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!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Mandaly, I originally posted this in English on Facebook (a general group for Haitians & non-Haitians who want to improve their Creole ...

You said:


I originally posted this in
English on Facebook (a general group for Haitians & non-Haitians who want to
improve their Creole), but I have yet to receive an answer.  I will keep it in
English, since this is a Web site for everyone to learn Haitian Creole.

learned to write in the late 1970's.  At that time, one could say that there was
no standardization for writing Creole, or one could say there were many
competing standards for writing Creole!  One linguistic paper I read said that
as of 1980 there were as many as 11 such standards!

I learned to read/write a
system known as Pressoir-Faublas or Faublas-Pressoir.  I haven't really spoken
Creole for more than 30 years.  But I want to read/write/speak again!  The
current Official System is based on work by the IPN.  So, I am in the process of
learning IPN.  No, longer:  "mouin ékri Kréyòl-la", but "mwen ekri Kreyòl

I have no trouble with the phonemes of IPN.  But I have a lot of
confusion when it comes to punctuation.  Around 1980, I had learned the
following rules for punctuation:

Contractions with a verb:

Mouin ap di li
-> M-ap di-l

Definite articles:

liv la -> liv-la


mouin -> liv-mouin
liv mouin an -> liv-mouin-an

Other contractions

Si ou fè sa -> S'ou fè sa

My confusion with IPN is that I have
seen some orthography documents describing the use of ' and - similar to the
above.  Whereas others saying that you never use "siy sa yo" (these

So, in the cases above what is the correct Official

When a shortened pronoun like "mwen" appears not as a
contraction, then how is it written?  For example:

Mwen pale Kreyòl. ->  M
pale Kreyòl? M' pale Kreyòl?

I am quite confused.  I have tried looking at
the writing of others, but I do see some variation.  Thus, I am asking what is
official and correct?

By the way, I have no social or political attachment to
any orthography.  Having said that:

* I do feel that the punctation I learned
does make reading easier as word grouping is easier to see and parse out in a
sentence quickly.

* My personal expertise is in computer systems.  If we want
to see computer engines do a better job with machine translation of our
language, then including additional syntactic information to aid the parsing
software is important.  Understanding Creole is highly dependent on word order
and grouping, since there are no conjugations, morphemes, etc...  Thus, it seems
machine translation of Creole is very hit or miss (as they say in Spanish "mas
menos que mas"; more miss than hit).  (BTW, as I know Chinese and it is highly
syntactic like Creole, translation engines also perform extremely poorly on
Chinese, as well.)

Nenpòt sa m te aprann depi lontan lontan; an tout ka, m ta
renmen ekri lang mwen korèk!  :)

Mèsi anpil!"

Mandaly says:

1. We've agreed not to use apostwòf or tirè: 
M pale Kreyòl. 
M ale.
Eske w ap vini demen?
Kite m an repo.
Papa m pa la.
Sa se liv mwen.
Si w fè sa m p ap kontan.

2. The Haitian Creole grammar punctuation follows the French punctuation rule.

3. Here's a link that will prove helpful.  Be sure to check out Dr. Degraff's postscript at the end of the booklet:

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

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