
Li fè manti

2.
He lied to everyone.
Li bay tout moun manti.
Li benyen tout moun anba manti.
Li benyen tout moun ak manti.

3.
You lied to me.
Ou ban m manti.

4.
I can't lie.
M pa ka fè manti
M pa ka bay manti

5.
I cannot lie to you.
M pa ka ba w manti.

6.
So and so is lying to me.
Entèl nan manti avèk mwen.

7.
You're lying to yourself.
Ou nan manti ak tèt ou.

8.
Mwen pa fouti di m renmen w. Mwen pa ka nan manti ak tèt mwen.
I cannot say that I love you. I can't lie to myself.

9.
To lie about someone
Fè manti sou yon moun.
Bay manti sou yon moun

10.
You lied about me.
Ou te fè manti sou mwen.



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Mandy, is there an expression in creole equivalent to "counting your chickens before they hatched"? thanks

Eske w konn gou bouch ou?

konnen gou bouch ou
or
konn gou bouch ou
know/taste/mouth/your
To know what's good for you
To know what's you want
To know how to choose for your own interest.

1.
Eske w konn gou bouch ou?  
Do you know what's good for you? 
Do you know what you like?
Do you know what you want?

2.
Nou konn gou bouch nou. Nou konn sa nou vle.
We know what's good for us. We know what we want.

3.
Nan zafè chwazi gason, gen anpil fanm ki pa konn gou bouch yo.
When it comes to choosing a man, many women do not know what they want.

When Joan's family met her husband for the first time. they saw that he was a simple, homely man with no future, no money, and no ambitions......
Everyone said, "Joan pa konn gou bouch li"
How would you translate the Creole sentence that everyone said?

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Mèsi anpil pou enfòmasyon ki nan blog ou a. Èske genyen diferans ant "lapriyè" ak "priyè"? Mwen kwè pa gen okenn diferans ant mo sa yo. Èske mwen korèk? M konnen vèb la se "priye". E, ki sa ou t ap di sou "lespri" ak "espri"? Èske gen diferans?

Bonswa!
Wi. Sa w di a se sa. Pa gen diferans ant mo priyè ak lapriyè ki vle di envokasyon onswa rekèt

Pa gen diferans, nonplis, ant mo espri ak lespri ki vle di konpreyansyon, entelijans, onswa zonbi

Men gen de sikonstans nan lang lan kote li fè plis sans pou itilize youn sèlman. Yon egzanp: Li se moun lespri (ki vle di: Li edike) Mwen pa kwè w ap jwenn moun ki va di: Li se moun espri.

Kòm ou dwe deja konnen, se atik franse a (le, la, les, l’) ki fè yon sèl avèk mo kreyòl la ki vin ba ou, kòmkwa, yon prefiks nan mo a.
Lòt egzanp konsa, se: espwa onswa lespwa; delivrans onswa ladelivrans; kranp onswa lakranp; rezon onswa larezon; etsetera…


Dakò, mèsi. W a kenbe la.

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I'm doing some research on Haitian tea leaves. I wanted to know the uses and benefits for te may-lese and te pho-bazin (sp)?

For your research it would be beneficial to talk to a Haitian doktè fèy (medicine man). You’ll learn a lot from them.There are also two books, about leaves and herbs from Haiti, that you could check out: Plant ak Pyebwa Tè DAyiti by François Severin and Les plantes et Les Legumes D’Haiti qui Guerissent by Arsène Pierre Noël

I only know about some leaves because my mom grows some of them. She can make tea for every type of ailments you can think of. Her mother was the same too. I am always surprised that she has a stash of so many varieties of leaves at home.

My mom has used fèy melis for treating migraines, cramps, and gas. It’s also used for calming effects, nervousness, insomnia and nightmares.

She has primarily used Fonbazen for gas, stomach problems, intestinal worms, and cramps. But she says it can be used for “cleaning” the stomach and flushing the kidneys.   The boiled leaves can be uses in a compress (on the forehead or the temporal area) for treating headaches, nausea, and vertigo.

She has also boiled the leaves in a large cooking pot with water and used them for baths.

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Kijan ou di clothesline? Where is the clothesline to dry your clothes? Do you need more clothespins?

clothesline - liy
We dry our clothes on the clothesline - Nou mete rad nou seche sou liy lan.
Where is the clothesline to dry your clothes - Kote liy pou tann rad yo ye?
Do you need more clothespins? - Eske w bezwen plis pens pou tann rad yo?

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Though the campaign was not fully funded, Etsy is still sending 160 prints to the students in Haiti. Here is the whole collection. check it out!

Mandalay I love banane peze with pikliz. My friend showed me how to make it while I was in Haiti. How do you call the utensil used to flatten the plantain? Do you have any idea where I can buy it?

Yum yum!
It’s called pèz bannann in Haitian Creole.

Haitians are not the only one who makes bannann peze. Google tostonera or even plantain smasher, and you will find it online.

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What are some phrases or songs or rhymes that teachers use to get the attention of children in a group? I know in English we use phrases like "1-2-3 all eyes on me!" and the children respond "1-2 eyes on you!". Are there any that you know of? Thank you!

There are no phrases or rhymes that we use in that sense, that I know of (in Creole).

There's one is French where you start singing, "Un petit silence s'il vous plait, il faut ecouter." and then all the kids yell out "Silence!!!" This little rhyme is translated as "A little silence please, you must listen. Silence!!!"

