Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words
"Hi Mandaly. I have lived in
for quite a Haiti
few years and speak decent Creole. But recently my husband and I decided to get
a tutor to help us improve. He is an excellent teacher and knows how to teach
his own language. (You know, just because you are a native speaker of a
language, it doesn't mean you know how to teach it.) Anyway, he is a purist. He
doesn't want us to use any words that sound French at all. For example: use
souple instead of silvouple, padkwa instead of padekwa. Bondye instead of the
French pronunciation Bon Dieu. Jezi instead of the French Jesus. (Although we
hear Haitians in church mix in these with Creole constantly.)He claims that
Haitians do not want to hear Creole mixed with French especially from a
foreigner. He says that Creole purposely was formed in rebellion to the French
language and therefore words were changed in pronunciation and in spelling to
intentionally differentiate Creole from French.
Would you agree?
Particularly would you agree that Haitians prefer foreigners to speak very pure
Thanks for helping all of us foreigners. We appreciate
I would have to disagree that “Haitians prefer foreigners to speak pure Creole”.
Often there will be more than one way to say a word such as please (souple, silvouplè, tanpri). It would be hard to ignore a term simply because it sounds too French, especially when everyone is still using it to speak kreyòl.
First let’s just eliminate the term ‘pure Creole’ or ‘kreyòl rèk’ or any other similar terms and just call it kreyòl.
The kreyòl language does have a standard orthography which dictates how the language is written. So it sounds like your tutor is just teaching you the standards.
It will take some time before the kreyòl orthography is integrated in everyday living (communication, doing business, school, official government affairs, etc…), so implementing these standards now will insure that the next generation will speak and write kreyòl the way it should be.