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!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hello Mandaly, What is the creole translation(s) for "stage" and "stage fright"?


Hello Mandaly,

What is the creole translation(s) for "stage" and "stage fright"?

1. "The president will be on stage to discuss the healthcare and immigration issues."

2. "The little boy began to have stage fright when he got on the stage in front of a large group of people."

3. "The stage at the university auditorium can house 300 people."


stage - podyòm, sèn, estad
stage fright - trak

This is how I would translate the examples that you gave me:

1. Prezidan an va sou podyòm nan pou diskite pwoblèm lasante ak imigrasyon.
2. Ti gason an te koumanse genyen lafreyè lè te moute sou podyòm nan devan gran foul moun yo.
3. Podyòm sal inivèsite a kapab kenbe twasan (300) moun.

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

Is the word "joumou" translated as "pumpkin" like "sitwouy" and "potiwon" or is it only translated as "pumpkin" when it is paired up with soup like "soup joumou"?

Joumou is the Creole word for all types of 'squash'. The word joumou is not only associated with the soup.

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

How is the imperative formulated in creole with "to be" verbs followed by adjective and/or reflexive?

You asked:
How is the imperative formulated in creole with "to be" verbs followed by adjective and/or reflexive?

"Be good!"
"Be kind!"
"Be courageous!"
"Be vigilant/cautious!"
"Be intelligent/smart!"
"Be yourself!"

Does the past imperative exist in creole?

"Be up at six o'clock in the morning."
"Have this report done by 6 in the evening."
"Have this room clean when I get back home."

What is the grammar structure for imperative in the first and third person in creole?

"May he/she rest in peace."
"May god bless you."
"May you/ he/she/they be blessed."

I know that "annou" translates the third person imperative as a command, but what about expressing the imperative in the third person and other persons as a permission? Can "annou" express request or permission as well?

"Let/make us leave."
"Let/allow them in."
"Let/allow us see the album."


Note that some of the examples are my own and the others are taken from various grammar sources.


Mandaly says:
Thanks for your question. 
When it comes to translating in English, sometimes it's best not to try to have a word for word translation. Sometimes the English language uses the verb to be, but the Creole translates does not use the same sentence structure.
Think Creole :)

"Be good!" - 
Konpòte w byen!
Se pou w konpòte w byen!
Fè moun debyen!
Se pou w fè moun debyen!

"Be kind!"

Se pou w janti!

"Be courageous!"

Se pou w brave!
Se pou w gen kouraj!

"Be vigilant/cautious!"

Se pou w veyatif!
Se pou w fè atansyon!
Se pou w rete sou piga w!

"Be intelligent/smart!"

Louvri je w!
Pa fè sòt!

"Be yourself!"

Rete jan w ye a!
Pa chanje!
________

"Be up at six o'clock in the morning."
Leve a sizè nan maten.
Se pou leve a sizè nan maten.

"Have this report done by 6 in the evening."

Pare rapò sa a anvan sizè diswa.

"Have this room clean when I get back home."

Se pou w netwaye chanm sa anvan m tounen.
or 
Se pou w fin netwaye chanm nan distans pou m tounen.
_____

"May he/she rest in peace."
Repoze an pè.
Se pou l repoze an pè.
Ke li repoze an pè.

"May god bless you."

Ke Bondye beni w.
Se pou Bondye beni w.

"May you/ he/she/they be blessed."

Se pou ou/li/yo beni.


For permission you may see "kite" or "pèmèt or penmèt"

Let them in.
Kite yo rantre.

allow me to see ...
kite m wè
or
penmèt mwen wè


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

I need English/Creole of common hymns for Haitians that are worshiping with us. Where can I buy it or download it (webpage) Thanks.

Most Haitian churches use a set of books that is attached with the Chants D'Esperance for worship in church. Try to find out which book they use.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How do you say in creole "What's the maximum/minimum amount"/"What's the most...."

What's the maximum amount
Ki kantite maksimòm
Ki pi plis/gwo
.... sometimes we say 'o maksimòm'

What's the maximum quatity I can order?
Ki kantite maksimòm ke mwen kapab kòmande?
Konbyen mwen kapab kòmande o maksimòm?