But if you wanted to divert their attention by giving them a riddle, you'll say 'Krik?!" and they'll answer 'Krak!!!"
or you'll say "Tim Tim?!" they'll answer "Bwa sèch!!"
They'll be expecting a riddle after that :)


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Are there any good grammar books of the Haitian Creole language, and good dictionaries that you would recommend? Could you mention some names of good grammarians that we can trust to learn about modern Haitian Creole grammar? By the way, thank you very much for all the articles, they are a source of help for all those learning Haitian Creole! Keep your good work. Thank you.

The best and most complete 'grammar' book would be Ann pale kreyòl by Albert Valdman (with the audio CDs). It's a little bit pricey, but worth it.
The best dictionary so far is the one by Féquière Vilsaint.

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How do you say- "it was worth it"

It was worth it - Sa te vo lapenn.
It's not worth it (not worth the trouble) - Sa pa vo lapenn.
Was it worth it - Eske sa te vo lapenn.



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How do you speak the years in Kreyol, for example 1776? Is it disèt swasanndis sis, or do you have to use mil somewhere? What about 2015?

We use mil....

1776 - mil sèt san swasannsèz
2015 - de mil kenz
2010 - de mil dis
1500 - mil senk san

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Ki sa "pou ti krik ti krak" vle di ? Men fraz m te wè a : "Li te konn fache pou ti krik ti krak." Kòman ou t ap tradui sa ?

pou ti krik ti krak - for no useful reason, for any reason at all

Li te konn fache pou ti krik ti krak - He/She used to get angry for no reason at all.

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Why do you say "sa pa gade m sa"? can I just say "sa pa gade m" without the 'sa' at the end?

Yes you can.

Sa pa gade m sa
or
Sa pa gade m.
I don't care.

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Hi Mandaly, can you tell me if these two Haitian proverbs mean the same thing: “Bef a bout ke se bondye ki pouse mouch pou li” and “se met ko ki veye ko”? thanks

Hi.
No, these proverbs have different meaning. They’re not the same.
Bèf bout ke se Bondye ki pouse mouch pou li” means something like God helps people that have deficiencies or limitations.


The second proverb “Se mèt kò ki veye kò” means You watch out for own self. Don’t expect others to care for your well being.  This proverb is in the same category as another Haitian Creole proverb Chak koukouy klere pou je yo Each person looks out for his own interest

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

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bonjou Mandaly, Toudabò, mèsi anpil pou blog ou! Blog ou ap ede m’ anpil anpil pandan mwen ap aprann krèyol. Men, mwen gen yon keyson .....

You said:
"Bonjou Mandaly, 
Toudabò, mèsi anpil
pou blog ou! Blog ou ap ede m’ anpil anpil pandan mwen ap aprann krèyol. Men,
mwen gen yon keyson pou w. Mwen konnen ou pa itilize mo a « nan » ak mo yo kòm
«lakay » e « lekòl » paske mo a gen yon « la » ou byen « le » nan yo. Poukisa ou
pa itilize nan sitiyason sa yo ? Mwen panse mwen konfonn ak ki jan ou itilize
prepozisyon yo lè ou vle di «at, to, in »? Si ou ka eksplike sa a pou mwen, mwen
pral anpil kontan. Mèsi anpil ! P.S. Mwen regrèt pou gramè mwen. Mwen ap aprann
krèyol pou sèlman kèk semèn. Si ou te resevwa keyson sa a, souplè ban m’ yon 
lyen pou yon repons. Mèsi!"

Mandaly says:
Bonjou zanmi!
For someone who's been learning Creole for just a few weeks, you're doing amazingly well. I encourage you to continue learning Creole. I hope to hear from you again ... in Creole :)


Here are a few links of posts with explanations of how to translate sentences from English to H. Creole, when they have the prepositions “at, to, in”:

http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/2011/06/prepositions-at-to-on-in.html
http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/2011/11/nou-te-ale-nan-konse-ye-nou-ale-lekol.html
http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/2011/10/nan.html
http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/2014/01/to-as-in-destination-i-am-walking-to-my.html
http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-see-that-sometimes-word-is-translated.html

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

Mandaly, There is a H.Creole phrase that describes something building up a little at a time or slowly happening over time that sounds like "Au fe y a mezi". Do you know it? And what is its origin?

Hi, it's from the French expression au fur et à mesure which means gradually.

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

what does "na repale" mean? It is not in any book or translate tool.

repale - to talk again.

N a repale. - We'll talk again.

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hey Mandie, would the word "nan-nan" be a good term to translate "...the central theme"? I see that Haitians use it mainly to talk about food.

Mwen pral fe yon kout bravoute,depi 15 ans mwen renmen li. Mwen ekri anpl poem pou li.Mwen pral file on dame.yo di tout brav nan simitye. Mwen pral fe yon kout Capois Lamort. Mwen vle ekri li nan blog sa pou l ka we li. Eske ou kapab pibliye poem mwen?

Bonjou zanmi, mwen resevwa kesyon ou plizyè fwa , men mwen pa te resevwa powèm ou an. Sanble ou vle fè yon deklarayon piblik pou yon fanm. 
Kenz (15) an se pa de (2) jou. Si w ap file yon fanm, file l pou w fini ak sa! M pa kwè medam yo renmen gason ki pa gen aksyon sou yo. 
Selon sa m konprann, ou toujou ekri powèm pou li, men ou poko janm file l dirèkteman?

