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, February 23, 2013

What does anpwent mean here: "Evidamman, se pa yon sijè nou ka nye lè nou vin wè efè anpwent li sou agrikilti an Ayiti pase fòk peyi a te kòmanse debwaze pou chèche lajan pou kòmanse peye Lafrans." Védrine-'Agrikilti ta dwe premye sib nan devlopmanAyiti'

anpwent (fingerprint); I think Emmanuel Védrine is being nonconcrete here.  Anpwent, here, might mean  mark, influence, impression, or signature.

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


  1. So the sentence could be translated as something like: "Evidently, it is not a subject we can disregard when we see the effect of its 'fingerprint' on the agriculture of (?)past Haiti(?) as it was necessary for the country to start logging to find money to begin paying France"

    1. Yes, that's what it looks like.
      And I'm seeing it a different way too:

      Some people say or write PASE instead of PASKE. I think that might the case here.

      And by saying debwaze which means to to deforest,to cut trees, to trim, he might be talking about trimming a budget or something else

      So I think it could also be translated as:

      "Evidently, it is not a subject we can disregard when we see the effect of its 'fingerprint' on the agriculture of Haiti as it was necessary for the country to start trimming its budget find money to begin paying France"

    2. Mèsi anpil!

      Ou konnen kimoun Emmanuel Védrine ye? Li te ekri plizyè bèl atik an Kreyòl mwen t ap li.

      (Tell me if my tenses here are bad. I was not sure if "Li ekri plizyè..." would clearly express the past tense "He has written...". Also I want to say "...I have been reading" with "...mwen t ap li." Tense in Kreyòl is still really tough for me!)

      Based on the wider context of the paper (outside the quote I gave below) I think he is really talking about deforestation: The preceding paragraph begins: "Pwoblèm destriksyon anviwonnman an Ayiti kòmanse kòm yon lòt pinisyon pou Endepandans Nouvo Repiblik Nwa a (apre 1804) ... Donk li te vize debwazman forè enpòtan yo kòm sous lajan."

      Mèsi ankò!

    3. Or rather if "Li ekri plizyè.." would clearly signify "He wrote several..." Just plain old past tense, or if it could be confused with "He writes several articles..." present tense.

    4. AH! Mwen konprann. Mèsi pou eksplikasyon an.
      All your tenses are RIGHT and CORRECT :)

      Wi, mwen konnen kilè li ye. Mwen te li enpe nan live li a (Sezon Sechrès). Msye Vedrine ekri anpil sou plant ak fèy. Li fè powèm tou, non?

    5. Let me be a little bit clearer.
      The way you have written that sentence, "Ou konnen kimoun Emmanuel Védrine ye? Li te ekri plizyè bèl atik an Kreyòl mwen t ap li. is correct.

      He has written...
      can be translated in Creole as:
      Li ekri or
      Li te ekri

      He had written
      will be translated as:
      Li te ekri

      I have been reading
      translated in Creole as:
      mwen t'ap li
      is correct also.

  2. By the way, Mwen fini avèk "... Kou Foli"
    M panse se yon bèl woman ki ekri avèk yon literati Kreyòl byen kalkile.

    Sa se kalite liv mwen ta renmen analize chapit pa chapit paske chak paj eksite kiryozite mwen non sèlman sou istwa a, men sou fason li rakonte istwa a an kreyòl.

    Mwen twouve tout pawòl otè a pa toujou klè nèt. Mwen gen dwa li yon pasaj twa a kat fwa anvan mwen resi reyalize se alizyon l'ap fè.

    Nan dezyèm pati liv la, mwen pa't reyalize si se te Altagras ki t'ap fè naratif la jouk pita nèt :) Tèt chaje!

    Alafen mwen vin konprann ke Altagras pase msye yon bèl kou foli. Podyab li! Kòm mwen wè ou souvan di "Adye!" :)

    Di mwen kouman ou te twouve ...Kou Foli

  3. That book... I actually do not have a lot to say about it yet. I read the first 30 pages slowly and carefully... and then finished it one afternoon very quickly getting the general idea of what was happening. It would be a good one for me to re-visit in order to study. But as a student of Creole, it is a tricky one!!!

    What are you reading next?

    ALSO, I have a few my questions/rantings about tense! (maybe you have written about this and can just show me the link).

    So for regular past tense... it can be

    "Mwen manje" or "Mwen te manje"

    However.... the first one can be present tense (a concept very confusing to English speakers, as we almost never use present tense except for habitual actions "I run, I exercise, I eat").

