(The article below was written by a friend of mine named Mireya Cota. She is a Mexican/American polyglot who speaks 4 languages: Spanish, English, French & Haitian Creole.
She has kindly agreed to share with us a nice list of Haitian Creole words that have special meaning for her.
Ps. If you received a rough draft post from us earlier, I apologize. )
As told by Mireya Cota…
- “First, I want to complement you again on you blog. The world needs more free resources to learn this beautiful language!
Learning Haitian Creole has been a special experience for me in my life. One great love of my life, the French language, had given me a great foundation to start learning the Language of Haiti. Now after having the experience of being fully immersed in this beautiful and rich culture, I want to share a few Creole words that, for me, have special significance!
My 5 Favorite Creole Words:
It means ‘gossip’. This word made me laugh so hard when I understood the use of it. Why? Because even Dominicans use it when speaking in Spanish! Ex. ”Pero que tripotay tu te a metido”.Try reading that with a dominican accent (if you don’t speak spanish it will not be as funny sorry :P)
Pa gen anyen
I had a lot of trouble remembering this phrase It means ‘you’re welcome’, but I was so used to the French simple way of saying it “de rien”, that when I heard this phrase, I found it long and harder to remember. They [native Haitians] had a hard time with the French pronunciation and rolling of the ‘r’ too, so we would spend a lot of time back and forth with both phrases lol. So after a while and many laughs, it finally stuck with me.
This word makes me think of the moon. When I lived in DR, I would go out to the balcony and stare at the moon forever. Made me think of all the people back home and imagine what they were up to. Now that I am back in the States I think of the wonderful ppl i met in DR. And it makes me feel them a bit closer thinking we’re looking at the same. moon 🙂 Aww I know cheesy but it works for me 😛 Moun=People
It means butterfly!!! Don’t have a cool story behind this one, just the fact that I love the way it is pronounced! Haha. Same pronounciation as in French.
First word I learned. Saved my life! Being a foreigner is not easy. So to gain peoples trust and make friends, the first phrase I learned was “Mwen ap aprann kreyòl… ” Which means “I am learning Creole…” That broke the ice quickly and definitely started conversations. “What is a mexican doing learning kreyòl?!” They would say haha. My interest for their language and culture surprised them. Thanks to that phrase I made me some good friends 🙂
I hope that you also can come to love the language as much as me, and can find Creole words and phrases that have special meaning for you through your experiences in this wonderful culture… and share them!
– Mireya Cota”