Premyèman, file yon fanm pa gen kesyon brav ladan l. Sèlsi ta genyen yon obstak kòmkwa fanmi l pa ta dakò, pa gen “Kapwa Lamò” nan koze konsa.  
Mwen swete w bòn chans :)

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I am a Haitian who grew up in the US. My mother used to refer to people arguing as "moun k'ap jouri (or joure)." But I found no definitions for jouri and all the definitions of joure are much more severe than just an argument, such as insulting, cursing, blaming. Please explain.

Hi.
First of all, the word is joure (as a trans. verb). Joure or jouman can be used as nouns.
Joure means to curse or insult someone as well as it means to nag or to have a nasty argument.

You may say,
Se tout tan fanm sa a ap joure m pou m mete fatra yo deyò. - This woman has been nagging me about putting the garbage out for a long time.

Direktè a te fache. Li te kanpe devan klas la enpi l te joure elèv yo pou bagay malonèt ke yo te fè. - The principal was angry. He stood in front of the class and rebuked the students for the shameful things that they did.


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

Re-Post - "Haitian Creole wall art - one for you, one for a student in Haiti!" - Three more days until their goal is reached.

"Haitian Creole wall art - one for you, one for a student in Haiti!"

Word Art for kids in Jacmel 

Colette says:
“Bonjou Mandaly! I am working with some students in Haiti doing an ‘Artraiser.’ They have provided me some words in Haitian Creole, I have made their words into art prints. Here is more information https://www.etsy.com/listing/231183271/ if you know anyone who might be interested in this project, we’d appreciate it if you passed it along.”

Mandaly says:

The art looks really cool. Very nice! The Haiti Décor page has lots of lovely items too. Thanks Colette.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Have you heard of the joke about a man, the donkey and his wife? what is the joke?

a man, his wife, an a donkey ....???
There are many jokes that go like that.
You might be talking about the man that gets frustrated with his two donkeys and mistreats them, then shows the same treatment toward his wife. NOT FUNNY!

Unfortunately I once thought it was funny.

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

Mandaly, what is pititan wen?

pitit an mwen (pitit an wen), the Haitian northerner’s way of saying pitit mwen

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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hi Mandaly. I have lived in Haiti for quite a few years and speak decent Creole. But recently my husband and I decided to get

You said:
"Hi Mandaly. I have lived in Haiti for quite a
few years and speak decent Creole. But recently my husband and I decided to get
a tutor to help us improve. He is an excellent teacher and knows how to teach
his own language. (You know, just because you are a native speaker of a
language,  it doesn't mean you know how to teach it.) Anyway, he is a purist. He
doesn't want us to use any words that sound French at all. For example: use
souple instead of silvouple, padkwa instead of padekwa. Bondye instead of the
French pronunciation Bon Dieu. Jezi instead of the French Jesus. (Although we
hear Haitians in church mix in these with Creole constantly.)He claims that
Haitians do not want to hear Creole mixed with French especially from a
foreigner. He says that Creole purposely was formed in rebellion to the French
language and therefore words were changed in pronunciation and in spelling to
intentionally differentiate Creole from French. 
 
Would you agree?
Particularly would you agree that Haitians prefer foreigners to speak very pure
Creole? 
 
Thanks for helping all of us foreigners. We appreciate
you!"



Mandaly says:
I would have to disagree that “Haitians prefer foreigners to speak pure Creole”.
Often there will be more than one way to say a word such as please (souple, silvouplè, tanpri). It would be hard to ignore a term simply because it sounds too French, especially when everyone is still using it to speak kreyòl.
First let’s just eliminate the term ‘pure Creole’ or ‘kreyòl rèk’ or any other similar terms and just call it kreyòl.
The kreyòl language does have a standard orthography which dictates how the language is written. So it sounds like your tutor is just teaching you the standards.

It will take some time before the kreyòl orthography is integrated in everyday living (communication, doing business, school, official government affairs, etc…), so implementing these standards now will insure that the next generation will speak and write kreyòl the way it should be.

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Haitian Creole wall art - one for you, one for a student in Haiti!"

Word Art for kids in Jacmel 

Colette says:
“Bonjou Mandaly! I am working with some students in Haiti doing an ‘Artraiser.’ They have provided me some words in Haitian Creole, I have made their words into art prints. Here is more information https://www.etsy.com/listing/231183271/ if you know anyone who might be interested in this project, we’d appreciate it if you passed it along.”

Mandaly says:

The art looks really cool. Very nice! The Haiti Décor page has lots of lovely items too. Thanks Colette.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hello, I'm looking for some terms of endearment for boys - like "kiddo," "buddy," or "champ" in English?

Toufe pitit la ....

"Hi Mandaly, I love your blog. I have a question. I just had a baby and my Haitian mother-in-law tells me all the time "toufe piti la" and "se zye li ki pou deyo". My husband tells me that she wants me to keep the baby hidden. is there more to this?"

She is trying to tell you to wrap the child in layettes snugly (from head to toe) so that all one could see is the baby eyes and hopefully his nose too!
Some Haitians (in Haiti) keep their baby indoors for weeks to a couple of months after birth. If a fanm say (midwife) makes the well-child visit at home, that baby may not get to see the light of day for a couple of months.

