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!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

When can you use 2 menms like ‘li menm menm”? is it the same as using it three times like “Li menm menm menm”?

Sometimes two menm’s may be the same as three menm’s  as in the following examples:

Two menm’s usually translates “as for …”

Ou menm menm…. / Ou menm menm menm – as for you
As in
1. Ou menm menm kilè w’ap koumanse chache yon travay?
    As for you, when will you start looking for a job?
 
2. Rosie menm menm pa konnen li pa sipoze soti ak mennaj bon zanmi li?
    As for Rosie, doesn’t she know she’s not supposed to date her best friend’s boyfriend?
 
3. Nou menm menm, nou panse se sou jwèt li ye.  Nou pa’t kwè l te serye.
   As for us, we thought he was playing.  We didn’t think he was serious.
 
And other times, it may indicate an objection:

Someone might say:
4. You stole my car! - Ou vòlè machin mwen!
And you would answer:
  Me?! Why would I want your old ugly car? -Mwen menm menm?!  Poukisa pou m ta vle  vye machin lèd ou a?
 

Other times it indicates certitude.
5. Eske se mesye sa a ki te frape w la?  Wi se li menm menm.
     Was this the man that hit you? Yes it is him indeed.

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

"Mwen pa imajine kijanm renmenw non" what does that mean? Is it trying to say that I don't love you or maybe I can't imagine how much I love you?

Your second translation is right… “I can't imagine how much I love you” is correct


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Mandaly. M gen yon kestyon pou ou? Ki jan ""a" yo" pwononse nan fraz la: "Gason an gwo a abiye tonsiton." In case I screwed up with my Kreyol.......are the "a's" in "a abiye" run together (sound-wise), or are they 2 separate sounds? I am really having a "love affair" with Kreyol Ayisyen. It is like a great marriage; it keeps getting better every day! I apologize to all you HC's for stealing your language! Mesi.

I hope that the honeymoon in this marriage will last for a long time…. lol!
I guess this makes learning Creole more fun :)
Your hard work is paying off in a big way.
 

a” the article before “abiyeAND The first letter “a” in the word “abiye” are pronounced like two distinct sounds.
Your example “Gwo gason an abiye tonsiton” instead of "Gason an gwo a abiye tonsiton."  does not require the use of the article “a”, but I’ll give you some other examples:

Ti fi a abiye bwòdè.
Where you pronounce it like:
Tee-fee-ya – a-bi-yay- bwò-dè
 
Here’s another example:
Mesye a achte kay la.
May-sye-ya-ach-tay-kai-la

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

How do you say 'random' in creole

“Pou valè moun k'ap chache sekrè lavi a” Can you translate?


Pou valè moun k’ap chache sekrè lavi a ….So many people looking for the secret of/to life, …

 

pou valè” or “valè” translates in English as “many” or “a great quantity”; may translate “so many/so much” at the beginning of a sentence in a dependent clause.

Valè machin ki sou wout la…. – So many cars on the road

Valè mizè l pase ak pitit la … - (she went through) so much difficulty with the child …

Valè malonèt yo fè m nan restoran sa a, m pa janm tounen al manje  la ankò. – (I have received) so many insults in this restaurant I’ll never go back to eat there.

Pou valè moun ki t’ap chache ti gason ki te pèdi a, yo dwe kontan anpil dèske yo jwenn ni. – There were so many people looking for the lost boy, they must be so happy to have found him.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

There is no frigate like a book to take you lands away...Pa gen frigat tankou yon liv pou mennen ou jiskensi ( this is just my unsuccessful try, now it's your turn..lol) antwo, kijan ou ye, bel zanmi pa m'...mwen espere tout bagay mache byen nan lavi w...;)

O o mezanmi! M’anfòm wi :)
E ou menm, kijan w ye? W’ap boule?

Frigateyon vwalye, yon bato
“There is no frigate like a book to take you lands away...”
“Pa gen yon vwalye tankou yon liv ki ka anpòte w ale byen lwen ….”

Ki vle di:
Nanpwen yon vwalye ki kapab anpòte w ale pi byen pase yon liv.

Ki vle di ankò:
Yon liv kapab anpòte ale pi lwen pase yon vwalye :)

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

If I wanted to say “I was born in 1978” – would it be “Mwen te fèt nan ane diznèf swasann dizuit”?


