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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Can you explain the use of "OU RIVE KOTE OU TE PRALE A"? I think it means "no" or "no, it will not happen" or something similar.

When it's used that in that way I think it's sarcasm.
It's a funny thing that Haitians always say.  Although literally the phrase means "you've reached your destination",  when used sarcastically it means "One is clearly mistaken", "one has misjudged", or "one is barking up the wrong tree"
Here are some examples:

1.  Si'w panse m'pral rete nan vye kay sa a, ou fin rive kote w ta prale a.
     If you think I'm going to stay in that shabby old house, you're clearly mistaken.

2. Si terowis yo panse yo ka desann Ameriken sou jenou yo, yo fin rive kote yo ta prale a.
    If the terrorists think that they can bring Americans to their knees, they have clearly mistaken.

3. Si manman m kwè m'pral mete rad lèd sa pou al nan fèt la, li fin rive kote l ta prale a.
     If my mom thinks that I'll wear that ugly dress to the party, she's clearly mistaken.

4. Si w panse m'ap kite w mache sou mwen, ou fin rive kote w ta prale a.
     If you think that I'm going to let you walk all over me, you are mistaken.

5.  Si nou panse m'ap pran Nana pou Sizàn*, nou fin rive kote n ta prale a.
     If you think that I can't differentiate between Nana and Sizàn, you're mistaken.
      This really means:     
      If you think I'm that dumb, you have underestimated me.

*Pran Nana pou Sizàn is an expression that means that someone cannot tell the difference between two clearly different things.
*Bay Nana pou Sizàn means that you're tricking someone into taking a fake/bad thing for the real /good thing.
An example:
6. Nou pa'p pran Nana pou Sizàn.
    We will not be tricked.
     I think former president Aristide said that a lot in his speeches.

7.  Yo ban nou Nana pou Sizàn.
      They tried to trick us.
      They did not give us the real deal.

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

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