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!

Monday, April 27, 2015

How can I use chirepit in a sentence - i've said MWEN PA VLE CHIREPIT AVE W. IS THAT RIGHT?

What is 'kakadyab'? Is that a ghost?

Hi Mandaly! What is 'fe yon jan ave m non souple' thanks

I've noticed some of the Haitians I know get unreasonably angry (from an American perspective) if you ask them to repeat themselves (just generally). Is there any way to deal with this? It's pretty frustrating.

Hmmm... this could be subjective :)
Some people do get frustrated, upset and then overly excited if they're not getting their point across.

If this happens because of language barrier such as you're not understanding what they're saying fully, they might worry that they sound unintelligent, that you're talking down to them or that you know how to speak their language better than them (which is, of course, not the case). Be sure to tell them that you're still learning their language and that some words are unfamiliar to you.
Dakò :)
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

Bonswa Mandaly! Koman'w ye? I was wondering if you knew any common sayings or proverbs in h.creole and the explanations behind them? Like for example.."jan chat mache se pa konsal kenbe rat,or "le bab kamarad ou pran dife, met paw la tranp"or "se sot ki bay, enbesil ki pran"....things like that. If you do know any more, please share them with me! Mesi davans!

You said:
Bonswa Mandaly! Koman'w ye? I was wondering if
you knew any common sayings or proverbs in h.creole and the explanations behind
them? Like for example.."jan chat mache se pa konsal kenbe rat,or "le bab
kamarad ou pran dife, met paw la tranp"or "se sot ki bay, enbesil ki
pran"....things like that. If you do know any more, please share them with me!
Mesi davans!
 
Mandaly says:

Bonswa zanmi,
 There are many many Haitian proverbs, I only know  a few of them. Most of the ones that I know I've learned from my mom and grandma:
The proverb "jan chat mache se pa konsa l kenbe rat", my mom would use to warn me about boys :)
 
I can only share with you the ones that we (mostly my mom) use most often at home. The followings are not word for word translation:
 
Byen pre pa lakay
about seeing a task to completion 100%. When you’re ‘almost there’ that doesn't mean you’re “there’.
Zòrèy pa dwe janm pi long pase tèt about not overstepping your bounds
Je wè, bouch pe it’s not always wise to talk about everything you see.
 Brav pa pale men li aji basically, action speaks louder than words

Ti bouton mennen maleng how some very small things can take a life of their own
Mezi lajan w mezi wanga w basically,getting what you’re worth
Makak a ke pa janbe dife think carefully about your actions if you don’t want your family to pay for them
Si dimanch pral bèl depi nan vandredi ou konnen basically about intuition
Bay kou bliye, pote mak sonje  the person on the receiving end never forgets
Pawòl nan kè pa gate zanmikeeping some things to yourself might prevent you from saying things you could never take back

Other meaningful ones I remember from when I was younger:
Lè ti poul cho dèyè manman malfini pase l pran l this one is about not being too eager, about using more restraint

Sèl kouto ki konnen sa k nan kè yanm about things you can only know from experience

Fò w konn la pou w al a experience counts, it delivers

Tout bèt jennen mòde anyone who is provoked will fight back

and my favorite: Se mwen ki dòmi ak Jan, se mwen k pou di w si Jan wonfle. you cannot know my private life better than me.

There are a couple of good books about Haitian proverbs which you may be able to find online and also by googling Haitian proverbs, etc…. 

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Are there people in Haiti who spoke rough with heavy r, p, t, and d consonants? If so what region would you say they would most likely be found? If a person speaks creole "heavy" or "well-pronounced", does this mean that they are speaking with a Frenchified accent? What does "ou ap pale kreyòl yon ti jan lou" mean? How could I correct that?

I’m not sure I understand what you mean by the “heavy r, p, t and d consonants”, but it’s usually a foreigner who ‘pale kreyòl lou’ which means to ‘speak Creole with a heavy accent’. 
We do find northern and southern accents in Haiti as well as regional differences in word usage. We have so many variations in word usage in different parts of Haiti, some we know about and others we haven’t heard of yet, that there would need to be some research or study done so that we can identify them all.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

How can I type accent marks on my American keyboard?

Have you tried this link? Accented and foreign characters
Or you can google ....how to write foreign characters...

Best of luck :)

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Here is what I wrote in Creole and it was apparently incomprehensible to my Haitian friend. Can you tell me what I did wrong? ...

You said:
"Here is what I wrote in Creole and it was
apparently incomprehensible to my Haitian friend. Can you tell me what I did
wrong?  

Mwen pa te ka mande nou anvan paske mwen pa te konn kijan ou di
kourvreli nan Kreyol.  Mwen te chawzi li espesyalman pou li.  Mwen te eseye di'w
anvan, mwen pa konnen mo a "bedspread".  Kounyea mwen konnen ou di li"kouvreli".
Mwen pa ka mande ou si ou renemn sila a paske mwen pa konnen mo sa.  