Yes, don’t forget to write in “san” after “diznèf”

Mwen te fèt nan ane mil nèf san swasann dizuit

Or

Mwen te fèt nan ane diznèf san swasann dizuit

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mandaly do you know this haitian children's song in which you touch the parts of the face and it ends with tickling the neck? I think it goes: "ti je, gro je, nen kankan, bouch d'ajan..."?


It’s interesting.  Some people stop at the baby’s neck area (after “manton fleri”) and tickle the child:
Ti je gwo je
ti sousi gwo sousi
nen Kankan
bouch dariv
manton fleri … tikitikiti…..
 
 

And others will go all the way to the belly and tickle the child at the belly area:
Ti je gwo je
ti sousi gwo sousi
nen Kankan
bouch dariv
manton fleri
vant anfle
konkonm gaye … tikitikiti…..

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Which is the proper spelling? Is it creole or kreole when spelling it in Haitian Creole? I've even seen it spelled differently. I'm confused.


The proper spelling is “Kreyòl” or more specifically “Kreyòl Ayisyen

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Mandaly. As in "Ou isit la depi yon mwa.", can the "ou" be plural as in "you all", or is it only singular? If it is only singular, then how would you say "you" (plural) in this sentence addressing more than one person? Mesi.

The “ou” is singular.
You will use “nou” to indicate plural “you” .

Egzanp:
Depi konbyen tan nou isit la?
How long have you (you all) been here?

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How would you say "infection?" "Your foot has an infection." or do you just say, pye malad? Mesi

I think “pye malad” may be e general term for diseased foot.

Your foot has an infectionOu fè yon enfeksyon nan pye. (or) Ou genyen yon enfeksyon nan pye w.

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what does it mean to "priye" someone "en grace"?

what h.creole term is equivalent to that of "conceited" in english? mesi anpil!

What does it mean to "jere stress ou" in h creole? Btw the majority of the times I hear haitians say this phrase, I don't quite think they really talking about stress much, pa vre?

It means to “manage your stress

And yes, "stress" might mean anger or anxiety

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

what is mwen pran on refwadisman? to cactch a cold?

to be ill, to have the chills possibly with fever, body aches and shivering.

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Eske haitien se haitien ou haitien-afriken?


Ou reponn kesyon an wi.  Ayisyen se Ayisyen.  Yon pèp tankou tout pèp. Malgre yo gen orijin yo divès kote yo toujou konsidere yo Aysiyen, depi yo fèt Ayiti.  Menm jan ak Ameriken. Yo gen orijin yo divès kote men pa gen okenn dout ditou, non yo se Ameriken yon fwa lonbrit yo koupe nan tè Etazini.
Nou pa jete orijin nou ni nou pa kache l, men sa nou ye nan moman an, nou se Ayisyen
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Mandaly, please help. This proverb was put on a site by an NGO and I don't get it...please help: “Mwen se yon pitit Lafrik Ginen ki fèt Ayiti. Mwen konstate depi nan Ginen bon Nèg ap ede Nèg. Mwen kwè lanmou pi fò pase lanmò.”


Literally: “I am a descendant of Guinea Africa that was born in Haiti.  I understand since Guinea good nèg ap ede nèg.  I believe that love is stronger than death.”

Nèg usually has a general meaning in H. Creole.  It basically translates “man”.  But sometimes it means “black man” or “negro”.  And this is an example of this here.

Haitians consider Guinea as their roots, their origin, their mother land.

There’s a saying that goes “Depi nan Ginen nèg rayi nèg” – “Since Guinea nèg have hated nèg”.  – It’s about betrayal, inability to work together among brothers, hatred, ...the type of hatred that will push one man to sell another as slave.

That expression is turned around here and it reads instead:”“depi nan Ginen bon Nèg ap ede Nèg” – “Since Guinea good nèg have been helping nèg” – which depicts brotherhood, civility and love.

So the expression says that  “I am born in Haiti, rooted in Guinea Africa.  Since Guinea we’ve helped each other.   Love is stronger than death.”

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Can you make the Haitian Hot Chocolate with cocoa powder instead of a cocoa ball/stick? Or, do you know where you can buy the cocoa ball/stick in the USA?

You might be able to find the chokola Aysiyen in some Haitian grocery stores in areas where there's a Haitian community.
I guess you can use the cocoa powder, add water and cinnamon sticks - I'm not sure if it'll taste the same.
The chokola Ayisyen is more dense.  You basically make it from scratch.