What's the maximum amount of money I can send?
Konbyen kòb mwen kapab voye o maksimòm?
Ki pi gwo montan lajan mwen kapab voye?

What's the minimum amount of calories do I need per day?
Konbyen kalori mwen bezwen pa jou o minimòm?
Ki pi piti kantite kalori mwen bezwen pa jou?




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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mandaly, what is 'tonbe pip'? what is that word 'pip'

There's really no translation for that word 'pip' in the idiom 'tonbe pip', except perhaps the thump noise that's made once you fall.

tonbe pip - to fall like a log

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

What does "Min Becky tololo" mean? I think the spelling might be off....

Men Becky tololo! .... basicallly Yay! here comes Becky :)

It's basically a chant that chiildren do when their favorite person comes home. For example when Dad comes home from work, or from a long trip children will say Men papa tololo ..men papa tololo!

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

konbien distans ou dwe bay le yon tren ap pase ?

Hello Mandaly. How would you say in kreyol "I am on Gods team" Mesi anpil!

I am on God's team.
Mwen nan ekip Bondye a.
Mwen fè pati nan ekip Bondye a.

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

Hi Mandalay, How would you say the word outspoken? My mother always uses the term 'mete dlo nan bouch' but is there just one word or two word phrase that can be used that I don't know of? I'm full of questions today Thanks for your help.

Bonjou wi!

I like the term 'mete dlo nan bouch ou' because it so descriptive :)
But we usually say 'kare' or 'kare bare'.

Li se yon moun ki kare.
Li se yon moun ki pale kare.
Li pale kare bare. (There's not specific translation for 'bare' here. It's mostly used because it rhymes with 'kare')
Dakò?
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Monday, March 27, 2017

I know the meaning of siou konnen dwa ou fow konn devwa w means. Can you explain if there's more to it. Give me an example on how you'd use it. thanks.

Hi:)
It's pretty much what you hear. The beauty in this saying is that it seems to rhyme: Si w konn dwa w, fò w konn devwa w (If you know your rights, you must know your duty) meaning if you're going to advocate for your rights, be sure not to neglect your duty.

How it can be used -  This is an example: You provide 100% for your teenage boy who's living in your home. But he does not abide by house rules because he constantly claim that he's independent and should be allowed to do whatever he wants. You can tell him, Si w konn dwa w, fò w konn devwa w,  if you want to live like an adult, pay your bills like an adult.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

Mesi pou tout sa ou fè. Map etidye kreyòl y sejousi map etidye provèb yo. Mwen gen anpil kesyon men mwen pral mande ou yon sèl pwovèb ki mwen pa konprann chak jou. Jodi a se: "Anvan manglous vini, zagouti te ka viv. Mwen pa ka jwenn manglous ou zagouti nan diksyonè. Ede m tanpri.

Dakò :)

It's mangous (not manglous) which means mongoose
Zagouti - rodents (such as big rats)

Anvan mangous te vini, zagouti te ka viv. (It means something like "we were doing well until the big guns showed up")


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Friday, March 3, 2017

what does malere mean? a la traka pou malere

malere - the destitutes, the unfortunates, poor people
traka - problems, difficulty

Ala traka pou malere! is an interjection that means It is unfortunate what poor people are going through!
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What is the exact definition of the word "sakad"? "Epi, lè n anba eprèv k ap ban nou sakad, l ap difisil pou n pèdi jwa nou."

Sakad, sometimes we also say soukous means jerking motion (as if you were in a car driving on a bumpy (or jerky) road.
In this sentence it means the ups and downs of life's trials.

"Epi, lè n anba eprèv k ap ban nou sakad, l ap difisil pou n pèdi jwa nou."
Translated literally, it says: "And when you're under afflictions that are giving you jerky motion, it will be difficult to lose your joy."
"And, when you're going through the ups and downs of life's trials, it will be difficult to lose your joy."

