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!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What are some word synonyms for "tèlman" meaning "so"? .......


The terms I’m thinking of are not synonyms, but they are SOME of the many ways to express “so” or “so much”:  tèlman, sitèlman, tank, anpil, kalite, afòs, etc…

I’m using your examples here (except one that does not translate “SO MUCH”)

He is so nice to me. – Tank li ban m bon jan.

"I am so tired! I need to go to bed" – Afòs m fatige fò m al nan kabann

"I am so excited! I can’t wait!" – Kalite kontan m kontan sa! M pa ka tann

 “I’m so hungry. Can we get something to eat first?” – M grangou anpil.   Eske nou kapab al manje yon bagay anvan?

“He is so hot. I love Brad Pitt.” – M’renmen Brad Pitt. Tank li bo gason.

“I am so full. I can’t eat another bite!” – M pa ka manje anyen ankò tank vant mwen plen

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

I don't quite understand because in sentence 6 and 7, you crossed out the "ke" and replaced it ........

In reference to tanndat post

I don't quite understand because in sentence 6 and 7, you crossed out the "ke" and replaced it with "depi". Is "depi" interchangeable with "ke" in those contexts? In the additional sentences, starting with "sa gen lontan", you use "depi" instead of "ke", is there any reason for that or is it just your preference? Also, doesn't "sa fè" and "sa gen" mean "since" as well alongside "depi"?

I had examined your response again and realized that in sentence 1, 2, and 4, you used the present progressive marker and in sentence 3 and 5, you didn't instead you used the simple present tense. Could you explain to me why was that?

Refresh my memory, just to be sure, how is "depi", "sa fè", "se gen" used with the past progressive marker or other past tenses?

Can "depi", "sa fè", "se gen" be used with the conditional tenses? If yes, can you give examples? I want to be sure about that as well.
 
Answer
 
1.     Use “depi” instead of “ke”. “Ke” is actually considered French in this type of sentence.  But you can use “ke” if you want.  I am inclined to use “depi”.
2.     Sa fè” or “sa gen”, IN THESE TYPES OF SENTENCES, stand for “it has been”.  Your sentences do not necessarily have to include “depi” or “ke”.  If you do include “depi” or “ke”, THEY will translate “SINCE”. You may ask a question:
a.
Depi konbyen tan li malad? (Since how long has he been sick? )
And the answer might be:
“Sa gen twa mwa.”  Or “Sa fè twa mwa”. (It’s been three months.)
 
3.     The terms “sa gen” or “sa fè” translate “It has been” in these types of sentences.  You can use different tenses with different H. Creole determiners if you’d like.  Such as:
b.
Sa pral gen dezan depi m isit.
It will be two years since I’m here.
 
c.
Si papa m pa’t mouri, sa ta fè l senkantan depi l marye ak manman m ane sa.
If my father didn’t die, he would have been married to my mom fifty years this year.
 
 
d.
Si w te ale nan konsè a tou, sa t’ap fè nou senk fwa nou wè  jodi a.
If you had gone to the concert too, it would have been five times we saw each other five today. (lit)
If you had gone to the concert too, we would have seen each other five times today.
e.
Sa ta pral fè vennkat èdtan depi nou kole sou do kay la si w pa’t vin sove nou.
It would have been 24 hours that we’re stuck on this roof if you didn’t come to rescue us.
 
Does that answer your question?

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What does this proverb mean: Pousyè pa janm leve san van?

There's a reason behind everything that happens.
"Dust does not rise without the wind."

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Oh! Another question about the podcast: Do you have the transcripts written out somewhere?

I'm not sure when to use tout and when to use tou. For example I see it both ways in Ps 90 ...ou te fè latè ak tout sa ki ladan l... Fè nou reyisi nan tou sa n'ap fè. Is there a rule or guideline to follow? I know people say tou won and tou nèf. In another psalm I see tout pwoteksyon, tout defans, tout konfyans. It seems like perhaps tou goes with adjectives and tout goes with nouns. Except either one can go with sa...?

Yes.  “TOU” means “ALL” when used with “SA”.  And yes, you can use TOU or TOUT before “sa

Egzanp:

1.        

Mèsi pou tou sa fè pou mwen.  Or

Mèsi pou tout sa ou fè pou mwen

Thanks for all you’ve done for me.

