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Thursday, April 4, 2013

I have noticed in learning that several combined words take on a meaning of there own. I.e. tout moun can mean everyone etc can you give some more clear examples of this? As an example what does "Pa konprann pou nou fè sa ki mal " mean? If you do a word by word it says "not understand for we do this that bad?"

"Pa konprann pou nou fè sa ki mal "
This sentence looks incomplete.  If I were to translate just what you gave me, I would translate it the same way you've done it, but I would translate "sa" as "what".

Pa konprann           | pou nou fè  | sa ki mal
Not understand         | for we do    | that which is bad
We pretend not to understand in order to do what is wrong?

The first two words in my translation are not in the Creole sentence, of course, but something similar to it is missing from the original sentence.

As far as the combined words are concerned, there's a lot of that in Creole.  One could be a dictionary with these types of words.  I'll give you a few examples:

1. Bon konprann n. (lit. good understanding) → wisdom.
   Ou se yon moun ki gen bon konprann.
   You are wise.
   You are someone who makes good judgment.

2. mal konprann noun or verb → misunderstanding, confusion
    Li pran pòz mal konprann li. (he fakes misunderstanding)
    He pretends not to understand.
    He pretends to be confused.
3. Pran san v. (lit. take blood) → relax, calm down, take is easy, be patient, take your time
    Li pa vle pran san l.
    He doesn't want to calm down.

4. Moun kay n (lit. person house) → a habitual visitor in a home, not a stranger, a friend of the house
   Jacob se moun kay. Pa okipe w pou li.
   Jacob is a friend of the home.  Don't worry about him.

5. Jou kase noun or verb (lit. day break) → dawn
     kase kòd v. (lit. break rope) to escape, to die
    Kou jou kase, malad la kase kòd
    At day break, the patient died.

6. lekòl lage noun or verb (school's out) → anything goes, 
    Depi madanm li pati lekòl lage.
    Once his wife leaves, anything goes

7. pran lyann v. (lit. take liana/vine) → to escape
    to understand this one, picture Tarzan on a liana swinging from vine to vine.
    Li pran lyann.
    He escaped.

8. peze souse verb or noun (lit. press suck) to exploit, to take advantage of
    Moun sa yo se peze souse.
    These people are exploiters. 
    These people are selfish.

9. tèt fè mal n. (lit. head makes hurt)headache.
    M gen yon tèt fè mal.  (you'll find this also as one word)
    I have a headache.

10. fanm sou kote n. (lit. woman on side) mistress.
     Pastè a ap preche monogami, men li gen fanm sou kote.
     The pastor is preaching monogamy, but he has a mistress.

And FYI: A lot of one-word Haitian Creole "terms" are also derived from some French "compound" words. These terms usually retain their meaning.
a few examples are:
French (s'il vous plait) - Creole (silvouplè) → please
French (lune de miel) - Creole (lindemyèl) → honeymoon
French (dos à dos) - Creole (dozado) → back to back, not seeing eye to eye
French (comme ça doit être) → Creole (kòmsadwa)
French (bord de mer) -  Creole (bòdmè)
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

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