Bonjou! Learn to Speak Haitian Creole

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Years ago I spent a summer in Verrettes. We enjoyed eating bunches of a round little green fruit that I can't remember the name of. In asking around, people have told me it was called Kenep but that did not ring a bell for me and I wondered if you would know if it has different names in different parts of the country... Thanks much.

Yes, we call it kenèp indeed, it has a hard skin that you break gently with your teeth and a large seed inside that is covered with light yellow sweet natural jelly.

kenèp can be soaked in alcoholic drinks such as kleren for a sweet tartish taste.

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


  1. I'm from Verrettes

    1. Awesome. Mwen genyen anpil zanmi m ki soti Vèrèt.
      N'ap kenbe la.

    2. Hello,
      I appreciate your efforts in speaking the native tongue of most people in Haiti. It is hard to know whether you simply want to speak creole, that you forgot how to speak it, or you just are wondering. Most of the comments seen thus far seem to hide the truth that the creole lexicon results from the failure by poorly educated people or those who simply did not have the chance to go to school at all, to properly articulate French. The same holds true of those who struggle to articulate English phonemes and say for instance "kareesh" for "carriage". So it would be in your best interest to learn French as it will help you communicate with all kinds of audiences in Haiti. The hard-to-believe truth is that people in Haiti will judge or rate you unfavorably, despite your education in the US, if you have a bad articulation , saying for instance Jezi for Jesus, even if you are speaking in creole. So be careful !

    3. "Jezi" is in fact Haitian Creole.
      "Jesus" is French.

      I do remember when people say that "M'ap pale siret" when we say "Jezi" instead of "Jesus".
      Unfortunately Haitian Creole does get a bad rap. To people who are in love with French, Creole sounds like the language of the uneducated.
      It's good to learn French, but we shouldn't forget our Creole, the language of our mothers and fathers, the language that we grow up speaking, the first language we learn, the first language we hear, the language of our infancy.
      It's not fair to completely abandon the language we grow up with and adopt another language making it impossible for our family to communicate with us and intimidating those who only knows Creole.

      Thanks for your comment. Hope to hear more from you :)

  2. Mandaly, I really love what you are doing. I left my country 10 years ago, I still have a heavy english accent and I'm so proud about it. Creole is not a native tongue spoken just by poorly educated people, my parents are "paysans" from Verrettes working very hard for us (their kids) I'm proud of them, they speak only creole. Creole is the language that reunite all haitians 'cause not all of us speak french. Dumarsais Estime l'un des plus grands presidents haitiens est originaire des Verrettes, vous pensez que ses parents etaient des philosophes. Please, let's be realistic.

    1. Awesome. Thanks for your comment. Let's keep it up :)