 

When used before adjectives it can be translated as ALL, SO VERY, ALL SO , ABSOLUTELY

2.       Li te achte soulye a tou nèf. – He bought the shoe all brand new.

3.       Li rantre anndan kay la tou tranpe ak dlo lapli a. – He came inside the house all drenched from the rain

4.       Tèt ti bebe a te tou won. – The baby’s head was all so round.

5.       Si w wè sa, kamyonèt la te tou piti enpi li t’ap eseye antre 25 moun ladan l. – you should have seen this the tap tap was very small and he was trying to put 25 people in it.

 

TOU can also mean NOT LONG AGO or JUST THE OTHER DAY

6.       Kijan fè li mouri. Tou lotrejou la mwen te wè l t’ap kouri bisiklèt li.

How come she died.  Just the other day I saw her riding her bike.

 

TOU can be translated as  IN SPITE, DESPITE, GRANTING, or STILL

7.       Li al travay tou malad. – She went to work despite being sick.

8.       Tou fèb la, li kontinye mache  23 kilomèt anvan l resi tonbe. – Still weak she continued walking 23 kilometers before she finally collapsed.

TOU also translates NOW, NOW AND FOR THE LAST TIME or ONCE AND FOR ALL.  You’ll find them usually before verbs

9.       An nou tou ale pandan lapli a sispann.

Let’s go now while the rain has stopped.

10.   Se pou w  tou pale avè li pandan ou la a.

You should talk to her now that she’s here.

11.   Se pou ou tou dòmi legliz la. Li fè nwa ou p’ap ka deplase ale ankenn kote nan kondisyon sa a.

You should sleep at the church once and for all.  It’s already dark and you won’t be able to go anywhere in this condition.

 


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I found a few episodes of your podcast through my Downcast app, but they are all from March 2013. Are there any newer ones--or even any older ones--I can access? I couldn't find the podcast at all through iTunes. Thanks

I plan to make more once time permits. Hopefully soon :)
They (alone with the audio skits) are meant solely for listening. ...For people who wants to practice listening.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

does debraye mean the same as dekolte?

debraye - careless, unkempt, disheveled
dekolte - bare, showing lost of skin (clothing), offensive, immodest

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Monday, November 25, 2013

To my friend .... I can't find your original question :-\. I did paste the content in to my WORD program while I work on it. I am still missing one translation :-\.

Sorry bon zanmi m :)
I couldn't find the H. Creole translation for overproof rum.  I did ask around.  I'll keep working in it.

Dreamer – ideyalis, vizyonè

Juicy – plen sòs

grinding machine, grinder - moulen

mash(wine mash) – kraze, moulen

molasses  - melas

overproof rum -

amber rum – wonm anbre

spiced rum – wonm epise

naval rum - gwòg

flavored rum – wonm awomatize

fermentation - fèmantasyon

distillation - distilasyon

aging - vyeyi

blending - blende

yeast - leven

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

Is ren pou ren a shameful expression?

Shameful? Why would it be?
No matter which I look at it I can't see the why you would think that.

Anyways it means "equally".  ....Would it be less shameful if we said "kou pou kou" :)

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I need the definition for these following phrases/ terms please: piga, oze, ranfeme, anvi, tet mwen pati, gwo foli, m'ape, jire, lobey, foke, antann, nou sonje tout rime


 Piga (or pinga) – don’t, refrain from, beware, (giving a warning)

Egzanp:

Pinga w pale ak moun sa yo.  Don’t talk to these people

Pinga ou ale la. – Don’t you go there.

Pinga m tande kriye sèlman. – I better not hear any crying

 

Ozeto dare, to take a risk

Egzanp:

Misye renmen fi a men li pa oze pale avè l.He likes the girl, but he’s not courageous enough to speak to her.

 

Ranfèmeto be withdrawn

Egzanp:

Ti fanm tèlman timid, li ranfèmen tankou yon flè

 

Anvi (n.)desire

Anvi (v.)to want, to desire

Egzanp:

M’anvi wè boubout mwen. - I miss my sweetie pie.

 

Tèt mwen patiI’ve lost my mind

gwo folimadness

 

m'ape (same as m’ap or mwen ap)

Egzanp:

M’ap chante  same as M’ape chante (I’m singing)

M’ap wè w nan fèt la pita.  Same as M’ape wè w nan fèt la pita .(I’ll see you at the party later)

 

jireto swear

Egzanp:

Nou jire pou n pa janm fè sa ankò.We swear never to do that again.

