Bonjou! Learn to Speak Haitian Creole

Bonjou! ...Mèsi! ...E Orevwa! Check out the Audio Lesson of the Week. 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 ME ANYTHING 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!

Monday, December 2, 2013

what does it mean when haitis start their sentence with lesensyal?

haitis? Don't you mean Haitians? :)
It's the same as the French "l'essentiel".
It means "the most important"

yon egzanp:
Lesansyèl sèke ou la avèk nou kounye a. – The most inportant thing is that you’re here with us now.

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

Does yaya ko means to dance?

Yaya kò?

It does mean to move along, get a move on, to mosey on,  get going – does not necessarily mean to dance

Men yon egzanp:
Mezanmi! Manyè yaya kò w non pou wè si w ta jwenn yon travay. Geez! At least move around a bit to see if you can find a job.

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

What does this mean (in question form?): so pito? (there's possibly an accent character on O in "so"? Thanks.

It sounds to me like Sa'w pito? (or Kisa w pito?) - Haitians also say Sa'w pi pito? (or (Kisa ou pi pito?)
If I'm right, then it means What/which do you prefer?

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

I saw a poster here in Haiti today. It was published by UNICEF about children's rights. It was a ...

I saw a poster here in Haiti today. It was published by UNICEF about  children's rights. It was a mixture of French and Creole. The bottom half of the poster had the "alphabet" of children's rights. I was unable to understand these two: K comme Kif kif - Tous les enfants sont égoux en droit. Y comme Yanvalou - L'enfant a droit à sa propre culture. Can you help me understand these? Especially kif kif and yanvalou.

K comme kif kif - Tous les enfants sont egaux en droit.
K as in kif kif - All children have equal rights
kif kif is  French for equal, same

Y comme Yanvalou - L'enfant a droit à sa propre culture.
Y as in Yanvalou - The child has rights to have his own culture
Yanvalou - cultural Haitian dance

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

Hola¡¡koman mwen kapab di "if you want......" in HC ,souple. Mesi.

How would you translate that 'For three years I have waited for you'? POU TWA AN MWEN TE TANN OU (OR) DEPI TWA AN MWEN TE TANN OU? Is it DEPI or POU?

For three years I have waited for you.
Depi twazan m t'ap tann ou.

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

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm attending a Haitian wedding in Haiti over the holidays (just as a regular guest) and am not sure what to expect. Any tips?

Is it Catholic, Protestant, or non-Christian wedding?
Is it happening in the capital or in the outskirts?
Are you caucasian? (some people might go out of their way to make you feel welcome)
Are you of African descent? (other guests might realize that you're not one of them by the way you speak), then some may treat you as Haitian, some may treat you as a foreigner.
In any case, as a guest, you should expect to have loads of fun - Eat plenty of tasty (maybe spicy foods) - meet lots of happy smiley faces.
The wedding ceremony might be a little lengthy, toasts will be more than minutes long, drving to the church and/or reception might be an 'adventure' (smoke, car fumes, and avoiding hitting a pedestrian).   Most everyone will be in their sunday best. 
Some reception halls can be crowded, but good food, great music under a tropical sky  make for an enjoyable ambience.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mandaly. I have finished the Pimsleur HC course. I think this course gives one the basics on which to expand one's self. Thank God that the verbs in Kreyol make the journey much faster to learn. But the idioms in Kreyol to me are more difficult to master. Anyway, I am now going to hit the materials on your website exclusively. I will be going to Ayiti in April, so I will be able to jump-start my Kreyol. While doing the Pimsleur Method, I spent a lot of time with grammar, so I completely know the spelling of HC and its rules. My Brown Creole cousin, who sent me off in this direction, was brilliant for prodding me into learning HC. Now for my question: Is "ta" in H. Kreyol considered a verb marker? I know this sounds juvenile, but I am trying to get the past, present and future tenses down first, and then move on to other tenses. But, I am not sure where "ta" (if it is a verb marker) fits in. Mesi anpil.