Please
tell me how you would say this so it can be understood:  

I couldn't ask you
before because I didn't know how to say "bedspread" in Creole.  I chose the
bedspread especially for her.  I tried to ask you about it before but I didn't
know the word for bedspread.  Now I know that it is called a kouvreli.  I
coudn't ask you if she liked it because I didn't know the word for it. "

Mandaly said:


You did a pretty good job with the Creole there. The only difference I could bring up is that I would have used more short forms: 
“Mwen pa t ka mande w anvan paske mwen pa t konnen kouman yo di 'kouvreli' an Kreyòl. Mwen te chwazi kouvreli a espesyalman pou ou. Mwen te eseye mande w sa anvan men mwen pa t konnen konnen kouman pou m di 'kouvreli'. Kounye a mwen konnen se kouvreli yo di. Mwen pa t ka mande w si w te renmen li paske mwen pa t konnen kouman pou m di l.





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

Hello, I'm used in saying "tetòye" means "pillowcase" in english. That is how my parents say it, but I often hear other people say "sakdòye". Is one the correct way in saying it or are both correct? Is it a region to region thing? Also, are there other ways of saying "pillowcase" in creole besides the ones mentioned above?

Bonjou, Mandaly! M gen yon kesyon. Kisa di, "N'ap pou tan" nan angle? I had a dream some time ago, and this was said in it. M te tradui konsa, "We're for time." but that doesn't make any sense. So I wonder are there any Haitian sayings or proverbs like this? What does this mean? (I hope I said that right).

If you're dreaming in Creole that's awesome :)

Yeah, you've pretty much translated it correctly. It doesn't mean much in H. Creole. ..may be a hidden significance?

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

What does Ti Pam Nan mean? I'm obsessed with the song from Mikaben and JPerry.

Almost in an endearing tone, it basically means mine....

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Hello Mandaly, I know that "thick" means "epe" or "pwès" in creole, but what are other words for "thick" in all contexts? Also, what are words for "to thicken" or "to become thick"?

You can also use 'founi' for thick when you are talking about hair, for example: Chive l founi. - Her hair is thick.
to become thick - kaye, vin pwès, kondanse

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I have just learned that "anfonse" means to sink in English. What are other words or verbal expressions for "to sink"? Also, what are other words in creole that means "to knock down(someone or something)", "to dismount" or "to dismantle". I may know one or two that means this, but I feel like there are more. I want to know more if they exist.

To sink - koule, plonje, fè fon, anfondre, nofraje, fè nofraj, nwaye, neye, etc...

There are so many Haitian Creole words that can be used to say to knock down someone ..... I can only name a few:
demanbre, demachwele, krabinen, toufounen, filange, filange, domaje, maspinen, kokobe, etc....
there's probably 50 more.....

the same goes for to knock down something .... dechouke, deplase, demantle, demonte, deboulonnen
etc...

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bonswa Mandaly! One quick question, I was looking to use the Creole word fonse, but I found so many definitions that I’m confused now. Can I use it to say –they broke the door–yo fonse pot la? Also what are other ways you can use that word? Thanks.

1.
Use defonseto knock down, to dismount, to dismantle
They broke down the door…
Yo te defonse pòt la…..

Also….

2.
fonse (sou) (verb) – to attack, to charge at, to assault
He charged at me like a bull.
Li fonse sou mwen kon yon towo bèf.

3.
Fonse (verb) – to frown
She always has a frown.
Sousi l toujou fonse.

4.
And then there’s anfonse
Anfonse – to sink
The more he tried to get out of the water, the deeper he sank.

Tank l t ap eseye soti nan dlo a se tank li t ap anfonse plis toujou.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

How would you translate the following sentence in Haitian creole. They refused that I finish my sentence.

They refused that I finish my sentence
Yo refize m fin di sa m ap di a.

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Could you explain why a family would have a newborn baby taste family blood?

Wow... a cruel move
It's supposed to be a paternity test.
The newborn baby is given a drop of  the claimed father's blood.
It is said that the baby will die if the blood is not from his real father.
Don't ask me about the science behind it .... I wouldn't know that.
Whether this is proven to work or not, I consider it a heartless method considering that there's a 50% chance that the baby would die.

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what is chage kou lapoy?

Could it be chaje kou lapolòy? which is the same as chaje kou legba - filled to capapcity

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What are words for "hicky" in creole? What does "nan miyann" mean in english?

nan myann or lanmyann - screw you, the heck with you, go to hell, etc...

hickey se yon mak sou po

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hi Mandaly, how would you say "actions speak louder than words" in h.creole?

Actions speak louder than words.
Pale met la pa anyen, se aksyon ki konte

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Mandaly, when a person says, "zafel", what does that mean? Whenever I hear this, it's usually said in a "not-caring" type of manner towards another person as a retort.

It means 'to take full responsibility what you're about to do',  it's your responsibility, it's on your head, sometimes it means 'who cares' ....'if you don't care then why should I care'

How to use it?
Use it with pronouns.

Zafè w or zafè pa w means it's your responsibility

Zafè l or zafè pa l means it's his responsibility

Zafè yo or zafè pa yo means it's their responsibility, it's on their heads

Get it?

