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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 and 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 them Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, French Guiana, and the United States. 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. 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/ as in father
/e/ as in aim
è 
/ɛ/ as in bet
/e/ as in bee
/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
always hard, as in go
/ʒ/ as in azure
r* 
/ɣ/ no English equivalent, but pronounced like the 'r' in French
/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. ( )
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]

zewo
en
de
twa
kat
senk
sis
sèt
wit
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? 
Kè 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 ____  ? 
Kote mewn ka achte ____  ?
That's too expensive. 
Se twò chè.
I will give you ____ . 
Si mewn ba ou ____ .
OK! 
Dakò!

Driving[edit]

Authority[edit]

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