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yon nouvo zouti enpòtan ki kapab ede timoun Ayiti yo aprann





Yon nouvo zouti enpòtan ki kapab ede timoun Ayiti yo aprann

Se Dory Piccard Dickson ki ekri atik sa a ann angle, enpi se Mandaly Louis-Charles ki tradui li an kreyòl

Imajinen yon nouvo Ayiti kote tout moun, finalman, kapab li ak ekri lang natif natal yo.” (Michel DeGraff, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Inisyativ MIT-Ayiti, Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen)

Refleksyon sou eksperyans yon elèv lekòl ann Ayiti:

Lè Mandaly Louis-Charles t ap grandi ann Ayiti, pwofesè lekòl, jeneralman, te konn fè tout klas yo an franse, yon lang ke pifò elèv pa janm abitye pale lakay yo. Se nan bat pa kè elèv yo te konn aprann ti mòso nan lang franse a. Toudabò, elèv yo memorize ABC lang franse a, lèfini elèv yo memorize mo yo, enpi fraz yo. Apre sa, timoun yo aprann ki sa mo yo vle di. Nan epòk sa a, klas yo pa t separe ak miray. Nan kèlkeswa nivo klas nou te ye a, nou te toujou ap tande timoun ki t ap resite alfabè a. Pa te gen chape pou nou. Alfabè franse a te nan wèl nou tout tan.

Nan lekòl la menm, timoun pa t gen dwa pale kreyòl. Se nan memwa zo bwa tèt yo ke yo te blije chache kèk grenn mo pou yo degaje yo pou pale franse, yon lang yo pa pale ni lakay yo, ni ak ti zanmi yo lè y ap jwe, ni okenn lòt kote nan kominote a. Pa mande Bondye yon pwofesè ta bare yon elèv ap pale kreyòl, lang natif natal li; se ale nan pinisyon tou dwat. Pafwa, pinisyon an konn byen rèd. Alèkile gen ti pwogrè ki fèt: ou kapab jwenn klas kreyòl nan pwogram lekòl yo. Men, kwak sa, yo anseye kreyòl la kòm yon matyè ki separe ak tout lòt yo. Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen an, ki rive fonde an 2014, ap travay pou chanje sa. Y ape travay pou kore itilizasyon kreyòl nan tout sektè lasosyete. Men, pou kounye a, kominikasyon alekri gouvènman an ansanm ak lwa ak dekrè, se an franse sèlman ke prèske tout dokiman sa yo pibliye .

Videyo a:

Mandaly Louis-Charles, yon fanm vanyan k ap milite pou lang kreyòl la, te kolabore ansanm ak animatè Robert Capria, mizisyen Bémol Telfort, enpi pwofesè lengwistik nan Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Michel DeGraff, pou pwodui yon videyo edikasyonèl pou entwodui premye chante sou alfabè kreyòl la.

Louis-Charles ak DeGraff te kolabore ansanm pou yo ekri pawòl yo. Louis-Charles te kreye melodi a, enpi li chante chante a ansanm ak amoni yo. Telfort te jwe tanbou e bat kata tou pou akonpaniman mizik la te konplè.

Sa se premye chante ak videyo ki fèt sou alfabè kreyòl ayisyen an. Pou entèpretasyon règ òtograf kreyòl la, ekip la te chwazi imaj avèk pawòl ke tout Aysisyen, granmoun kon timoun, konnen byen. Yo te marye bèl rit tanbou ak melodi a, bèl rit ki chita byen fon nan kilti nasyon Ayisyen an depi nan nesans li.

Michel DeGraff di kon sa:

“Chante sa a gen rasin ki antre fon nan bèl tradisyon ki nan nannan kilti nou. Li va bay timoun yo yon grap plezi, e li va ba yo anpil angouman pou yo aprann li, ak kè kontan, nan lang natif natal yo.”

Tit chante a se Alfabè kreyòl nimewo 1. Nenpòt moun kapab telechaje li pou granmesi nan adrès YouTube sa a:


E si yo ta enterese chante chante a tou, yo va jwenn pati mizik la ansanm ak akonpaniman san vwa nan CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, ak Gracenote MusicID. Si gen kèk mizisyen ki enterese nan sòlfèj mizik la, yo va jwenn li nan sit sa a: sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com nan mwa k ap vini yo, pandan ete 2015 lan.

Ekip la pa te sèlman kreye yon sèl videyo. Yo te kreye yon dezyèm chante ki entèprete prensip fondamantal òtograf kreyòl la. Dezyèm chante sa a rele Alfabè kreyòl nimewo 2. Ou kapab wè yon ti apèsi chante sa a nan YouTube, nan adrès sa a:


Enpi ou va jwenn tou de (2) chante yo konplè nan sit sa a:


Mandaly Louis-Charles di kon sa:

 “Mwen espere tout moun va gen anpil plezi pou aprann sistèm òtograf kreyòl la pandan y ap chante.”

Ki sa ki fè videyo sa a san parèy:

Animasyon nan videyo a byen fèt e li atiran. Akonpaniman enstriman yo pa anvayi pawòl chante a. Lè w ap koute chante alfabè a, ou kapab tande pawòl yo byen klè pandan tanbou an ap bat anba anba.

DeGraff prevwa:

“Mwen kwè vwa Mandaly ak akonpaniman tanbou an va fè chante sa a popilè nèt ann Ayiti!”

Konsènan pwodiksyon videyo a, Mandaly te di “Se te yon privilèj pou mwen te travay ak Bémol Telfort sou akonpaniman mizik la. Li se yon mizisyen ki gen anpil talan e se te yon gran plezi pou nou te travay sou pwojè a ansanm. Tout bagay te tonbe nan plas yo lè Robert Capria nan ActualityFilms.Com te dakò pou kolabore nan pwojè a tou. Capria, yon Ameriken, te pase yon ti tan Ayiti e se kon sa li te vin fè eksperyans avèk lavi ann Ayiti.  Eksperyans sa a vin parèt nan animasyon li yo.”

