Bonjou! Learn to Speak Haitian Creole
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, March 31, 2012
What does "poze lakay" mean? "Fresco lakay"? (On a truck offering cold drinks in Little Haiti Miami)
What do you see? Like when you are asking your little girl what she sees when she is looking out the window
Eske ou pral travay pou GCA a, oubyen eske ou gen lòt plan?
Friday, March 30, 2012
pa vle wè → hate, can't tolerate
pa ka wè → can't tolerate, can't stand
Pa ka sipòte → can't stand, can't tolerate
Mwen pa vle wè li.
I hate him.
M pa ka wè lè w fè sa.
I hate when you do that.
Mwen pa ka wè li.
I can't stand her.
I can't tolerate her.
Mwen pa ka wè chen k'ap jape.
I can't stand barking dogs.
I can't tolerate barking dogs.
other Creole words for hate are: deteste, degoute, rayi
Do you mean prayers such as: Hail Mary, Our Father in Heaven, ... or other mass responses?
Here are some sites that may be helpful:
Contact Mr. Mapou at Libreri Mapou (305)757-9922.
He has some Creole Catholic prayer books.
They're on their way.
Yo nan wout.
It's on its way.
Li nan wout.
I'm on my way. Be patient.
Mwen an wout. Pran pasyans.
The package is on its way. I mailed it yesterday.
Pake a nan wout. Mwen te poste li yè.
The kids are on their way. They left two hours ago.
Timoun yo nan wout. Yo te kite dezè d'tan pase.
The team is on its way. Their bus left at 10.
Ekip la nan wout. Bis yo a te kite a dizè.
On the way to... → Sou wout
We were on the way to Arcahaie when it started raining.
Nou te sou wout Lakayè lè li te koumanse fè lapli.
They were on their way home when they decided to head back.
Yo te sou wout lakay yo lè te deside tounen.
He was on his way to work when he got the call.
Li te sou wout travay li lè li te resevwa apèl la.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
'It has been' as in: It's been a long time. It's been days. or It's been a year. Mèsi boubout mwen :)
Depi de jou m pa wè w.
Sa fè de jou m pa wè w.
Mwen gen de jou depi m pa wè w.
It's been two days since I've seen you.
Depi twazan li malad.
Sa gen twazan li malad.
Li gen twazan depi l malad.
It's been three years since she's been ill.
It has been ...
Mwen gen lontan depi m pa wè.
(Mwen) gen twò lontan.
Sa gen lontan depi m te tande chan sa a.
Mwen gen lontan depi m pa tande chante sa a.
I wonder why my family is not as tight/close as they should be.
Pafwa mwen panse avè w.
Sometimes I think about you.
Gen de fwa mwen pa konprann ou.
Sometimes I don't understand you.
Dèfwa mwen al promnen nan plaj la.
Sometimes I take a stroll on the beach.
Kèk fwa li salye m, men se pa tout tan..
Sometimes he says hello, but not always.
vire tounen (literaly 'turn return')
to come and go
to run an errand
to give the run around
to turn around
coming and goings
Gen yon bann vire tounen lakay vwazen an. M'ap mande m sa k'ap pase.
There's a lot of activity at the neighbor's house. I wonder what's going on.
Mwen pral fè yon vire tounen la.
I'm going to run an errand.
Chak kou m mande l lajan m, l'ap fè m vire tounen.
Every time I ask for my money, he gives me the run around.
Poukisa w'ap fè m vire tounen konsa?
Why are you giving me the run around?
Kou, kon, kòm → as, as soon as, like, as well as, when, time
chak kou / chak kon / chak fwa → every time, each time
Chak kou li vini, li toujou pote pen Ayisyen.
Every time he comes, he always bring Haitian bread.
Mwen te vole kou yon zwazo.
I flew like a bird.
Granmoun kou timoun dwe prezante.
Adults as well as children should be present.
Kou papa l pati, li koumanse fèt la.
As soon as his dad left, he started the party
Kou → a strike, a blow
Bay kou → to hit, to deal a blow, to afflict
Li ban m yon kou.
She hit me.
Pa ba l kou.
Do not hit her.
Vòle sa yo ban m yon kou. Yo devide kont bankè mwen.
These crooks dealt me a blow. They emptied my bank account.
Kou → course, a session, curriculum
Kou Kreyòl la va dire twa mwa.
The Creole class will last three months.
Kou → neck
Mwen gen kou fè mal.
I have neck pain.
