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Haitian Creole phrasebook

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Haitian Creole (kreyòl ayisyen) is one of the official languages of Haiti along with French. The former is spoken by 8.5 million people in Haiti, which is nearly the entire population. It is also spoken by large Haitian communities in several nearby countries, among the United States, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and French Guiana. It is based on 18th century French and several West and Central African languages with minor Spanish influence. 90% of Haitian Creole is based on French, although it differs greatly from standard French because of the lack of grammatical gender and verb inflection.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Creole pronunciation is very phonetic, unlike French—the language it's based on. If you can make friends with a Haitian who speaks English, they will usually be glad to help with your pronunciation. Sounds marked with an asterisk (*) are particularly difficult for English speakers. The nasal sounds can be pronounced as if the 'n' were not there, and the 'r' can be pronounced as a 'w.' While not quite correct, these pronunciations will be generally understandable.

Vowels[edit]

a
/a/ as in father
e
/e/ as in aim
è
/ɛ/ as in bet
i
/e/ as in bee
o
/o/ as in toe
ò
/ɔ/ as in saw
ou
/u/ as in food
ui
/ɥi/ as in weed

Nasal Vowels[edit]

Nasal sounds are pronounced without fully articulating the 'n.' Think making the sound, but stopping 3/4 of the way through the 'n.'

an*
/ã/ as in genre, but nasal
en*
/ẽ/ as in hen, but nasal
on*
/õ/ as in on, but nasal

Consonants[edit]

ch
/ʃ/ as in shoe
g
always hard, as in go
j
/ʒ/ as in treasure
r*
/ɣ/ no English equivalent, but pronounced like the 'r' in French
y
/j/ as in yellow

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello. (morning)
Bonjou. (BOH-joo)
Hello. (afternoon)
Bonswa. (BOH-swa )
How are you?
Koman ou yè? (KOH-mah oo yay?)
Not bad.
Pa pi mal. (pah pee mahl)
What is your name?
Koman ou rèlè? (KOH-mah oo RAY-lay?)
My name is ______ .
Mwen rèlè ______ . (mway RAY-lay _____ .)
Nice to meet you.
Enchantè. (on-shahn-TAY)
Please.
Souple. ( )
Thank you/very much.
Mesi/anpil. (meh-SEE/on-PEEL)
You're welcome.
Pa de kwa. (pah-day-kwaah)
Yes.
Wi. (wee)
No.
Non. (no)
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Eskise'm. (es-KEEZ-eh m)
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Padone'm. ( )
I'm sorry.
Dezole. ( )
Goodbye
Bye Bye. (bah-buy)
I can't speak kreyol.
Mwen pa kap pale kreyol. (mway pah kahp PAH-lay kway-OHL)
Do you speak English?
Eske ou pale Angle? (ES-kay oo PAH-lay on-GLAY?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Gen moun isit ki pale Angle? ( ?)
Help!
Anmwe! ( !)
Look out!
Atensyon! (!)
Good morning.
Bonjou. ( )
Good evening.
Bonswa. ( )
Good night.
Bon wit. ( )
I don't understand.
Mwen pa konprann. (mway pah kone-PWAN)
Where is the toilet?
Kote twalet la? (KOH-tay twah-LET la?)

Problems[edit]

Numbers[edit]

0
zewo
1
en
2
de
3
twa
4
kat
5
senk
6
sis
7
sèt
8
wit
9
nèf
10
dis
11
onz
12
douz
13
trèz
14
katòz
15
kenz
16
sèz
17
disèt
18
dizwit
19
diznèf
20
ven, vent


30
trant
40
karant
50
senkant
60
swasant
70
swasenndis
80
katreven, katrevent
90
katrevendis, katreven-dis
100
san


1000
mil
2000
de mil
5000
senk mil
10,000
di mil
100,000
san mil
1 000 000
milyon
1 000 000 000
bilyon

Time[edit]

Clock time[edit]

How long?
Pou konben tan?

Duration[edit]

Days[edit]

Sunday
dimanch
Monday
lendi
Tuesday
madi
Wednesday
mèkredi
Thursday
jedi
Friday
vandredi
Saturday
samdi
Today
jodi a
Tomorrow
denmen
Yesterday

Months[edit]

January
Janvye
February
Fevriye
March
Mas
April
Avril
May
June
Jen
July
Jiyè
August
Daou
September
Septanm
October
Oktob
November
Novanm
December
Desanm

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

black
nwa
white
blan
red
wouj
green
vèt
blue
ble
orange
zoranj
yellow
jòn

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket?
Konben koute biye?
Does this bus stop in ____ ?
Tap la arete nan ____ ?
Can you stop here?
Ou pve arèt isit?

Directions[edit]

I'm lost.
Mwen se pèdi.
How do I get to ____ ?
Koumon mwen pve ale o ____ ?
Which way?
Ki wout?

Taxi[edit]

I need a taxi.
Mwen bezwen yon taksi.
Hey! Taxi!
Woy! Taksi!
How much to go to ...
Konben pou ale ...
Stop here, please
Rete isit, souple.

Lodging[edit]

Money[edit]

How much does it cost?
Konbyen sa koute?
Can I exchange euros/dollars/pounds here?
Mwen pve chanje ewo/dolar/lib si?

Eating[edit]

Bars[edit]

Shopping[edit]

Do you sell ____ ?
Èske ou vann ____ ?
Where can I buy ____ ?
Ki kote mwen ka achte ____ ?
That's too expensive.
Sa twò chè.
I will give you ____ .
Map ba ou ____ .
OK!
Dakò!

Driving[edit]

Authority[edit]

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