Haitian Creole language

From Academic Kids

Haitian Creole (Kreyl ayisyen)
Spoken in: Haiti, Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, United States
Region: Caribbean
Total speakers: 7.8 million
Ranking: 94
Genetic classification: French Creole

 Haitian Creole

Official status
Official language of: Haiti
Regulated by:
Language codes
ISO 639-1
ISO 639-2ht
See also: LanguageList of languages

Haitian Creole (Kreyl ayisyen) is a creole language based on the French language. It is spoken in Haiti by about 7.5 million people (as of 1998), which is nearly the whole population. Via immigration, several hundred thousand speakers live in other countries, including Canada, the United States and France, as well as many Caribbean nations, especially the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

There are linguistic influences from several West African languages, namely from Wolof, and some Gbe languages, notably Fon and Ewe/Anlo-Ewe. There are two dialects: Fablas and Plateau Haitian Creole.

Since 1961, Haitian Creole has been recognized as an official language. Its usage in literature is small but growing. Many speakers are bilingual and speak both Haitian Creole and French, but Creole has a lower social status than French in the minds of some. Many educators, writers and activists have emphasized pride and written literacy in Creole since the 1980s. There are newspapers, radio and television programs in this language. Miami-Dade County in Florida sends out paper communications in Haitian Creole in addition to English and Spanish.

It is not to be confused with Haitian Vodoun Culture Language.


Simple sample phrases

(Text in square brackets is in the International Phonetic Alphabet.)

  • Hello - Salu [salu] (Fr. salut [saly])
  • Good morning — Bonjou [bʒu] (Fr. bonjour [bʒur])
  • Good evening — Bonswa [bswa] (Fr. bon soir) [bswar]
  • Goodbye — Na we [nawe] (or Nap we) [napwe]
  • Please — Silvouple [silvuple] / Souple [suple] (Fr. s'il vous plaît [silvuple])
  • Thank you (very much) - Msi (ampil) [mɛsi (pil)] (Fr. merci, [mɛrsi])
  • How are you? — Kijan ou ye? [kiʒuye]
  • What's your name? — Kijan ou rele? [kiʒurele]
  • My name is... — M'rele... [m̩rele]
  • How's it going? — Sak pase? [sakpase]
  • General response to Sak pase: Map boule! [mapbule] (Fr. je brule [ʒəbul])
  • Who's your daddy? — Kiys ki Papa'w? [kiyɛski papaw]
  • I love you — M renmen w [m̩rɛ̃mɛ̃w]
  • Give me a dollar — Ba'm youn dola [bamjũdola]
  • How much/how many? — Kombyen? [kbjɛ̃] (Fr. combien [kbjɛ̃])
  • How? — Kijan? [kiʒ] or Koman? [kom] (Fr. quel genre [kɛlʒrə] ; comment [kɔm])
  • Who? — Ki moun? [kimun] (Fr. qui [ki])
  • Which? — Ki ls?
  • Where? — (Ki) Kote? [kikote] / Ki bo? [kibɔ] (Fr. quel côt [kɛlkote], quel bord [kɛlbɔr])
  • When? — Ki l? [kilɛ] (Fr. quelle heure [kɛlr]
  • Why? — Pouki(sa)? [puki(sa)] (Fr. pourquoi (a) [purkwa(sa)])

A sample of the vocabulary

Where the French source-word is not the same as the French translation, the source is noted in parentheses. In most such cases, the difference is because of Haitian having reanalyzed the definite article as part of the noun.

Creole — French — English

  • zwazo [zwazo] — oiseau (<(les) oiseaux) [(lez)wazo] — bird
  • Ozetazini [etazini] — États-Unis (<(aux) États-Unis [(oz)etazyni]) — the United States
  • vwazen [vwazɛ̃] — voisin [vwazɛ̃] — neighbour
  • nimewo [nimewo] — numéro [nymero] — number
  • lalin [lalin] — (la) lune [(la)lyn] — moon
  • dèyè [dɛjɛ] — derrière [dɛrjɛr] — behind
  • zye [zje] — oeil (<(les) yeux [(lez)j]) — eye
  • Bondye [bdje] — Dieu (<(Bon) Dieu [bdj]) — God
  • makak [makak] — singe (<macaque [makak]) — monkey
  • kay [kaj] — maison — house
  • bekann [bekan] — bicyclette — bicycle
  • diri [diri] — riz (<(du) riz [dyri]) — rice
  • pwa [pwa] — pois [pwa] — bean

See also

External links


de:Haitianische Sprache eo:Haitia kreola lingvo fr:Crole hatien ht:Lang kreyl ayisyen fi:Haitin kreoli


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