 

lobèy - commotion, unrest

Egzanp:

Ki lòbèy ki gen nan kay sa a?!What’s all the fuss in this house?

Ala fanm ka fè lòbèy!This woman can be rowdy!

 

foketo have lost it, to have gone crazy

 

antann (or tonbe dakò) – to agree, to mean to say

Egzanp:

Ann antann nou sou sa. – Let’s agree on this.

 

nou sonje tout rime (rimè?) – We remember all rumors

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

What expressions of courtesy that exist in creole? I have seen in the french language expressions such as these:....

"What expressions of courtesy that exist in creole? I have seen in
the french language expressions such as these:

(Veuillez)Avoir l'amabilité de + infinitive, avoir la bonté de + infinitive,
avoir la gentillesse de + infinitive, avoir l'obligeance de + infinitive, avoir
la politesse de + infinitive, etc. Seriez si bon de + infinitive, seriez si poli
de + infinitive, seriez si gentil de + infinitive, etc.

In Spanish language, Tener la amabilidad/bondad/cortesia/gentileza/fineza de +
infinitive, hacer el favor/fineza de + infinitive, etc.

In English, there are: would you be so good/kind/polite/helpful/courteous/gracious/friendly/amiable/etc
+ as + infinitive. Have the goodness/kindness/amiability/courtesy/politeness in
+ present participle. Would you be a dear..... could you be a dear......

I know that all these polite expressions in these languages are formal versions
of "please". I know in creole, we have various words for please, but I want to
know if there are phrasal or construction equivalents in creole. I'm fascinated
by these. As you already know, I love to know other ways of expressing the same
idea. Could you provide these courtesy constructions if they exist? Also, what
are other words  for "so" as an intensifier? I know that in this context, "so"
translates "tèlman" but what are other words that could replace it?

Ex

"Would you be so kind as to help carry the groceries in my car?"

"Have the courtesy in sitting down immediately."

"Would you be a dear in lending me some money to pay for my books?"

I hope I make sense. Sometimes my head is jumbled with a lot of ideas. Feel free
to add more and be as detailed as you can."


------------------

Ou fè anpil sans, men kesyon ou an sanble li genyen plizyè pati.  Gen moun ki ta di w Ayisyen pa nan tout koze siplikasyon sa yo, men se pa vre.  Chak peyi gen fason pa yo pou eksprime jantiyès. Ayiti pa fè eksepsyon. 

Aysiyen va di w:

Tanpri souple….

Rann mwen yon sèvis tanpri…

Rann mwen yon sèvis tanpri ti cheri a

Mwen soupriye w an gras, fè sa pou mwen …..

Fè m plezi e rann mwen yon sèvis….

Some people may even say:

Fè kè m kontan e rann mwen tèl sèvis…..



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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Can I use malandrin for females or is it malandren for males and females?

I haven't heard the word malandrin.
Malandrin makes me think of a fruit. ...I don't know why.

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"Which one is___(cho)___ and which one is ___(fwedi)___.” I am making an image for a Haitian classroom, with one cold object and one hot object.

cold object - frèt
hot object - cho

 “Fwedi” more about cold temperatures.

 
For example you'd say:

M pa renmen vwayaje nan peyi fredi.

Peyi Kanada se peyi fredi.

M pa renmen tan fredi.

Li fè fredi deyò a


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what does laponyett and zoklo mean?


Do you mean “bat laponyèt”?

Bat laponyèt – to masturbate

zoklo - see definition here

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

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How would you translate, "The most she can take is six students." Thanks!

From Istwa Jezi nan Bib la page 122, what does this sentence about Goliath mean? "Moun Filisti yo te gen yon gwo potorik gason yo te rele Golyat ke moun pa t konnen." The Philistine people had a big, tough guy called Goliath that people didn't know. That last part doesn't make sense to me.


"The Philistine people had a big, tough guy called Goliath who people didn't know about."
"The Philistine people had a big, tough guy called Goliath who no one knew."

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What's the difference between "pa ta kapab" and "pa t'ap kapab?"

Mwen pa ta kapab...
I would not be able....

Mwen pa t'ap kapab...
I could not....

The difference seems subtle.

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I know that when you send something to someone you use "bay" for "to." Like, "M'ap voye wòb la ba ou." If you are sending someone (instead of something) do you use "kote" for "to"? Like, "M'ap voye pitit fi mwen an kote ou." Thanks!