Example:
Your friend has a bad habit of riding his bike without a helmet and every time you talk to him about it he doesn't listen. He knows the danger of riding without a helmet but he just doesn't care. So you'll say: Zafè pa w! Whatever happens to you is your fault!

another example:
Your other friend refuses to come to work on time and knows that she'll lose her job if she doesn't change this bad habit, but she doesn't care .... zafè pa l!

another example:
If they fall asleep on the job they'll get fired but they don't care and fall asleep anyways ....zafè pa yo!

one more example:
I might get arrested if I drive with a suspended license but I drive anyway.....zafè pa m!  it's my responsibility....my business

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Hi Mandaly! Joyeuses Paques! Just one question, what does "manke yon moun dega" mean in h.creole?

Merci! Merci! Joyeuses Pâques a ou menm tou :)

Manke yon moun dega means to be disrespectful toward someone, to be discourteous, to be "out-of-line"

Timoun nan ap manke m dega.
The kid is being disrespectful toward me.

Se madan marye m ye wi, apa w ap manke m dega!
I'm a married woman, you're being offensive!

Ti gason t ap manke manman l dega.
The boy was being rude to his mother.

Pa manke n dega tande.
Don't be rude to us

Apa w ap manke moun dega.
You are being rude.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

"lang lou- heavy tongue Is also use for lisp

You said:
"lang lou- heavy tongue is also use for lisp "

Mandaly says:


Yes thanks :)

Haitians also use 'lang lou' to describe a heavy language accent:
Lang li lou lè l ap pale Kreyòl.

Also they use 'lang lou' to describe someone that's unable to talk because of a strange anxiety or when in the presence of an evil being (people experience that in a dream state or when they're in between being asleep and awake):

Pandan m sou kabann nan, nan fènwa a, mwen santi te gen de zombi nan pye kabann nan. Lang mwen vin lou, m pa t ka pale.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

Hello, I know that "evanwi/evanoui" means to faint or to pass out. However, what are other words or verbal phrases or synonyms for "to faint" in creole?...

You said:
Hello, I know that "evanwi/evanoui" means to
faint or to pass out.  However, what are other words or verbal phrases or
synonyms for "to faint" in creole?
Examples, "He always faints at the sight of
blood." or "She almost fainted from the pain." or  "I thought he'd faint when I
kissed him."

Mandaly says:
We say endispoze, fè endispozisyon, or pèdi konesans in H. Creole.

Li endispoze
Li fè yon endispozisyon
Li pèdi konesans

I have never used evanoui - it sounds French

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

What are words or related words for "computer hacker" in creole? For example....

You said:
What are words or related words for "computer
hacker" in creole? For example, "Even if a hacker is successful at breaking into
a system, they can't deface the web site." or "The problem with protecting
computer systems today is that the enemy is not a teenage hacker in a darkened
bedroom." 

What are words for "to hack" in creole? For example, "Anyone, even
a child with limited or no computer know-how, can use these packages to hack
into your systems." or "When I logged into the social network, I discovered I'd
been hacked." or "He hacked the firm's personnel database."

mandaly says:
We use pirat and pirate

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

What are words for "whistleblower" or "informant"?

You said:

"What are words for "whistleblower" or
"informant"? For example, "We owe it to a small group of brave whistle-blowers
that we know about the infractions at all." or "When with due circumspection
Napoleon was informed that Moscow was empty, he looked angrily at his informant,
turned away, and silently continued to walk to and fro."

Mandaly says:
We say rapòtè, akizatè, denonsyatè, espyon

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

Ki sa "de ti pijon sou pis la" vle di?

Sounds to me like - two lovebirds ....on a dancefloor

or it could be actual birds.

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hat does "pale sou lang" mean in english? Is "sou lang" used with other verbs? Does it carry other meanings?

pale sou lang - to have a lisp.

Non, we do not have any other expressions with  - sou lang.
but other expressions you can find with lang are:

vire lang - to change you word/story, to recant a story
lang alèlè - motormouth, blabbermouth
chat pran lang - cat's got one's tongue
bay kout lang - to to make false or damaging statements against someone

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

How do you say in Haitian Creole, "Stop lying"?

Do RETE and WETE have the same meaning.Are they interchangeable?

No.
Rete - to stop, to remain, to stay, ...
     "Kobyen mango ki rete nan panye a?"
      "Ki kote w rete?"
      "Rete la. Pa deplase."

Wete - to take out, to remove
    "Wete kiyè a nan bouch anvan w pale."

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What are words for "red blood cells"? What are words for "red blood cells"?

selil wouj, globil wouj - red blood cells
globil blan - white blood cells

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How do you say, " A change is coming soon", in creole

How do I say "thank you for coming " In Haitian creole/

Thank you for coming.
Mèsi deske w te vini (singular)
Mèsi deske nou te vini (plural)

I want to thank you for coming.
Mwen remèsye w deske ou te vini.

I wanted to thank you for coming.
Mwen te vle remèsye w deske ou te vini.

Thanks for stopping by.
Mèsi pou visit la.

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