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

how do you say "empower yourself"

It can be specific to the idea you’re trying to convey. 
Ekipe tèt ou
Ranfòse tèt ou
Mete w enganm
Sele w.

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How can I say "I'm bored" in h.creole? Mesi!

I'm bored.
Mwen annuiye.
or
M'annuiye.

but you'd say to someone who's boring:
You're boring.
Ou raz.
Ou blèm.


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Ok, 2 questions: 1. Is using bon as an adverb bad grammar like it is in English? When I'm asked ........

Ok, 2 questions: 
1. Is using bon as an adverb bad grammar like it is in English? When I'm asked if I speak creole I always say "Pa bon" as a little joke (I thought at least) to myself.
2. Do Haitians not do a whole lot of hugging? Even spending several months in Haiti I can't really remember ever seeing anyone get hugged...

Answer:

1.
Instead of “bon”, use “byen”.  Pa bon” here comes out as “sinful, defective, or faulty”.
Pa byen” or even better “Pa twò byen” will work best.

2.
No, some Haitians (in Haiti), don’t hug, at least not in public.  We kiss on the cheek.  You can go wild and kiss on BOTH cheeks.  That would be very special.   
Haitians overseas do hug a lot tough.

It’s not uncommon that some Haitians would feel awkward hugging even their mother or father. I was taught to kiss on the cheek to greet, to show respect and reverence.

I remember when I just came to the USA, I kept going to kiss my mom’s landlord on his cheek every time he came to collect the rent.   One day my mother pulled me aside and told me, “This is the US, no kissing strangers on the cheek.” It took me a long time to get used to not going to someone face and kiss them when I greeted them.

Anyways after I came to the US, I really wanted to try some of that hugging :).  I was kind of anxious… mostly because I was not sure where to lean my head, ….was it the left of right?   What if I unintentionally bump face with a stranger I was trying to hug….lol!   So I had to wait to practice with my husband.  And I wasted no time.  As soon as I met him…. there was lots of hugging going on :)  Frankly, it felt good to embrace someone so closely.... no space in between us.  Hugging was great :)

After a few years in the USA I went back to Haiti and would you believe I got in trouble for hugging a man who was a classmate and whom I had known all my life?
 
Hugging is powerful. In March 2010 after Haiti's earthquake, I went to Haiti to visit my brother, Siméon, who's about 15 years younger than I.  As I was leaving at the airport I threw my reluctance out the window and hugged him for at least a few seconds.  Right then and there this young man broke down in tears.  He wrote to me later that he's never felt a hug before and how he felt that the hug was a blanket of love that was laid upon him. 

 
Anyways, now sometimes in Haiti, if I have to hug someone, I do ask, Eske m ka ba w yon akolad?  - Can I give you a hug? Especially if it’s someone of a different sex.

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

Nan fraz yo: "(Joj) Ou te achte yon machin nef aye?.....

Nan fraz yo: 
"(Joj) Ou te achte yon machin nef aye? Konbyen lajan ou te peye pou li? 
(Wobe) M te peye uit mil senksan katre ven dola pou li. 
(Joj) Ki kote ou te achte machin nef ou?  (Wobe) M te achte li nan Potoprens." 

Kestyon mwen se:  Mwen gen itilize kontraksyon nan paragraf sa, oswa mwen ka kite li kom se?  Pa egzanp:  "ou te" oswa "ou t" e "pou li" oubyen "pou l".  M pa konnen!  Mesi anpil.

Answer:
 

Yes you can use contraction  after “pou” but only when it’s not at the end of a sentence.

For example:
You can say: Chita pou m ka pale avè w.
But you cannot say: Li achte yon pè soulye pou m.
You should say:  Li achte yon pè soulye pou mwen.
 
The same goes for the other prepositions “san” and “sou”.

You can say: Li mache san l pa gade kote l’ap mete pye l.
But you cannot say: Ou pa ka ale san m.
You should say: Ou pa ka ale san mwen.
 
And you cannot say:  Li mete liv la sou l.
You should say: Li mete liv la sou li.

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

te” is a past tense determiner. “te  may be contracted before all the Haitian vowels (a an e è en i o ò ou on ) except  “i”, “ou”.   “te” itself cannot be pulled apart like “t’e” or “ou t’e”.
For example:

We do not write:
Ou t’e ale.
Nou t’e okipe
Or
Yo t’e eksite


We write:
Ou te ale.
Nou te okipe.
Or
Yo te eksite.