Hi Mr. Rachal.  Anpil konpliman pou ou!
I am so glad that you kept at it.  Some people swear by the Pimsleur method.  I can tell that it has been very helpful to you.  As far as the idioms are concerned, there are so many of them, but you will soon get acquainted with them once you start communicating with Creole speakers and you’ll start to notice the ones we use most – and how we use them.  In your Creole conversations you’ll soon start to use them too.

I am excited about your upcoming trip.  And I know you are too.  Be safe and alert always.

Tadeterminer for conditional tenses - WOULD, SHOULD

1. M ta manje mango a si m te kapab. I would eat the mango if I could.

2. M ta di w sa m panse osijè ou men m pito fèmen bouch mwen. – I would tell you what I think of you but I rather keep my mouth shut

3. Gade moun sa yo k’ap dòmi anba pon an. Nou ta dwe ede yo. – Look at these people sleeping under the bridge.  We should help them.

4. Mwen renmen timoun yo twòp. M pa ta ka fè yo sa. – I love the kids too much.  I could not do that to them.

5. Si m te genyen nan lotri a m ta va kite travay mwen. – If I won the lottery I would quit my job.

6. Si fanm nan te renmen w tout bon, li ta gentan la deja. – If the woman really loved you she would have already been there.

 

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

When a child does something to another child--like takes away the other child's toy--what would you recommend having that child say to the other child as an apology? Mwen regrete sa? Padon? And what would you recommend to have a child say in apology to an adult--like when a child has not obeyed what the adult told him to do? One more question: Are there times when you should never say "Mwen regrete." Thanks!

The child should say:

Padon
Or

Eskize m

 

To an adult, the child may say:
-M mande w padon.
-Eskize m.

And sometimes they say

-M fè kwa m pa’p janm fè sa ankò.

And many Haitian adults (in Haiti usually) have the child make a cross on the dirt ground and kiss it (it’s a promise that he/she sorry and that he/she will not offend again)

Adult to adults – we use the same terms to apologize.  Sometimes adults would say Mwen prezante w eskiz mwen or Mwen prezante w tout eskiz mwen.

To apologizefè eskiz, prezante eskiz, mande padon

We rarely say Mwen regrete – unless you want to say Mwen regrete tout sa m fè.I regret all that I have done.
I cannot think of a situation where you couldn't use 'mwen regrete'. 

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

What was the question? :)


 Reyèl – real

Tòk – saddle bags, pack saddle bags?

Chandèl (bouji, balèn) – candle

Tchuis (kuis?) – thigh

Rèk – mature, ready to be picked (fruit)

Kanpèch – logwood

Poutan – however

li pa chèch – it’s not dry

topi (toupi) – top (the toy)

gadja? (gadyè?) – cock fighting rink

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

Is there a reference (book or website) or one of your audio lessons that would help me in a medical mission with Project Medishare @ Bernard Mevs in PAP ? I only need to know very basic- Are you in pain? Take a deep breath and cough. Roll over. I will see you tomorrow. I know please and thank you- and we have some interpreters. THANK YOU


You can use the English/Haitian Creole Medical Dictionary by Maude Heurtelou and Fequière Vilsaint.  It is mainly a dictionary.  I did browse it once or twice, I don’t remember seeing any sentences for patient communication in there.

You may also check the following posts:
I have a headache
Do you have pain?
Headaches and Pains
Are you in pain? – Eske ou genyen doulè

Where is your pain? – Ki kote doulè ou ye?

Show me where’s your pain – Montre mwen kote doulè ou ye?

Take a deep breath and cough – Pran yon gran souf enpi touse

Roll over onto your right side – vire sou bò dwat ou.

Roll over onto your left  side – Vire sou bò goch ou.

Roll over onto your back – Vire enpi kouche sou do ou.

Roll over onto your stomach – Vire enpi kouche sou vant ou.

I will see you tomorrow – Mwen va wè ou demen.

See you tomorrow – Na wè demen

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