Bonjou! Learn to Speak Haitian Creole

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Most requested translations added here for your convenience: I love you → Mwen renmen w. I miss you → Mwen sonje w. My love!Lanmou mwen!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How is the letter r pronounced? I was told it was silent? Example how do you say the name Robertson? Like in English or is r silent making it Obertson? Is it silent at beginning or word and not when in middle? Thank you.

No it’s not silent – if you see an “r” you should definitely say it.  What would become of the words rara, merite, libreri, and all the others if the “r” were silent?

But the letter “r” is usually pronounced like a “w” when placed in front of the letter “o” in H.  Creole.
That’s why you’ll see that some Haitians write “ròch” and others write “wòch”.
This makes both spellings:
Rouj and wouj (red)
Ront and wont (shame)
Arondi and awondi (to make round)
Roroli and wowoli (sesame seed)
Ronronnen and wonwonnen (to purr)
And other words like them acceptable in Haitian Creole

When it comes to names in Haitian Creole, Haitians would drop the “r” if it’s not  in front of a vowel, and turn “RO” to “WO”
Sara will be Sara
Rachel will be Rachèl
Berton will become Bètonn
Darline will become Dalin

 Some Haitians do have a Creole version of their name like Jean-Robert will become Jan-Wobè; Rony will become Wony; Robertson will become Wobèsonn;
Many Haitian authors do that too (Having their name written in Creole).  They also publish their work under their Creole names.
Jean-Marie Mapou writes his name as Jan-Mari Mapou,
Roger Savain has published work under Woje Saven
Yves Dejean has used Iv Dejan
Jacques Roumain's name is written as Jak Woumen in some of his novels
Frank Etienne also writes his name as Frank Etyèn

But, to me, unless the name is on your driver’s license and official documents such as a birth certificate, a Creole name is just a pronunciation of your name in Creole.

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


  1. Mandaly. I have a question pertaining to this. Last night, I did volunteer
    work a my church's "Severe Weather Program" for the homeless. I met
    a Black lady (non-Creole) there who was asking me how her first name
    would be spelled in Creole. Her name is Keisha. I know this is an African name originally. So how would Keisha be spelled in HC? I am thinking
    it would spelled "Kicha". Am I correct here? Mesi anpil.