"Sèk" -- For me, "circle" has an "r" sound that "dry" doesn't, but "sèrk" doesn't seem right. Thoughts?
You will definitely hear the "r" from people who are used to saying "cercle" in French.
So whenever you hear that "r" in "sèk", please know that it's the French in them talking :)
sèk (Sèch, chèch) → dry
sèk → circle, clan, entourage, company
sèk → suddenly, right then and there
Gòj mwen sèk. Mwen bezwen yon ti dlo.
My throat is dry. I need some water.
Ann fè yon sèk pou n priye.
Let's form a circle in order to pray.
Mwen pa vle fè pati nan sèk ou.
I don't want to be part of your clan.
Machin te kanpe sèk.
The car stopped suddenly.
Li t'ap jwe nan lakou a. Men lè li te wè chen an li te kanpe sèk, epi li tanmen kouri.
She was playing in the yard. But when she saw the dog she stopped suddenly, then she started running.
Ask me anything
Fè pwent kreyon w lan. Li pa gen pwent.
Pencil sharpener → tay kreyon
Sharpen a pencil → fè pwent kreyon an
Sharpen a knife → file yon kouto
a dull pencil → yon kreyon san pwent.
a dull knife → yon kouto ki pa file.
'Ata nou obeyi, li beni nou'
Even we obey, he blesses us.
Was it perhaps written differently?
Other examples with 'ata':
Even my mom was at the party.
Fim te si tèlman tris, ata Big Joe te kriye.
The movie was so sad, even Big Joe cried.
M t'ap mache si dousman, ata yon ti tòti te mache pi vit pase w.
I was walking so slow, even a little turtle walked faster than me.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Eske w'ap swiv?
Are you paying attention?
Sonje is Creole for "to remember" and to "miss"
Remember who you are.
Sonje ki moun ou ye.
We will always remember you.
N'ap toujou sonje w.
You may not remember me, but I used to ...
Ou ka pa sonje m, men mwen te konn ....
Do you remember me?
Eske ou sonje m?
Eske ou sonje kilès mwen ye?
Remember to buy milk.
Sonje achte lèt.
Remember me Lord.
Sonje m Senyè
Remember when we use to play like kids?
Ou sonje lè nou te konn jwe tankou timoun?
Do you remember where you put it?
Eske ou chonje kote ou te mete l?
I didn't get paid today.
M pa't touche jodi a.
He didn't pay me, so I did not get paid.
Li pa't peye m. konsa mwen pa't touche.
Today is payday.
Jodi a se jou nou touche.
When will we have a payday?
Kilè n'ap touche?
I get paid biweekly.
Mwen touche chak kenzèn.
I've worked hard, but I haven't received any money.
Mwen travay di, men m poko touche okenn lajan.
Every time Fefe gets paid, he heads straight to the bar.
Chak kou Fefe touche, l'ale tou dwat nan ba a.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
yes, you'll hear "mariguana, mariwana, or marijuana"
I want to say "I don't %&*! speak Creole" In Creole to people who think I look Haitian and start speaking Creole to me at work. is there a mild Creole cuss word I could use in there that won't offend people too much?
In my opinion, you either offend or you don't.
There's no halfway zanmi :)
Li lè pou yon chanjman.
Li lè pou sa chanje.
Here they come!
Men y'ap vini!
Do you want to be friends?
Eske ou vle nou fè zanmi?
Do you want to be friends with me?
Eske ou vle fè zanmi avè m?
Ban m zòrèy mwen.
Ban m zòrèy mwen non!
Stop nagging me.
Ban m repo m.
Ban m repo m non!
Leave me alone.
Stop bugging me.
To play this audio clip, press the play button and follow along :)
Listen to the short greeting :)
Yon bèl bonjou a tout moun k'ap koute
A beautiful hello to all listening
Kouman nou ye?
How are you?
M espere jounen nou ap pase trè byen
I hope your day is going well
Men → hand (your hand → men ou)
Men → but, however,
Men → here, here is, here come (NOT a synonym for Creole "isi" or "isit")
1. Men li!
Here it is!
Here it comes!
2. Men nou.
Here we are.
3. Men lapli a!
Here comes the rain
4. Men papa m.
Here's my dad.
Here comes my dad.
5. Men y'ap vini.
Here they come.
6. Men mwen! (Eske ou te rele m?)
Here I am! (Did you call me?)
Men mwen Senyè!
Here I am Lord!