Kòm nou te di, ekip la te travay sou yon dezyèm chante tou. Nan dezyèm chante sa a, Louis-Charles ak DeGraff te espesyalman kontan dèske yo te gen opòtinite pou yo entegre prensip fondamantal òtograf kreyòl la nan chante a:

Chak lèt rete nan wòl yo. Chak son ekri menm jan. Nan pwen lèt ki bèbè. Chak lèt gen yon sèl son.

Entwodiksyon premye chante sou alfabè kreyòl la nan ane 2015, se yon bagay ki  ekstraòdinè lè nou konsidere ke anrejistreman dwa otè pou alfabè lang angle a te fèt depi nan ane 1835. Chante tradisyonèl alfabè angle a, ki pa chante selon fonèm ki koresponn ak lèt yo, gen menm melodi ak  “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Sa ki fè pwojè alfabè kreyòl la diferan, se jan melodi ke Louis-Charles kreye a pa te egziste anvan. Se yon melodi ki orijinal nèt.

Pou ki sa se 180 lane apre chante sou alfabè angle a ke nou jwenn chante sou alfabè kreyòl la?   Se ka paske se trè raman ke yo te rive kouche lang kreyòl la sou papye anvan ane 1960 yo.  Enpi lè sa te rive fèt, se ak òtograf franse a ke yo te sèvi.  Se te jouk nan ane 1980 ke kreyòl la te vin gen pwòp sistèm òtograf ofisyèl pa li.  Se òtograf sa a ki sèvi jounen jodi a.  E se òtograf ofisyèl sa a ke chante alfabè kreyòl la entèprete.

Enpòtans istorik:

Paske Ayiti te yon koloni franse, se franse ki te toujou lang lekòl menm si gen, pou pi piti, 90% Ayisyen ki pa pale franse. Ayiti te anba pouvwa Lafrans depi 1625 rive 1804. Apre yon revolisyon esklav ki te reyisi, Ayiti te vin endepandan. Apre endepandans lan, sepandan, zafè leta ak edikasyon nan lekòl te kontinye sèvi avèk lang franse a.

Materyèl eskolè ak lòt resous pou edikasyon, se sa Ayiti toujou manke. Pa gen ase lekòl piblik. Pa gen ase pwofesè ki byen kalifye.   Pifò pwofesè yo pa pale franse alèz.  E poutan se yo ki anchaj pou yo anseye an franse.  Enpi se an franse tou pou yo anseye timoun yo lekti ak ekriti.  Limitasyon sa a andikape timoun yo depi nan premye ane lekòl: lè yon timoun aprann li nan yon lang ke li pa konn pale, sa difisil anpil pou timoun sa a vin bon lektè.  E si yon timoun pa ka li byen, li pa fouti vin maton nan okenn matyè, nan okenn lang.

Enpi tou, gen pwoblèm lajan.  Pifò paran pa gen mwayen voye pitit yo nan bon lekòl.  Genyen ki pa menm kapab peye inifòm obligatwa lekòl la, oswa yo pa gen lajan pou peye ata twal pou fè inifòm nan.  Anpil timoun, se nan lekòl bòlèt y ale.  Alòske moun nan klas privilejye yo pale franse lakay yo.  Ki fè timoun sa yo aprann franse depi yo ti katkat. Fanmi sa yo gen mwayen pou peye bonjan lekòl prive pou pitit yo, pou prepare yo pou bèl metye ak lòt pozisyon lelit.  Sa ba yo mwayen pou transmèt pouvwa sosyal ak pouvwa ekonomik bay pitit yo. Enpi, se kon sa fanmi sa yo ka asire yo ke pitit yo, pitit pitit yo, elatriye, ap kontinye viv konfòtab.

Men sa DeGraff esplike:

“N ap pran yon ti souf tou piti pou le moman gras a nouvo pwogram gouvènman an k ap bay lekòl ki gratis e ki obligatwa: Universal, Free and Obligatory School Program (“PSUGO”). Men, nou toujou manke resous pou tout popilasyon an.”

“Sa fè apeprè 50 lane depi militan lang kreyòl yo ap goumen pou bay tout moun aksè egal ego nan edikasyon.  Sa se youn pami lòt benefis ke tout Ayisyen ta dwe jwenn kòm sitwayen peyi a—benefis ke pèp la pa ka jwenn lè lang franse a sèvi kòm sèl lang ekri nan biwo leta, lekòl, inivèsite, ak lòt kote k ap kreye e k ap transmèt konesans ak pouvwa.”

“Ogmante itilizasyon kreyòl nan edikasyon ak nan zafè leta, sa mande kokennchenn volonte politik. Sa gen twò lontan depi yo inyore pwopozisyon pou refòm edikasyon nan peyi a—pa egzanp, pwopozisyon refòm Bernard a ki te pran nesans an 1980. Youn nan rezon refòm Bernard a pa te janm reyalize se akoz mank zouti ak mank resous pou edikasyon an kreyòl.  E poutan, tout rechèch ki fèt montre jan lang matènèl timoun yo enpòtan nan edikasyon timoun yo.  Lang natif natal la se bon zouti pou elèv yo aprann yon dezyèm lang tou.  Pa egzanp, se lang kreyòl la ki ta dwe ede pifò Ayisyen aprann franse.”

