Bonjou! Learn to Speak Haitian Creole

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Mandaly, "Way back there." Se an Kreyol Ayisyen "lotbo la" ak aksan grav nan kou. Se korek? In the course I am using, they say "lotbo la". Would it not be "lotbo a" instead? Would you write it for me? Also, "an/ann" are both interchangeable, pa vre? The "an" is more used, pa vre? Mesi anpil, Jan Rachal

-Yes, I usually say lòtbò a (over there); but yes, some people do say lòtbò la a or laba a
I am assuming that by way back there you mean "beyond the bounds of a certain limit', right?
-all the way over there → jis lòtbò a, jouk laba a

Regarding an/ann,  do you mean as in ann/annou (let's)?
That would be the only instance where we use "ann".  You will see it as ANN, AN'N contraction for AN NOU or ANNOU.


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


  1. Mandaly,

    "Lotbo la" was a response to the question
    "Ou konnen ki kote twalet la ye?"

    As for "an/ann", I thought "ann" was another
    way to write "an" as in "an Ayiti/ann Ayiti."

    Kreyol Ayisyen can be a mind-bender sometimes with all the many ways to say things and
    differences in spellings! Sometimes it seems
    like I am learning three different languages
    at once. Kreyol is definitely interesting,
    that is for sure!

    Mandaly, I have a question (at your convenience) that is off-subject. I am
    planning on traveling to Ayiti within the next
    6 to 8 months to visit my "other" family.
    My question is: When I go there, do they have hostels or such to stay in? I do not want to stay in 5 star hotels as the "other" Americans do. When I travel in Ayiti, I want to live as the other Creoles live. In other words, I
    want to see and touch base with everyday people and not be just "an American tourist". As I am from Lwizyan, I can definitely rough-it. Any ideas? Also, where (what area of Ayiti) would you recommend going? Also, if one is totally
    involved with Kreyol while in Ayiti, how long
    would it take (time-wise) to get a better
    understanding of the language?

    Mesi anpil,

    Jan Rachal

    1. Mandaly,

      One other thing I was thinking about; The variety of Kreyol Ayisyen that I am learning is the dialect of Potoprens. Would this cause problems for me in the rural areas of Ayiti? Would I be able to navigate in Kreyol in the back areas of Ayiti? I am assuming that
      any Creole person in Ayiti would be able to fully understand Potoprens Kreyol? Pa vre? Mesi. Jan

    2. 1.
      Yes, the response "lòtbòt la a" translates "over there" (or something similar) as you already know.

      This "an" serves as a preposition (from the French "en")and it translates in, at, of....
      Some examples of the usage are:

      -An 1968, te gen yon gwo siklòn nan peyi a.
      -Nou pral abite nan yon palè ki fèt an ajan.
      -Nou te rive an premye nan reyinyon an.
      -Machin nan te kraze an plizyè moso.

      Haitian Creole, though some words have a variety of spellings, and some slight variations in the accents and word choice, is understood throughout the whole country of Haiti. Think of the saying "Kreyòl pale, Kreyòl konprann" - It is true :)

      Foreigners, not only Americans, have travelled pretty much all over Haiti: North, South, East, West, the capital and the outskirts. The country has its own beauty and foreigners rarely remain holed up in their hotels - They get into the crowded streets and mingle, they drive around and .... take care of their business (whatever brought them to Haiti).
      I guess if their business does not require them to mingle, then they might not :)

      But if this is your first trip to Haiti, I wouldn't advise you to go alone, without a guide, a contact, or acquaintance to help you get around. A small little problem in Haiti can escalate into an unfortunate circumstance very quickly.

      You will find nice or cheap hotels; you will be able to walk freely in the streets or the markets and exchange conversations with merchants etc....
      But the best thing is a hotel near the airport and a trustworthy person at your side who knows the country and can get you out of a jam if that's needed.
      And (a must!) someone to get you from the airport to your hotel or the place you're staying safely.