7. Men liv ou t'ap chache a.
Here's the book you were looking for.
8. Men enfòmasyon ou te mande a.
Here's the information that you requested.
9. Men sa ki te pase
Here's what happened.
10. Men kouman sa te pase.
Here's how it happened.
Se tout. Mèsi e orevwa.
That's all. Thanks and goodbye.
Monday, March 26, 2012
I am congested.
I have a head / nasal congestion
Why is there a recent past and a definite past in Creole? Recent past uses the present while the definite past uses the TE marker?
Haitians are just comfortable not using "te" to indicate the past tense whether they're talking about a recent or a "definite" past.
If you want to be sure that people understand that you're talking about the past, go ahead and use the indicative "te" which is the accurate form of the past tense, especially in formal writing.
You'll hear in Creole (mostly in spoken form):
1. Mwen manje deja → I ate already
2. Mwen fèt Okap → I was born Okap
3. M'ap tann ou depi maten → I have been waiting for you since morning.
4. Li mouri setan pase → He died seven years ago
5. Tout bagay byen pase → Everything went well
When these sentences should have had the "te" because they are all past tense.
1. Mwen te manje deja → I ate already
2. Mwen te fèt Okap → I was born Okap
3. M t'ap tann ou depi maten → I have been waiting for you since morning.
4. Li te mouri setan pase → He died seven years ago
5. Tout bagay te byen pase → Everything went well
Ede m retwouve Cindy mwen an
Is Cindy a girlfriend? Then you should write:
Ede'm retwouve menaj mwen Cindy.
Help my Cindy to come back to me.
Ede Cindy mwen retounen vin jwenn mwen.
And what you hear is "t'a prale" when people fuse the "p" at the end of "t'ap" with the "p" at the beginning of "prale".
Very often people get rid of the "e" at the end of "prale" and say: "t'ap pral"
Mwen t'ap pral Okap.
I was going to Okap.
Nou t'ap prale lekòl lè lapli te koumanse tonbe.
We were going to school when it started raining.
Use kouman, kòman, or kijan for how
Kouman ou ye?
Kijan ou ye?
Kòman ou ye?
How are you?
Kouman w santi w?
Kijan w santi w?
Kòman ou santi w?
How are you feeling?
Kouman ou rele?
Kijan ou rele?
Kòman ou rele?
How are you called?
What's your name?
Kouman yo di "book" an Kreyòl?
Kijan yo di "book" an kreyòl?
Kòman yo di "book" an kreyòl?
How do they say "book" in Creole?
But, use Creole "Konsa" when you want to say "how as in the way"
That's how it is.
Se konsa li ye.
This is how we party.
Se konsa nou fete.
This is not the way to do it.
Se pa konsa pou fè li.
Eske ou janm/jamè...?
Have you ever seen rara in Haiti?
Eske ou janm wè rara Ayiti?
Have you ever gone up a coconut tree in Haiti?
Eske ou janm monte yon pye kokoye Ayiti?
Have you ever sung a Creole song?
Eske ou janm chante yon chan Kreyòl?
Have you ever ridden in tap-tap?
Eske ou janm monte yon tap-tap?
Have you ever called! psst! to signal the tap-tap driver to stop ☺?
Eske ou janm rele psst! pou fè chofè tap-tap la kanpe?
pàn - breaking down, trouble, problems
pàn machin - car trouble pàn kawoutyou - flat tire
pàn gaz - out of gas
pàn motè - motor trouble
pàn lajan - to be broke
leve pàn - to repair
leve pàn yon machin - to repair a car
Pa gen pàn (same as Pa gen pwoblèm) - No problem.
Nou pa gen pàn, nou genyen Jezi - We're alright, we got Jesus
My car broke down.
Machin mwen pran pàn.
My car broke down on the road.
Machin mwen pran pàn sou wout la.
My car ran out of gas.
Machin mwen an pran pàn gaz.
My car is broken down.
My car does not run
Machin mwen anpàn
Can you fix my car?
Eske ou ka repare machin mwen an?
Eske ou kapab leve pàn machin mwen an?
What's wrong with the car?
Ki pàn machin nan genyen?
Sa machin nan genyen?
Ou bon, ou gen zantray. Ou pran lanmo w bay lavi ou pot lape lajwa. Ala ou gran. Ou renye nan fon ke m. Ala ou bon Senye (nan Angle..mesi)
You're good, you have entrails/heart?
Ou pran lanmo w bay lavi ou pot lape lajwa.