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mèsi Frantz François


1.
Pi bon zanmi m se Jezi,
Amou I si gran, si vre;
Janmen Li abandonen m
Nan tout sa m ape fè.
Souvan mwen fè l lapenn nan vi m;
Pou mwen li bon Sovè;
Lè m repanti, li padonen m;
AIò mwen gen lapè.

Kè:
Pi bon zanmi mwen sou latè, se Jezi,
Pi bon zanmi mwen sou latèse Jezi,
Li lave peche m pou l mennen m nan syèl;
Amou Jezi si bèl.

2.
Pafwa syèl mwen plen ak nuaj,
Tout chemen mwen fè nwa,
Fas li kache ak lonbraj
Lè mwen pa gen lafwa.
Nan lamou li priye pou mwen,
Kè mwen vin soulaje
Paske li wete tout chagren;
Tout lapenn mwen ale.

3.
Mwen vle chante amou li,
Amou Jezi pou mwen,
Bonte I, fidelite li,
Pou yon pechè kon mwen.
Kouman m kapab remèsye li
Pou amou l anvè mwen?
Se pou m renmen l e sèvi li,
Suiv li pre, janmen lwen. 

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

What does je sech mean? What' does lentin actually means, when you respond to an elder calling your name?

je chèch is someone full of ruse, audacious, and barefaced.

'lentin' - I think you mean 'plètil', some people say 'lètil'. It's a polite way to answer to someone who calls your name. That's how kids answer to adults when their names are called. Some older people do it too, when you call on their name.

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

Thank you so much for your blog, I have learned so much!!! Men yon kesyon pou ou, Kijan yo di "birthmom or biological mom" nan kreyol? Is there a translation, or a way to get the concept across? Two of my boys are adopted and when I visit my friends in Haiti I want to explain they are adopted. Mesi anpil!!!

Hi. Thanks :)

There's not a specific word for birthmom

my birthmom - manman ki te ban m nesans
adoptive parent - paran adoptif
adoptive mom - manman adoptif
adopted child - pitit adoptif

I am not his birthmom. - Se pa mwen ki te ba li nesans.
I am not their birthmom. - Se pa mwen ki te ba yo nesans.
He's my adopted child. - Li se pitit adoptif mwen.
They are my adopted children. - Yo se pitit adoptif mwen

Some people tend to translate birthmom as vrè manman (true mom), do not use that translation.

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

how would you translate the tall American girls

Hi Mandaly! Can you help me find a saying in Creol about conscious spending?

You can use "Koke makout ou kote bra w ka rive", it says to hang your bag where your arm can reach. Basically, do not live beyond your means.

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

To whom it may concern, here is the song:

Nan lavi mwen, mwen santi m gen yon gwo vid
Tout s am t ap chèche pou m ta santi m byen
Poutan, m vin pi mal.

Mwen te tankou yon ti mounton ki egare,
k pa konn kote l prale,
byen grangou e byen swaf,
lage nan yon dezè abandone.
Tanpri Jesus pote m sekou (2 times)

Prezans ou se sa k ap pase swaf mwen an ,
Prezans ou se sa k ap konble vid mwen,
prezans ou, prezans ou se sa m ap chèche,

Prezans ou, prezans ou se sa m'reklame.
T
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

hello do you know the song wi kris toujou la pou li tande mwen pou li ede mwen e poul bay mwen lavi if so do you know the rest of the lyrics? thank you God bless you


Lè m nan pwoblèm yo, m ap chante pou Kris
Lè m nan doulè yo, m ap chante pou li
Lè m nan tristès yo mwen rele jezi
Ka li toujou ede m

Wi Kris toujou la, pou li tande mwen
Pou li ede mwen, e pou l ban mwen lavi
Wi Kris toujou la, pou li tande mwen
Pou li ede mwen, e pou l ban mwen lavi

Nan mitan lannwit mwen pa janm tou sèl
Nenpòt kote m ye li toujou la avè m
Ala yon bon papa ki renmen m tout bon
Mwen vle soufri pou li

Ou menm zanmi mwen, vini jwenn Jezi
Li genyen repo pou kè ki fatige
Si li kenbe men ou, ou p ap janm tonbe

Ou va genyen lavi

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