And you'll contract the sentences above as:
Ou t'ale.
Nou t' okipe.
Yo t'eksite.

you can use an apostrophe or not.

 
He are more examples of how you can contract “te” to “t’” before some verbs or attributes:

You can say: Ou te ale nan lekòl la. Or Ou t’ale nan lekòl la.
You can say: Lamizè te anpare m.  or Lamizè t’anpare m.
You can say: Li te elve timoun nan kòm pwòp pitit li. Or  Li t’elve timoun nan kòm pwòp pitit li.
You can say: Li te enspekte valiz tout pasaje yo. Or  Li t’enspekte valiz tout pasaje yo.
You can say: Li te opere samdi pase.  Or Li t’opere samdi pase.
You can say: Li te imilye nou.  You cannot say: Li t’imilye nou.

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

“Li pa bon lò nou tann jouk li twò ta”. You don't need to use the word 'lo' to express. Can you explain ? kamsahamnida

, a conjunction like , can be used instead of “”.
when, during the time that, after which

Egzanp:
1. Rele m lò w fini. Or Rele m lè w fini.
    Call me when you’re done.

2. N’a pale lò m rive. Or N’a pale lè m rive.
    We’ll talk when I get there.
 
3. Lò w wè tout fèy nan pye bwa koumanse  ap chanje koulè, sa vle di lotòn rive sou nou.
     When you see all the leaves start to change color this means that fall is upon us.

4. (your example):
Li    | pa | bon   | lò        | nou | tann | jouk | li  | twò | ta.
It’s |not | good | when  |we   |wait   |until  |it’s |too  |late.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

We are learning about Haiti and a church/orphanage we support there with our church. I would like to make the kids "chokola Ayisyen" Haitian Hot Chocolate but I don't know how to make it (especially without a cocoa ball or stick). Do you have any suggestions or a different recipe?


To make the "chokola Ayisyen", boil the cocoa chunks whether it’s a ball or sticks in water. Use amount of water equal to the amount of hot chocolate that you want to serve.

Some people use a graj (grater) to pulverize the cocoa balls or sticks before they add water and boil them.  It melts better and faster that way.

Once it has melted, you may add milk (carnation milk or powdered milk are often used where there’s no fridge)

If you’re using coarse cocoa then you’ll have to strain it before adding a little sugar and cinnamon sticks or star anise spice to your hot chocolate.  We usually serve it with Haitian bread. 

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Mandaly, I've pretty much decided I'm moving to Haiti (by myself) eventually, but I'm not sure what to do about health insurance. Any advice?

Does your current health insurance carrier offer some type if “international plan” so that you’d be covered in Haiti and abroad?
If I lived in Haiti I would want my health insurance to cover procedures and tests that I might not be able to get done in Haiti in case I need more advanced care.

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Li te ansent e kounye ' la ' li fèk akouche. Can u translate 'la' ?

la - here, in the present
Kounye a laright now, at this present time

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Hi Mandaly! What is the English equivalent word for someone who is"kaprisyéz"? does it mean that the person is shy/timid or maybe for example, you ask the person if he/she wants a piece of your cake (perhaps lol) and the person says no thanks but deep down the person wants it? Thanks!

Yes, you got it.  The “kaprisyèz” person (in Haitian Creole) may be timid or pretending to be. The person may try to be coy when in fact he/she is not.

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

What does the word "dyolé" mean? and what does the expression "bann dyolé" vle di tou? Mesi!


dyolèa bragger, a show off

bann dyolèbunch of show-offs

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

Peace, Mandaly! I'm new to Haitian Creole and I, having grown up absolutely LOVING foreign languages (Spanish, a tiny bit of French) I finally came into pursing Haitian Creole (along with Haitian history, culture, etc.)…

“Peace, Mandaly! I'm new to Haitian Creole and I, having grown up absolutely LOVING foreign languages (Spanish, a tiny bit of French) I finally came into pursing Haitian Creole (along with Haitian history, culture, etc.) and I was BLESSED enough to find your blog and your other websites. I fell in LOVE with your HAITIAN ALPHABET video on YouTube and everything! Lol. My question is though, as a new student to Haitian Creole exactly WHERE do I start as "Lesson 1" on this wonderful website and as far as following YOUR posts websites, and lessons, etc? XOXO”

Peace to you too zanmi mwen :) Welcome to the community of Haitian Creole learners!
This blog can be a great resource as you learn the Haitian Creole language
Here a few posts to help you get started:
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7


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

Can you use Haitian creole min in a sentence or two please?