You take death, you give life, you bring peace joy
Ala ou gran.
How great you are
Ou renye nan fon ke m.
You reign deep in my heart
Ala ou bon Senyè
How good you are Lord
Sunday, March 25, 2012
I have to water my plants. I have is under the scope here...m gen, m dwe...it's more like some activity i urgently need to do
I have to (I must, I ought to, I should)
Fòk mwen wouze plant yo
Fò m wouze plant yo
M dwe wouze plant yo.
Jezi renmen ou.(uncontracted)
Jezi renmen w. (contracted)
banana tree → pye fig, or pye fig mi
plantain tree → pye bannann
bender, drinking spree, carousal? (as in to go on a drinking binge?)
voye kleren/tafya desann
deboche nan kleren/tafya
tell me, can grapevine plant grow and also produce fruits in haitian climate? M ap mande ou kesyon sa paske kek moun di'm ke gen jaden rezen yo nan plenn lan bo kote Montruis(kijan ou di Montruis an kreyol)
Gen bon kalite jaden rezen Ayiti.
Rezen yo pa donnen Monwi sèlman non! Yo kapab donnen tout kote Ayiti.
Montruis pwononse tankou Mon-wi
Premye mesye a goch /dwat la
First guy from the left / right side
Premye mesye sou bò goch / dwat la
Pretty little liars
Bèl ti mantèz
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
sanble w se swaf mwen tou vi mwen (is this something like I'm thirsty to appear like you all my life?)
fasone m jan w vle
fashion me the way tou want
tout volonte m se bel tankou ou
all my will is as beautiful as you
Holiness is what i need all my life
anfom kou bas- what is the back-story of this phrase? mwen konnen sa vle di "excellent" oubyen "great" - men, poukisa? tou, sa ke fe "adye" "koulangit" and "wipip" vle di literalman? mwen pa vle di nan madichon pa aksidan! :)
Anfòm kou bas → "bas" may have something to do with a bass drum or conga. Where it would literally mean :as awesome as a bass drum
Dye (from French: Dieu) → God
Adye (A Dieu!) → to God (literally)
Bondye (Bon Dieu) → good God (literally)
Wipip! → Wow! Geez!
Koulangit (is a more tame version of Koulangèt)
Koulangit is acceptable
Koulangèt is bad
Depi w'ap pale Kreyòl, w'ap di yon madichon kanmenm :)
Nothing he says is stupid = Anyen li di estipid. Nothing he says isn't stupid = Anyen li di pa estipid. Correct? Or does "Anyen" demand "pa" to complete the negative?
There's nothing he says that is stupid (literally).
Pa gen anyen li di ki estipid.
"to prod" -- not just to push (i.e. use something blunt), but to use something pointed (and, thus, painful)
To prick → dige, djige
So you can use me
Pou ou sèvi ak mwen
Here I am, Here I stand
Wi, men mwen, men m kanpe
Lord my life is in your hands
Senyè, lavi mwen nan men w
Lord, I'm longing to see you desires revealed in me
Senyè, m'anvi wè dezi ou yo revele nan mwen
Take my heart take my life
Pran kè mwen, pran lavi'm
as a living sacrifice
Tankou'on sakrifis vivan
all my dreams, all my plans
Tout rèv mwen, tout plan mwen
Lord I place them in your hands
Senyè m'plase yo nan men w
My life is not my own, to you I belong
Lavi mwen pa pou mwen, Se pou ou li ye
I give myself, I give myself to you
Mwen renmèt mwen, Mwen renmèt tèt mwen ba ou
I give myself to (someone)
Mwen remèt tèt mwen bay (someone)
Mwen lage tèt mwen nan men (someone)
I give myself to (something)
Mwen lage tèt mwen nan (something)
M'a reflechi sou sa.
M'a revni sou sa.
M'a retcheke avè w.
mwen santi m' byen le w touchem nanm mwen tresayi. mwen vle viv yon lot moman damou avek ou. (in English)
Pa lafwa mwen jwenn tout sa m’ bezwen Nan prezans ou Senye pa lafwa mwen gen tout sa m’ bezwen pa la fwa mwen pran tout sa w’ kite pou mwen nan prezans ou pa la fwa mwen pran tout sa m’ bezwen (in English)
Tout sa w’ genyen, tout se pou mwen Nan Jezi kri ou te banm tout Latè avek tout sa k’ ladann Se pou ou, Se pou mwen, Se pou nou (in English) THANK YOU!!