Yes, that’s right.  It’s like saying “M’ap voye l kote w.” I’m sending her where you are” or “I’m sending her your way”.
When Haitians pray they say that a lot:  “Senyè, nou vini kote w….” “Lord, we’ve to come near you (into your presence)"

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

I know you can put pi before an adjective to make the -er in English, like pi bèl means prettier. Or pi can mean more, like pi enpòtan means more important. First question: Can you use pi with ANY adjective? I don't think I've ever heard it with many different adjectives like pi vye or pi nèf. Also I know you can use pi with verbs, like, "Sa ou pi renmen?" meaning "What do you like most?" Second question: Can you use it with ANY verb? Please give examples if possible. Thanks!


Pi, plis, pi plismore

Pi – the most

Usually we put “pi” before adjectives and adverbs

1.     Do you feel better or worse?

Eske w santi w pi byen ou pi mal?

 

2.     The right foot is more red than the left foot.  I think it’s infected.

Pye dwat la pi wouj pase pye goch la.  M panse li enfekte.

 

3.     Which is more economical, renting an apartment or buying a house?

Kilès ki pi ekonomik, lwe yon apatman onswa achte yon kay?

 

4.     The car drives more slowly now.

Machin nan mache pi dousman kounye a.

 

5.     Airplane tickets will be more expensive in the year 2015.

Tikè avyon ap koute pi chè nan ane 2015.

 

With some verbs you may use “pi”, but generally we’ll use “plis” or “pi plis” after the verb

6.     This baby sleeps more in the daytime.

Bebe sa a dòmi plis pandan lajounen.

 

7.     The seeds I gave you will yield more this year.

Grenn mwen ba ou yo ap bay plis rannman ane sa a.  (actually this puts “plis” before a noun)

 

8.     You sister smiles more when she’s happy.

Sè w la souri pi plis lè l kontan.

 

You cannot use “pi” before all the verbs, but you can usually use “plis” or “pi plis” after a verb. Here are more examples:

9.     Nou pi renmen manje ou fè maten an.

Or you can say.

Nou renmen manje ou fè maten an  plis (or pi plis).

We like the food you made this morning best.

 

10. Ou pi konn danse pase sè w la.

Or you cansay:

Ou konn danse plis pase sè w la.

You dance better than your sister.

 

And then we’ll put “plis” before a noun.

11.  We need more love in this world.

Nou bezwen plis lanmou nan monn sa a.

 

12. There are more people at the market this morning.

Genyen plis moun nan mache a maten an.

 

13. We need more money.  We always need more.

Nou bezwen plis lajan.  Nou toujou bezwen plis.

 

And then we have sentences with “plis … plis”

14. The more you know the more you grow.

Plis ou konnen se plis ou grandi.

 

15. There’s a sale at the store.  The more you buy the more you save.

Genyen yon lavant nan magazen an.  Plis ou achte se plis ou ekonomize.

 

16. The higher you go the harder you fall.

Plis ou monte wo plis ou pran gwo so.

 

 

 

Where to buy Soursop in Georgia?

If there are Haitians or Spanish in the area, chances are you will find it there.
In a Haitian store, it will be in the produce section.  In any regular American grocery store, you'll find it in the freezer section where all the frozen ethnic foods are.  It will be under the name Guanabana (spanish).  They also have the papaya.  And they are very good when you make them into a smoothie with your blender.
You may add milk, strawberies, yogurt, and it's delicious.... It'll take you back to tropical Haiti - The only difference is, you have electricity and you don't have to mash it with a spoon to blend it :)

They also have it this juice in a can, but the canned juice doesn't have the "smoothie" consistency that we're used to in Haiti.

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

I had it ALL wrong in the beginning. Sorry. I thought the speaker was saying something else. Anyway, do Creoles say "W isit la.", or "Ou isit la."? Tou, ki fom ki itilize plis: "out", "dawou", "dawout" oswa "dout" pou "August"? Ki youn ta dwe mwen sevi ak? Yon gran mesi

In reference to : http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/2013/11/mandaly-m-te-isit-la-depi-kat-jou-pou.html
------------------------------
When they speak you will hear “W isit la.”.   It will sound like “wi-sit-la”.
But when they write, it’s not common to have W at the beginning of the sentence.