Men wi.

Min – facial expression, demeanor,  mannerism

We usually say “mare min” as in to frown, to pout, to look angry

And we also say, dis min mare nan fwon which means to look angry, to look stern
1. Lè w mare min ou ou fè moun pè.   - When you look angry you scare people .

2. Madanm nan te chita sou tab la, min ni byen mare, pa’t gen moun ki fouti pwoche l. – The woman sat at the table , all gloomy, no one dared  to approach her.

3. Sa’k fè w mare min ou konsa?  Se pou moun pa pwoche w? Why do you look so angry?  Is it so that people to get close to you?

4. Demare min ou. – Stop the long face. Or  Smile. Or even  Turn your frown upside down

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what is bat bouda in 'bat bouda nou fe m pa we figi nou la'.

Bat bouda - to leave, to go away, to scram
'bat bouda nou fe m pa we nou la' - Scram, don't let me see you face again

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What is 'ap la'? Thanks

Is there a subject that comes before it?  Such as

M ap la. - I'll be there
Manman m ap la - My mom will be there.
John ap la - John will be there.
E jounalis yo ap la - And the journalists will be there
Donk tout moun ap la. - So everyone will be there.

You can also use "va la".  Nou va la - We'll be there.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

what does "alaway toner" vle di an h.creole? Thank you.


Is this the right spelling?

It might actually be Ala … tonnè! Which might mean Damn it!

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

si bonet yon moun chavire eske moun nan fache oubyen eske li fou

Mwen panse lè bonèt yon moun chavire moun nan tèlman fache, li tèlman fin dechennen, tèt li pati, li vin aji tankou yon moun fou – li vin pèdi tout sans li.  Tankou Ameriken yo di, moun nan “mad”, “insane”, deranged”.

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Koze mande chez?

Koze mande chèz (or koze mande chèy) – Grab a chair, it’s a long story.

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Hi Mandaly! Can you please help me with this fraz. "Misye te kouche nan lopital la e pandan li kouche a ap pase soufrans, chanmyel vini nan chanm kel te ye a e yo kouvri tout ko misye net. Tou kareman misye vin mouri apre. Ala mechan!" Ok what would the world "chanmyel" or maybe it's "channmyel/ chan myel" vle di an H.creole? I think the word might have a French origin and I don't quite think the fraz is talking about "siwo myel" either. Ede m silvouple Mandaly!!


I think they might mean chanprèl or chanpwèl which is synonymous with lougawou, bòkò, move je (evil people, evil spirit, band of malicious people)

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

Pou valè moun k'ap chache sekrè lavi a enpi se ou k jwenn ni. please translate 'vale" in detail.

Valè, in Haitian Creole, translates worth, value, cost, price

It also translates many, so many, plenty, an abundance, a large number

We’ll concentrate on this second translation as this is what’s used in the audio post.

Here are some examples of using “valè” to translate ….many or a large number, …. As it is used in the audio post:

In these first groups of examples, we use it to say “large quantity”:
1.
Gen yon valè moun ki pa konn li nan peyi sa a. – There are a number of people that do not know how to read in this country.
2.
Mwen gen yon valè bib lakay mwen, m’a prete w youn. - I have many bibles at home, I’ll lend you one.

 

Sometimes we say “pou valè” – basically ….for the amount or because of the amount…..
3.
Pou valè bagay mwen gen pou‘m fè jodi a, m pa kwè m’ap kapab ede w. Because of the many things I have to do today, I don’t think I’ll be able to help you.
4.
Pou valè mechanste m tande ou fè, m pa kwè m ka fè w konfyans - For the amount of wickedness I’ve heard that you’ve committed I don’t think I can trust you.