Juvens looks like it's a derivative of Joven (young one)
Pa bon ditou!!!
Mwen pa gen anyen.
I have nothing
I don't have anything.
Anyen pa'p rete m.
Nothing will stop me.
Mwen pa't ba li anyen.
I gave him nothing.
I didn't give him anything
Okenn → no, not, not any,
Mwen pa wè okenn moun.
I didn't see anyone.
Pa gen okenn bis ki prale Okap jodi a.
There isn't any bus going to Okap today.
Li te ban m lajan an san okenn pwoblèm.
He gave me the money without any problems.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
ANPIL? When it modifies a noun it becomes an adjective, and therefore is before it. When it modifies a verb, it becomes an adverb and goes at the end. e.g. Mwen anpil manje vs mwen manje anpil. How can I help students understand this?
But your given examples should be:
I have a lot of food.
Mwen manje anpil.(adv.)
I eat a lot.
manje is a verb and also a noun in Haitian Creole. So this example might be confusing to some students.
Anpil (adj.) → many, a lot of, lots of, several, numerous, abundant, a great deal of
Nou gen anpil konfyans nan ou.
We have a great deal of faith in you.
Mwen te ba li anpil lajan.
I gave him lots of money.
Anpil moun te panse li te mouri.
Many people thought he had died.
Gen anpil bagay ou pa'p ka konprann kounye a.
There are a lot of things you can't understand now.
Mwen te rele'l anpil fwa, e li pa't reponn.
I called her many times, and she didn't answer.
As an adverb, anpil modifies a verb or an attribute.
Mwen sonje w anpil. (modifies verb)
I miss you a lot.
Yo te fache anpil. (modifies attribute)
They were very angry.
Nou te mache anpil, anvan nou te rive. (modifies verb)
We walked a great deal before we arrived.
Mwen priye anpil jou sa yo.(modifies verb)
I pray a lot these days.
Li te kontan anpil, lè li te wè w. (modifies attribute)
He was very happy when he saw you.
Hi Mandaly~ I got some Christian Creole praise music in Haiti last week...but no lyrics with them :( Do you know the song Ou se Bondye on the album Fasone m' Jan w vle?
per capita → pa pèsòn, pa pèsonn, or pa grenn moun
To listen to this audio clip, click the play button and follow along :)
Bonjou tout moun!
Kouman nou ye?
"Where do we place the definite articles in a sentence in Haitian Creole?"
Singular definite articles are: a, an, la, lan, nan
Plural definite articles: yo
Chemiz la → the shirt
ze a → the egg
kapitenn nan → the captain
nimewo yo → the numbers
"Where do we place the definite article in, say, a relative clause or a sentence subject?"
The book that I want is blue
Liv la mwen vle ble (not correct)
Liv mwen vle a ble (correct)
1. Flè a
2. Flè jòn nan
The yellow flower
4. Flè jòn ou te ban mwen an trè bèl.
Flè jòn ou te ban mwen an | trè bèl.
The yellow flower that you gave me | is very beautiful.
5. kay la
6. Kay anbwa a
Kay anbwa a
The wooden house
7. Kay anbwa ki te fèk bati a te boule
Kay anbwa ki te fèk bati a | te boule
The wooden house that was just built | got burned
8. dans lan
9. Premye dans lan pa't bon.
Premye dans lan | pa 't bon.
The first dance | wasn't good.
10. Premye dans gwoup la te pèfòme a pa't bon.
Premye dans gwoup la te pèfòme a | pa't bon.
The first dance that the group had performed | wasn't good
11. Ti gason ki t'ap kriye a gen setan.
Ti gason ki t'ap kriye a | gen setan
The boy who was crying | is seven years old.
12. Mwen te renmen kado ou te ban m nan.
Mwen te renmen | kado ou te ban m nan. (contracted)
Mwen te renmen | kado ou te ban mwen an.(uncontracted)
I loved | the gift that you gave me.
13. Rad ou te achte a bèl.
Rad ou te achte a | bèl
The dress that you bought | is pretty.
14. Mwen pral pale ak moun ki te la yo.
Mwen pral pale ak | moun ki te la yo.
I will speak with | the people who were there.
15. Kenbe sa ki nan men w lan
Kenbe | sa ki nan men w lan.
Hold | that / the one which is in your hands
Hold on to what you've got.
Enben se tout. Mèsi e orevwa
Well that's all. Thanks and goodbye