“Kounye a, finalman, avèk inogirasyon Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen an ansanm ak gwo jefò ke Ministè Nasyonal Edikasyon ap fè sou lang kreyòl la, nou kapab espere ke nou va itilize lang nasyonal nou an kòm yon lang ofisyèl tout bon vre e kòm yon zouti djanm pou ansèyman kòmsadwa.  Se sa lalwa ak pwogram ofisyèl yo mande.  Pa kapab genyen devlopman ki dirab ann Ayiti si nou pa sèvi tout kote ak sèl lang sa a ke tout Ayisyen pale—sèl lang sa a ki simante tout Ayisyen ansanm.”

Inisyativ MIT-Ayiti a te fonde nan ane 2010 avèk objektif pou devlope, evalye enpi distribiye resous teknolojik pou anseye matyè lasyans, teknoloji, jeni enpi matematik (“STEM”) an kreyòl.  Kreyòl la se yon engredyan ki nesesè pou bon kalite ansanm ak aksè pou edikasyon ann Ayiti.  Resous sa yo va sèvi kòm zouti pou pote chanjman ki va amelyore sistèm edikasyon Ayiti a.(1) Inisyativ MIT-Ayiti a devlope metòd ak materyèl (videyo ladan tou) ki demontre avantaj ki genyen lè lang kreyòl la sèvi pou pedagoji ki aktif. Avèk kolaborasyon Ministè Nasyonal Edikasyon, Inisyativ la pwojte pou entegre aprantisaj aktif nan ansèyman STEM toupatou nan peyi a.   Se kon sa n ap kapab kreye yon bon baz pou devlòpman ki dirab.

Lè nou sèvi ak kreyòl alekri kòm aloral depi nan  premye ane lekòl, kontinye nan tout nivo akademik, rive jouk nan inivèsite, sa va ede elèv yo aprann pi byen e sa va asire siksè elèv yo tou. Chante alfabè kreyòl la se yon zouti ki enpòtan pou nou ranfòse sistèm edikasyon peyi a e pou nou kreye Ayiti nou vle a.

(1) DeGraff, Michel, July 2013

MIT-Haiti Initiative Uses Haitian Creole to Make Learning Truly Active, Constructive, and Interactive”


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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ki jan pou m itilize mo "kómkwa" a? Ki sa li vle di? Èske ou dakò li vle di "as if..." Èske l gen plizye sans? Mési.

Bonswa wi zanmi 

Nou pa ka pale sou kòm kwa san nou pa mansyonen kòm kwa dire oubyen menm kòm ki dire
Twa (3) ekpresyon sa yo vle di, nan lang angle a, seemingly, in other words, that is to say, apparently, allegedly

Mo sa a kapab sèvi kòm konjonksyon oubyen advèb.

Ou itilize l lè w’ap bay plis esplikasyon onswa klarifijasyon

Men kèk egzanp:
    
       1. Mouche gen yon manyè ki dwòl kòm kwa dire li ta yon fanm konsa. – The man has got some weird mannerism as if he were a woman.

      2. Ameriken yo akize prezidan an kòm kwa se li men ki lakòz resesyon an. – Americans have accused the president, seemingly blaming him for the recession.

      3. Olye pou misye ban m lajan li dwe m nan, li tonbe plenyen ban mwen  kòm ki dire pou m ta kite lajan an ba li. – Instead of giving me the money he owes me, he started complaining to me. Apparently he wanted me to leave the money to him.


     4. Pou ki sa w ap akize m konsa, kòm kwa dire se mwen menm ki lakòz malchans ou? – Why are you blaming me as if I was the cause of your misfortune?

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ti zwazo kote wa prale.. do you know it Mandy?

Oh I see, we're reminiscing about the times of the makout :)

Ti zwazo kote ou prale
Mwen prale kay Fiyèt Lalo
Fiyèt Lalo konn manje ti moun
Si w ale l a manje ou tou
Brit kolobrit, brit kolobrit
Wosiyòl manje kowosòl
Woule woule woule
Mwen soti lavi  Okay tout bèt nan bwa
Zandolit… tonbe nan bwa
Tout bèt …. tonbe nan bwa

Eks…

Thanks Debbie for posting the music score which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/audubonhaiti/photos/pb.1403779986506760.-2207520000.1434893939./1469256159959142/?type=3&theater

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

is latcha a good word to use in a church sermon?

You mean latcha as in dengonn?
It depends....
If you're on the pulpit, all heated up, jumping up and down, resurrected Holy Ghost blood pumping through your veins and the congregation is egging you on .... preche pastè! preche! then you might get away with it.
So it's on a case by case basis.



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

I was talking to a Haitian friend recently and he said something about his daughter’s wedding… he said mete sou pa dèyè. I understood that he meant he’s fallen on hard times – is that correct?

Yes, mete sou po dèyè (mete sou po bouda, lage sou po bouda) means to impoverish. The wedding expenses might have rendered him penniless.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

What does the expression kola kenz mean? Like "ou sanble ak yon kola kenz jan'w kanpe la?

sanble ak kola kenz - to look stunning, to look attractive, looking fine

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Alo! Mwen rele Matt, e premye, m'vle di mèsi pou leson sa yo. M'te.....

Matt says:
"Alo! Mwen rele Matt, e premye, m'vle di
mèsi pou leson sa yo. M'te komanse aprann Kreyol denye Out e w'ap ede'm anpil.
Mwen pa jamn te panse m'ta aprann Kreyol, men menage'm se yon famn Ayisiyen e
m'vle pale avè fanmi'l!