 

And sometimes we use “Valè”  before a noun where it means …so many, many, a great undefined number, …
5.
Valè moun ou genyen nan fanmi w, enpi ou pa't ka jwenn youn ki ka ede w - You have so many people in your family, and you couldn’t find one that can help you.
6.
Valè malonèt yo fè w, enpi ou retounen isit la toujou.  Ou pa gen nen nan figi w. - In spite of all the insults thrown at you, you still come back here.  You have no shame.
7.
Valè Ayisyen ki gen nan sal la, enpi pa menm gen youn ki ka pale yon bon Franse.  M twouve sa dwòl.. - All these Haitians in a room and not even one can speak perfect French.  I found that bizarre.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

How do you write dates in creole. Example. Friday 14th march 2014. What are the personal pronouns?

written in this sequence: Day – date -  month - year

The baby was born on October 7th, 2013Bebe a te fèt 7 oktòb 2013.

Everyone should meet up here on Friday March 14th, 2014Tout moun dwe rasanble isit la vandredi 14 mas 2014.

here's a link to personal pronouns: personal pronouns

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what is creole ajou?

ajou - updated

Yo mete tout moun ajou sou sa k ap pase.
They updated everyone on what's going on.

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What’s the meaning of move san? Thanks

ordinary man, simple guy, " joe"?

An “average joemay be translated as yon moun òdinè,  ensiyifyan, yon nonm senp, yon moun konsa konsa,  yon rapyay, as opposed to an extraordinary/important person ( yon grantèt, yon gwopalto, yon gwo chabrak, gwo boujwa)

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sa ki fè sa? (why?)

Sa ki fè sa? Or Sa k fè sa?, used to ask the questionwhy is that?’

1.
Sa k fè sa menm?Why is that anyway?

2.
Sa k fè ou toujou ap manje dan’w?Why are you always grinding your teeth?

3.
Sa’k fè w dekouraje konsa?Why are you so discouraged?

4.
Si w pa renmen lekòl la, sa’k fè w pa kite l? –If you don’t like the school, why don’t you quit?

5.
Sa k fè w pa di m poukisa w anreta? – Why don’t you tell me why you’re late.
M te pran pán kawoutyou, se sa ‘k fè sa. – I had a flat tire, that’s why.

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Rete kè pòpòz (Remain Calm) - Audio

Download link: http://limanecasimi.audioacrobat.com/download/adc55445-43d5-cac3-bd14-c9a63bee3b2f.mp3

Listen to audio here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WKpjtc0W

******************
 
Mezanmi, Mariette toujou kè pòpòz.  Li pa janm gen kè sote.
Mariette is always calm.  She's never anxious.

Ou menm nenpòt ti bagay kontrarye w. Dis min toujou mare nan fwon w.  Lè w gen pwoblèm, men longè bouch ou.
As for you, anything little thing upsets you.  You always have a frown on your face.  When you have problems, your lips are that long (pouting).

Se lavi a k'ap malmennen m pitit.  Kanta pou Mariette, m pa konnen kouman fè li pa janm kite anyen twouble l.  M'ap mande m kijan l fè l.
Life isn't good to me child.  As for Mariette, I don't know how come she never lets anything trouble her.  I wonder how she does it.

Enben petèt li pa gen okenn tèt chaje nan lavi l.
Well maybe she doesn't have any problems in her life.

Okontrè, dam sa a plen pwoblèm.  Li pa viv lasante. Bòs li toujou ap ba l presyon nan travay li.  E mari l ap fè l pase nan je zegwi.
To the contrary, this woman has a lot of problems.  She's not in good health. Her boss is always giving her pressure at work.  And her husband does not treat her that well.

Petèt li se milyonè, li pa gen pwoblèm lajan.
Maybe she's a millionaire, she doesn't have money problem

Se pa sa.  Moun ki milyonè pa fè kalite dyòb l'ap fè a.  Enpitou bil li men wotè.
That's not it.  Millionaires don't do the type of job she's doing.  And her bills are that high.

Petèt se medikaman li pran pou l kalme l.
Maybe she takes medication to stay calm.

Non. Si l t'ap pran medikaman li ta soule tout tan.  Men li toujou ap souri.  Kèlkeswa sa k pase li li toujou rete trankil.  Li pa janm pèdi sanfwa l.   Kè l pa janm kase. Kè l toujou pozeSa k fè sa?
No.  If she was taking medication she'd be drowsy all the time. But she's always smiling.  Whatever happens to her, she is always temperate.  She never loses her cool.  She's never anxious. She's always poised.  Why is that?

Enben, sanble li jwenn sekrè lavi a.
Well it seems that she has found the secret to life.

