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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Official Alphabet which was approved, I think, in 1979 has letters: "ou" and "w". At times,.....

You said:
"Mandaly,

The Official Alphabet which was approved, I think, in 1979 has
letters:  "ou" and "w".

At times, I have seen the English word "you" written
as "ou" in Creole, and at other times, written as "w".  Also, when I have seen
it written as "w" it is not always in the situation where it might form a spoken
sound contraction (such as "kisa w ap manje?").

So, how should I write, "I
haven't seen you for a while"?

M pa we ou

or

M pa we w

Furthermore,
when we talk about contractions, there are mandatory contractions and optional
contractions.  When should optional contractions be written?

For example:  "I
would like"

Mwen ta renmen ...

or 

M ta renmen ...

Are there any
rules as to when optional contractions should be employed in writing?  (Because
in English unless you are writing in vernacular, you should avoid
contractions.)

Part of what I am asking is should contractions which are
optional be uncontracted and left to the reader only if the passage is being
read out loud?  (As I know the guiding principle is that we write as we
speak/pronounce.)  If I am writing a text book on computer programming in Creole
is there a more formal style in which to write or should I write as if I were
talking to a class?  (This is not a totally hypothetical question, since I have
considered the preparation of educational materials.)

Thank you!

PS:  I am
very excited to see so many Haitians now writing their language.  When I first
learned/taught in the 1970s, it was very much a "chicken and the egg" situation.
If no Haitians could read Creole, then who would be there to read literature and
text books in Creole?  If no Haitians could write Creole, then who would author
our literature and text books.  And so, back around 1970/80, myself, the other
volunteers, and priests who ran the the community center firmly believed the key
to Haiti's future was Creole literacy and broad public education.  I am truly
happy to see that there has been progress."

Mandaly says:

1. 'w' is a short form for 'ou'. (I'm sure you know that)

2. If you see the word 'you', more than likely it's a typo. Autocorrect is awesome but not when you're trying to write another language :)  I actually had to teach my iphone and ipad to "speak" H.Creole so that it would stop correcting my texts and emails.

3. There are a few definite places where you shouldn't use contractions (or fòm kout), otherwise it's pretty much as you wish depending on the setting of the conversation, texts, or written work . Some instructors tell you that it's best to use the long form at the beginning of a sentence but if I want to say 'M ap vini demen' or 'M t ale wè l lopital la' or 'M ale. N a wè pita.' or 'W a gentan konnen' I would be more comfortable using the short form at the beginning of these sentences because that's the way I talk.

4. Some place where you cannot use contractions: after pou, san, sou towards the end of a sentence.
    a. Pote yon ti dlo pou m.
       We should say: Pote yon ti dlo pou mwen.

    b. Dlo enpòtan anpil. Ou pa ka viv san l.
       We should say: Dlo enpòtan anpil. Nou pa ka viv san li.

    c. Kote malèt la? M te mete liv mwen yo sou l men kounye a m pa wè l.
       We should say: Kote malèt la? M te mete liv mwen you sou li men kounye a m pa wè l.

Also consider words that have short forms: konnen, pote, mete, etc....
We don't usually say Mwen pa konn. we say Mwen pa konnen.
Konbyen malèt ou pote? instead of konbyen malèt ou pot?

and also no contractions after consonants:

tèt mwen instead of tèt m 
pitit li instead of pitit l
chemiz mwen instead of chemiz m
Somehow people from North Haiti make these exceptions work :) 
You know.... they say 'tèt m' (tèt anm or tèt an mwen); 'pitit l' (pitit a l or pitit a li); 'chemiz m' (chemiz anm or chemiz an mwen).  Anyways you cannot make this work if you're not from there :)


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