Antouka, m'gen yon kesyon ke okenn moun ka reponn.
Kile mwen ta dwe itilize "bon", e kile mwen ta dwe itilize "byen"? Pou yon
egzanp: "Sa bon" oswa "mache byen". Eske gen yon règ ke m'ka aprann pou mo sa
yo?

Mèsi anpil! Bondye beni'w."

Mandaly says:

Dakò zanmi. Mèsi.

bon is an adjective and is used to describe something that fits, that is excellent, fine, correct, pleasurable, acceptable, tasty, or someone that’s got skills, etc…
Example:

1. Li bon. – It’s good /pleasurable/ enjoyable/acceptable.
2. Manje a te bon. – The food was tasty.
3. Misye bon nan kreyòl la. – He’s good at speaking Creole.
4. Van an bon la a. – The breeze is excellent here.
5. Pwofesè a te di ke devwa li a pa bon, li dwe refè l. – The teacher said that his homework was unacceptable, he must redo it.

You’ll also see bon in expressions such as:
bon mache - cheap
tout bon - true, real
bon kouraj - be brave, brave
Se bon pou... - se bon pou yo -They got what they asked for (they deserve what's coming to them)
Se bon pou ou - You deserve what's coming to you

Byen can be an adjective or adverb and translate fine, well; being in a happy, fortunate, flourishing state, etc…
Example:
6. Nou byen. – We are fine, we are doing well
7. Li byen lakay mwen an.  – He’s well / doing great at my house

byen is also used to translate very, so, quite
8. M byen kontan ou pa te ale. – I’m very happy that you didn’t go.
9. An nou viv byen youn ak lòt. – Let’s live well together.
10. Ou byen konnen m pa renmen sa, malgre sa ou te fè li kanmenm. – You know very well that I don’t like it, still you did it anyway.
11. M pran yon bèl so devan tout moun. M te byen wont. – I took a hard tumble in front of everyone. I was quite embarrassed.

byen also translates to be friends, to be on good terms
12. An nou byen. – Let’s be friends
13. M pa byen avè w. – I’m not your friend.
14. De moun sa yo pa janm byen. Yo toujou ap goumen. – These two people are never on good terms. They’re always fighting.

byen also translates abundance, possessions, wealth
15. Ti moun sa yo rich kounye a. Papa yo mouri kite anpil byen pou yo.

These kids are rich now. Their father died and left them a lot of wealth.

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

How can I say "truth conquers all" in creole? Also what are some symbols/images that immediately make you think creole?

A more beautiful way to say Truth conquers all in Creole is also an expression: De je kontre manti kaba.

I like your second question :)
Images that immediately come to mind when I think of Creole.... Congas, tropical coconut gardens, fried plantains and pikliz, large smiles and konpa mizik :)

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

Koze mande chez? I often ask Haitians about this expression and I usually get vague answers. Mandy how would best translate this in English?

Sometimes you may get 'vague'answers because there might be different uses for the expression you're looking to translate.
Trying not to be 'vague', I can tell you that this expression BASICALLY means let's sit and talk/debate on/reflect on ....

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

Rock your next event with Bémol and his band

Bémol
http://www.starnow.com/bemol

Let Bémol and his band play at your next function.
This band can rock your party or
deliver the dreamy mood you’re looking for.
They play pretty much all styles of music
Contact Bémol today to talk about your
Next fun event at bemoltelfort@gmail.com
Or call him at 305-493-1015
Sample some of his music here:

here: http://www.starnow.com/bemol

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

Does "monte chwal a 2" have other meanings beside the obvious?

Monte chwal a de (or monte bourik a de), other than the obvious, may be translated as getting along well with someone.

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

An important new learning tool for the children of Haiti

Alfabè kreyòl 1


Alfabè kreyòl 2

 by Dory Piccard Dickson

Disclaimer: The author of this article works with Mandaly Louis-Charles, in a volunteer capacity, on projects benefiting Haitians in the diaspora. Dickson, a retired educator, is the Director of Haitian Migrant Worker Outreach.

“ Imagine a new Haiti where everyone, at long last, can read and write their native language.” Michel DeGraff, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-Haiti Initiative

     Recalling a school-girl's experience in Haiti:

When Mandaly Louis-Charles was growing up in Haiti, instruction there was primarily in French, a language largely unfamiliar to most students. Children memorized their ABC's and words and phrases in French, then learned their meanings. “Back then,” remembers Mandaly, “we couldn't escape the monotonous chants of children reciting their lessons by heart, in a school with few dividing walls.”

At school, children were forbidden to speak their native Haitian Creole (“Kreyòl”), so they had to memorize, without understanding, texts in a language they barely spoke. If caught speaking Kreyòl, they would be punished, sometimes severely. There has been progress since: Kreyòl is now included in the school curricula, though it is taught as a separate subject, and not integrated into the rest of the curriculum. The recently created Haitian Creole Academy works to promote the use of Haitian Creole in all sectors of society. However, most government communications, including laws and decrees, are still published in French only.

The Video:

Recognized Kreyòl advocate, Mandaly Louis-Charles, has collaborated with animator Robert Capria, musician Bémol Telfort, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Linguistics Professor, Michel DeGraff, to produce an educational video introducing the first Kreyòl Alphabet Song.