Sekrè lavi a? Kounye a ou vle di m ou konn sekrè linivè antye?
The secret to life?  Now you mean to tell me that you know the secret of the entire universe?

M pa ka di w m konnen l men m gen yon lide.
I can't tell you that I know it but I have an idea.

Ki sa l ye?  Di m li tanpri pou m ka gen lajwa tou.
What is it? Tell it to me please so that I may also have joy.

Gen yon pwovèb Ayisyen ki di, "Rete trankil se remèd kò".  M panse sekrè lavi a nan pwovèb sa a.  Pa chaje tèt ou, rete kè pòpòz.  Se sekrè a.
There's a Haitian proverb that says, "Being serene is the body's remedy". I think the secret to life is in this proverb. Don't trouble yourself, remain calm.  That's the secret.

Enben konpliman Monchè.  Pou valè moun k'ap chache sekrè lavi a enpi se ou k jwenn ni.  Se pou w vann sekrè sa a bay tout moun konsa nou va rich e mwen finalman va gen kè kontan tankou Mariette.
Well congratulations my dear.  So many people are looking for the secret to life and it is you that finds it.  You must sell it to everyone so that we will be rich and I'll finally be as happy as Mariette.

Eske w sèten Mariette se pa bonnanj ou?
Are you sure Mariette isn't your spirit (alter ego)?

W'ap pase m nan betiz.  M p'ap okipe w.  M'ap rete kè pòpòz.
You're making fun of me.  I won't pay attention to you.  I will stay calm.

Track: Sa nou ye? by Fernand Marlu

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pa viv lasante

pa viv lasante - to be in poor health, to be constantly ill.

Mwen pa viv lasante - I'm in poor health

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

hindrance, to hinder

hindrance (nuisance) - kontraryete

to impede, to upset, to disrupt - kontrarye

Vizit yo kontrarye mwen anpil. - Their visit upset me a lot.
Maryaj la kontrarye etid tifi a. - The marriage disrupted the girl's studies.
Lapli a kontrarye jwèt baskèt la. - The rain disrupted the basketball game.
Mizik la ap kontrarye m. Desann volim nan pou m ka konsantre. - The music is disrupting me, turn down the volume so that I can concentrate.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

fè pase nan je zegwi


fè pase nan je zegwi – to mistreat, to treat unfairly, to push around

 
Bòs mwen ap fè m pase nan je zegwi nan travay la. – My boss is treating me unfairly at work

Mari l reyèlman ap fè l pase nan je zegwi. – Her husband is giving her a hard time.

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Can you translate kapab pa soufri

What is dra blan pa sal dra blan?

Dra blan pa sal dra blan - white sheets do not soil white sheets lit.

 
It’s a dangerous belief among a handful of Haitian Christians (I’m not sure if it’s just Haitians.  I don’t know where you heard this). They condemn adultery between a non-Christian and a Christian, but approve of adultery between two Christians.

I know there was a church group in Miami in the late 1980s and early 90s that practiced this – I’m not sure if they’re still around.



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

what does "pouba w bade" mean in h creole. thnxs

Kijan ou di "you sound like?" Ak "What do you mean"

You sound like
Ou pale tankou
Ou gen vwa
 
You can also use “sanble” – It seems
 
You sound like a robot.
Ou pale tankou yon wobo.
 
You sound like your mom.
Ou pale tankou manman w.
 
He sounds like girl.
Li gen vwa yon vwa yon ti fi.
 
You sound like your mom (have the same voice as)
Ou gen vwa manman w.
 
The wind sounded like a howling dog.
Van an te soufle, sanble yon chen k’ap wouke.
Van an soufle tankou yon chen  k’ap wouke.
 
What do you mean?
Ki sa ou vle di?

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“Nou pa bo isit jodi a”.Why isn’t “pa” negative here?

Actually, just having this as an independent sentence, it can be either positive or negative.

Now sometimes we do say, “nou vin pa bò isit jodi a.” Or “Ou pa bò isi?” where “pa bò isi/isit” means “by here” or “in this area”; and “pa” actually translates the English prep. “by”.

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

Ki mo nan langue Créole la ki pran cédille anba c a? Eske mwen dwe retire cédille nan nom François lè m’ap ekri an Créole?