    So is it very important to insert temporal clues into the sentence so you can know whether "Mwen manje." is present or past? Is there a default (past/present) you are likely to assume unless you get such a contextual clue?

    temporal clues like "Yè swa mwen manje anpil." (past)

    But if you just read:

    "Mwen manje anpil."

    without any explicit temporal elements expressed, would you assume this to be past, present, habitual? Or would you need more information?

    I hope my question makes sense....

    1. This book was challenging for me too.
      As I said I had to read some passages three or four times before I get what he's talking about - And then After I understood what he was talking about I still didn't get whether he was being abstract or not. His punctuation is not what I usually see in Creole.
      Even in the first "tiny" chapter, the very first paragraph; I'm still not sure whether he was talking about the weather when he wrote "s'on boul chifon sal, repousan, koulè sak pou siye pye devan papòt legliz." Here, I just resolved that he just meant that "the weather looks like a dirty rag".
      But I have learned to appreciate this book because it seems that his writing is purposeful.

      Anyway, if you choose to read it again (there are lots idioms in there too!), let me know what you think.

      I browsed about two chapters in both Etranje and Bèbè Golgotha. The latter seems interesting. So, that's my next choice.

      Now regarding the tenses.
      Let me tell you that, personally, I rarely use the past indicator "te" in my sentences when I speak Creole. But since I started doing the blog, a lot of people say they get confused, they can't differentiate PRESENT from PAST. So I will sometimes add "te" to remind people that I'm talking in past tense.

      The simple present tense, in Haitian Creole, can translate PRESENT, PAST TENSE, and PRESENT PERFECT in English. No temporal clues necessary.

      M jwenn sa m t'ap chache a.
      I've found what I was looking for.

      Manman m mouri. Li kite anpil pitit dèyè.
      My mom died. She left many children behind.

      Using the present tense for habitual actions is the same idea in Creole too.
      If anything, I would say there's always a high chance that the H. Creole present tense is describing some action which occurred in the past.

      Mwen manje anpil.
      reads to me (to my Creole eyes) like something habitual:
      I do eat a lot.
      I'm a big eater.

      But if I saw "Mwen manje.", even without a temporal element, I would read it as "I ate."

      Hope this makes sense.

    2. It does help!

      SOOO... I could say "the default" understanding is past tense? Maybe it depends on the verb.

      For example, do not think the following is strange: I am sitting with a friend and he/she says "Oke, m ale."

      I understand this as "Ok, I go." more naturally translated as "Ok, I am going." It would be strange for me to understand "Oke, I went." Correct? Maybe it is just the context that signals this as the present tense...

      Is it just as natural for them to say "Oke, m prale." ? I am sorry to ask so many questions but this is something I struggle with.

    3. Oh… just ask your questions. It doesn't matter how many you ask. I'll answer the ones I can :)
      Your questions also serve as resource for those who are looking for info on the subject.

      Yes, I would agree with you that context plays a major role in deciding whether it’s PRESENT, PAST TENSE, PRESENT PERFECT, or something else.

      For example I could say.
      Mwen leve, m manje, m benyen. E kounye a m’pral travay.
      It seems here that, the first three actions occurred just a little bit prior to “going to work”. So they indicate PAST TENSE.

      Or other examples:
      M manje deja.
      I ate already. or
      I’ve already eaten.

      Manman m entène lopital.
      My mom has been admitted to the hospital.

      M bliye klete pòt la.
      I forgot to lock the door.

      M wè Jean nan magazen an yè. Li fè komsi l pa’t wè m.
      I saw Jean at the store yesterday. He pretended not to see me.

      Jou dimanch Pak sa a, tout moun vin legliz la byen abiye.
      On that Easter Sunday, everyone came to church nicely dressed.

      All these examples indicate PAST TENSE in their context.
      And, we could also add the past tense indicator “te” to all the above sentences (if we wanted to) except in #2.
      In #2 the action started to occur in the past and seems to continue in the present.

      Regarding “Oke, m’ale”,

      I do not think “Oke, m’ale” is strange at all. This is what we, Haitians, say when we’re announcing that we’re leaving, going out …somewhere, ...saying goodbye.

      Your translation is correct:
      “Oke, m’ale.”
      “ok, I am going.”
      “Ok, I’m out of here.”
      “Ok, I’m leaving.”

      We do say “Oke, m prale” also. It somewhat has the same connotation as “oke, m’ale” , and more, because it’s in the future tense: M prale = M pral ale

      So, it can also express that one is planning to leave, one is thinking about going, or one is in the process of leaving.

      Oke, m’ale. N’a pale ankò :)