Louis-Charles and DeGraff collaborated on the lyrics. Louis-Charles created the melody, and provided the vocal, including harmonies. Instrumental accompaniment was provided by Telfort playing conga and kata.

This is the first Kreyòl Alphabet Song and Video. The pictures and words selected for teaching the Kreyòl spelling rules will be familiar to Haitian children and adults alike. The sound of the congas is a common background to life in Haiti. DeGraff stated, “This is a specifically Haitian song, well anchored in Haitian culture, and will resonate particularly well with Haitian children, and enhance their reading skills.” 

This video is available for free download at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F6yK1HOhWI. The instrumental soundtrack, for singing along, is available in Audio CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Gracenote MusicID. The music score will be available on sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com in the summer of 2015. There is also a follow-up video with a song illustrating the basic principles of the Kreyòl orthography at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW5LaUJ337U. The complete second video can be downloaded from Vimeo On Demand at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thecreolealphabet.
  “I hope everyone has lots of fun playing, and singing while they learn the Kreyòl spelling system,” said Louis-Charles.

What sets this video apart: 

The video animation is polished and appealing. The percussion accompaniment doesn't overpower the lyrics or Louis-Charles' exquisite voice. The listener hears each letter sound and word clearly, while the beat of the congas sings under the words. DeGraff recently predicted, “I believe Mandaly's voice, with the drumming accompaniment, will become a big hit in Haiti!”

About production of the video, Mandaly states, “I'm glad to have worked with Bémol Telfort on the instrumental accompaniment. He's a gifted musician and we both had a lot of fun working on this project. Everything came together beautifully when Robert Capria of ActualityFilms.Com came on board. Capria has spent time in Haiti and his familiarity with the scenery shows in his work."

The production team also created a follow-up video with a second song. In her second song, Louis-Charles is especially happy to have found a way to incorporate the principles of the Kreyòl spelling system: There is one letter or letter combination for each sound of the language; each letter or letter combination always matches the same sound; and there are no silent letters.

The introduction of the first Kreyòl Alphabet Song in the year 2015 is remarkable when one considers the 1835 copyright date of the traditional English language alphabet song. The traditional English alphabet song, which does not include the letter sounds, is sung to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Louis-Charles' melody, in contrast, is both new and original.

The delay of 180 years in developing a Haitian Creole alphabet song may be attributed at least in part to the fact that Haitian Creole was seldom used in written form before the 1960's (with French spellings) or the 1980's with the official spelling system in use today—the one illustrated in the Kreyòl Alphabet Song.

Historical Significance: With Haiti having been a French Colony, school instruction historically has been limited to the French language, a language which is not spoken in Haitian homes and communities and which is not familiar to over ninety percent of Haitians. Haiti was under French rule from 1625 to 1804. After a successful slave rebellion, Haiti became independent. Following independence, however, government business and education continued to be carried out using the French language.

Adequate resources for education, throughout this impoverished country, have always been lacking. There are not enough public schools, and public school teachers, who often do not have sufficient education themselves, and who often do not speak French fluently, are tasked with teaching younger generations to read, write and speak French.

Even those who live near a public school may not be able to send their children, if they cannot afford the cost of the mandatory school uniform, or even the cost of the fabric to make the uniform. By contrast, members of the ruling class have been able to afford private school tuition for their children, preparing them for government posts, and other elite positions, providing comfortable livelihoods.

DeGraff reports, “There has been some welcome progress with the Government’s new Universal, Free Obligatory School Program (“PSUGO”) but adequate educational resources for the general population are still lacking.

“For half a century now, advocates of Haitian Creole have fought to give everyone equal access to education and to other benefits of citizenship, benefits to which access has been barred by the almost exclusive use of French as the formal written language in government offices, in schools and in universities. The move to increase the use of Haitian Creole in education and government affairs requires political will. For much too long, proposals for education reform, going back to the Bernard Reform of the 1980s to promote Haitian Creole, have not been implemented. These proposals are often undercut by a lack of educational tools and resources in Haitian Creole.  Yet all research in education keeps pointing out the central importance of the maternal language as the language of instruction.  Now at last, with the recent inauguration of the Haitian Creole Academy and with recent efforts by the Ministry of National Education, we can hope that our national language, Kreyòl, will be put to use, as the official language and as the language of instruction, as it should be and as prescribed by law.  

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-Haiti Initiative was founded in 2010 with the goal of developing, evaluating and disseminating technology-enhanced resources for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM subjects) in Haitian Creole—a necessary ingredient for quality and access in Haiti. These resources will serve as tools to change and improve the education system in Haiti.(1) The MIT-Haiti Initiative has developed teaching materials and methods, and produced videos that demonstrate the advantages of lessons taught through active learning techniques and in the students' native tongue, Haitian Creole.  In collaboration with the Ministry of National Education, the Initiative aims at incorporating these Kreyòl-based active-learning resources into the teaching of STEM throughout the country, in order to eventually create a strong basis for sustainable development through innovation.

Promoting the use of Kreyòl in classroom instruction, beginning with the very first years of schooling and continuing through all academic levels up to university, will enhance students' learning, and will impact their future academic success.  The Haitian Creole Alphabet Song is an important tool in the arsenal for this continued battle to improve the lot of Haitians and the economic future of their country, by building up and strengthening their education system.

(1) DeGraff, Michel, April 28, 2013
“Many Hands Make the Load Lighter”: Haitian Creole and Technology-Enhanced Active Learning Toward Quality Education for All in Haiti




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