Non, pa genyen mo ou ankenn lèt “c” ki pran sediy nan lang Kreyòl la.  Mwen pa wè ankenn rezon ki pou ta fè w retire sediy nan non François a, menm si se Kreyòl ou t’ap pale. Si yon moun vle ekri François an Kreyòl, sa se yon lòt afè.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

I thought it was interesting that H. Creole word ‘sou’ is used as ‘be in the mood for’. If I say ‘m pa sou manje’ it means ‘I’m not in the mood for food’. Did I get this correctly? Can “sou” be used for other activities?


Yes. I can give you some examples:

1.
M pa sou pale kounye a. – I’m not in the mood for talking right now.

2.
Li pa sou etidye.  Se televizyon ki enterese l. – She’s not interested in studying. She’s interested in watching tv.

3.
Nou pa sou sa. – We’re not in the mood.

4.
M pa sou bò w. – I’m ignoring you.

5.
Misye fè tout sa l te kapab pou atire atansyon ti fi a, men ti fi a pa’t menm sou bò l. – He did all he could to attract the girl’s attention, but the girl was not even interested in him.

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

“they’ll have to dig out his remains…” Google translate is giving me “Yo pral oblije fouye soti rete l” I’m thinking of using the creole word “ko” for remains: “Yo pral oblije fouye soti ko li yo”. Is this correct?

Here, to dig out will translate as "detere" (to unearth)
If Google Translate is not giving you the right translation, try using other words, in this case, "cadaver" or something else.
Here, remains will translate as kadav or zosman

They'll have to dig out his remains. - Yo pral detere kadav li. or Yo pral oblije detere zosman li.(if the body's been buried for a very long time)
and...
No need to use plural "yo" unless you're talking about bones.

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What is Haitian Creole for pillowcase?

If I want to tell someone about something that actually happened, what is a good way to introduce this? M vle di ou yon istwa? Is istwa good here? What if I wanted to tell someone a fabricated story--something I made up—would istwa also work here? What makes most sense in each of these situations?

M vle di ou yon istwa (or M vle rakonte w yon istwa) will work for retelling an event that DID or DIDN'T happened.

But if you say "kont" instead of "istwa" (M vle rakonte w yon kont), the listener will instantly know that the story is fiction.


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Thursday, March 6, 2014

I was looking for the use of ‘fèt kare’, I’m sure I printed it from your blog but I can’t find my copy or your blog post.

It's in this post: FÈK KARE?


1.
Fèk kare – it’s just the beginning, only just started (indicates an event that just started and intends to continue for an indefinite period of time).

2.
Nou fèk kare ap danse. -  We only just started to dance.

3.
Ameriken te panse yo te fini avèk to chomaj ki eksesif, men avèk istwa move ekonomi an, yo fèk kare wè chomaj. – Americans thought they were done with high rates of unemployment, but with this story of bad economy, the unemployment days have just begun.

4.
Nou te kwè soufrans nou te fini, men nou fèk kare bat lanmizè. – We thought our suffering was over, but our anguish has just begun.


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

“Se nou de a ak papa papa l ki te la”. For “papa papa” isn’t it the same as saying granpapa? if yes, then why not say granpapa? Is the same used for manman too? And also, can I say “gran gran grann mwen” for “great great grandmother” or should I use “manman manman”


You can use papa papa, granpapa, or granpè

 Or manman manman, grann, or granmè

It makes more sense, to me,  saying  manman manman grann mwen” .

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

“Konfyans se yon misté. Yo pa achte sa, ou pa kapab di ban m pou tan.” I don’t understand the use of “tan” in this sentence. Can you explain? Mési.


Tanthis much, so much, an undetermined number

Some examples how it is used.

1.
You may think that the car costs this much, but in reality it costs more than that. - Ou kapab panse machin nan koute tan, men anreyalite li koute plis pase sa.

2.
Here’s a math problem. If the bike costs such amount of money, and the store gives you a rebate of 50%, how much will you pay? – Men yon pwoblèm matematik.  Si yon bekán koute tan, enpi magazen an ba w 50 pousan rabè, konbyen w’ap peye?.

3.
If the company agrees to give free tickets to such number of people, how would we pay for the ones remaining? Si konpani an dakò pou bay tan moun tikè gratis, kouman n’ap fè peye pou rès yo?

By the way your accent is backwards on the “e” in “mistè” and “mèsi”.  It should be “è” instead of “é”.

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