 
We use “out” and “dout” more.
Some people say Dawou or Dawout.  It happens often enough.  You will see it a lot in songs and poems, etc….

I don’t think you’ll find “dout” in a dictionary for the month of August.  It is from the French pronunciation of D’Août.  Nevertheless we do say “dout”.

An example:
Mwen fè an out.
Mwen fèt nan mwa out.
Mwen fèt nan mwa dout.
Mwen fèt nan mwa Dawou.
Are all correct for “I was born in the month of August”

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Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge about Haitian language. I have a question about food. Do you know if the white powder sometimes mixed with the "epis" called "absan" or "aksan" (not akasan) is monosodium glutamate?

Mandaly. "M te isit la depi kat jou pou kont mwen." "I have been (right) here for four days by myself." Do I have the "M te isit la" right? The speaker on the Pimsleur audio is slurring across the "M te isit la"; It almost sounds like "M se sit la". If I have this right, "M te isit la", can I say it phonetically and be understood? I have also noticed this problem with "dwe" in some cases. I realize that no language is completely phonetic, but I like to be as close as I can be with pronunciation; but I want to sound right. School me on this one. Mesi anpil.


 M te isit la” is definitely right.

If you said “M isit la depi kat jou pou kont mwen”.  That will be right also.

“Dwe” is pronounced (dwe or d-oo-ay) phonetically.

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

Hello! I've read through quite a few of your entries about pral/prale/aprale. I think I'm understanding that pral/prale/aprale are a combination of ap + ale. If ap + ale works like other verbs + ale, it would mean "going," right? So then, do pral and ale get combined? Pral + another verb (like fè) would be "going to do," right? So does pral + ale combine to make a new word? Or does it remain "pral ale?" And does it mean "going to go?" Thanks!


Ap + another verb may indicate future or a progressive tense depending on the context such as:

Nou ap tann ou depi maten. – We’ve been waiting for you since this morning.

Nou ap vini wè w pita. – We’ll come to see you later.

Nou ap manje kounye a.  Nou pa ka vin chache w nan ayewopò a.  We’re eating now.  We can’t come pick you at the airport.



Pral / Prale (going to) – FUTURE

Nou pral danse. / Nou prale danse. – We’re going to dance.

Nou pral manje. / Nou prale manje. – We’re going to eat.

Nou pral dòmi. / Nou prale dòmi. – We’re going to sleep.

 

Pral ale (going to, going to go, will go)  /You can also use “Va ale” ….before a verb (as a verb helper).  As you already know “va” is a determiner for the future tense.  An example is: Nou va wè w demen. – We’ll see you tomorrow.

Nou pral al gade pou wè si yo toujou la. - We’re going to go see if they’re still there. Most often Haitians will simply say “pral” instead of “pral al”. It feels more natural.

Nou va al di yo sa. – We will go tell them.


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

Does a verb marker apply to just that verb or the entire thought? For example, if you said "I had a job where I waited tables." in HC, would you need “te” before both verbs or just the first one?


In this sentence it is best to use “te” with both verbs.  "M te gen yon djòb kote m t’ap sèvi moun."

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

I know that mèt is "may." Is te mèt "might?" How would you translate this from Psalm 139: "Mwen te mèt ap mache, mwen te mèt kouche, ou wè m, ou konnen tou sa m'ap fè."? Can mèt or te mèt mean anything else? Thanks!

In this case it translates even, even if, whether (conj)

Mèt (as a noun)meter (metric system), owner, teacher, master

1.     Longè teren an plis pase 6 mèt. - The terrain is more than 6 meters in length..

2.     Kote mèt magazen an? – Where’s the store owner?

3.     Eske se ou ki mèt kay la? – Are you the home owner?

Mèt (adj)skillful

4.     Nan zafè repare oto, moun sa yo se mèt. – When it comes to fixing cars, these people are proficient.

Mèt, Te Mèt (v. helper)may, can

5.     Ou mèt ale. – You may go.

6.     Nou mèt antre. – You can come in.

7.     Nou te mèt koumanse manje. –You may start eating.

8.     Eske m te mèt prete bekán ou?Can I borrow you bicycle.


Mèt  (conj)even, whether

9.     Mwen te mèt ap mache, mwen te mèt kouche… -Whether I am standing up, whether I‘m lying down …..

10. Ou te mèt fache, m p’ap ka kite w ale nan jounen an. – Even if you’re angry I cannot let you go to the field trip.

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