[Part 2] If You Can Speak English, You Can Learn Haitian Creole! Why? • Here is How Creole is Similar to English

20130526-220739.jpgIs the language of Haiti similar to English?

    yes! (probably more than you think)

In this post I want to bring attention to something that is great news for English speakers that want to learn Haitian Creole.

    MANY creole words are ALMOST the same as English!

    How?

    If you didn’t already know, Haitian Creole derives from French. (Later in a future post I’m going to talk a little more about the history of this. So if you haven’t subscribed already to this blog, do that real quick.)

    Therefore, a LARGE percentage of Creole vocabulary is pronounced almost exactly the same as French, except with a Haitian accent 🙂

So what does this have to do with English?

    Well if you do etymology research on English vocabulary you will see that at least 30% of English vocab consist of borrowed words from French. I bet If you looked at a list of English words taken from French you would be very surprised!

    So heres the deal.

    If the Haitians took words from French…

    and the English took words from French …

    Then it’s only Logical that at least some of those words would have been the same words, right?

    Well that’s EXACTLY what happened! And it just so happens that the English and the Haitians borrowed A LOT of the same words! Of course over time and generations the pronunciations have changed slightly but they are still recognizable!

This word is my favorite example of that:

20130526-230810.jpg

Trust me, it’s not just a few related words, there are many! Below I’m going to list just a portion of the related words that I have found in my studies. This is by no means all the coinciding A/B/C words, just a few of each. Check them out!

English-Creole:

A
abandon – abandone
absent – absan
absolute – absoli
Accent – Aksan
accessible – aksesib
Adjust – Ajiste
adolescence – adolesans
adopt – adopte
adoption – adopsyon
advance – avanse
approach – apwòch
approve – apwouve
artist – atis
assurance – asirans
attack – atake
attitude – atitid
authorization – otorizasyon
authority – otorite
_________________

B

benefit – benefisye
bikini – bikini
biscuit – biskit
block – bloke
blonde – blond
blue – ble

_______________

C

*(remember there is no letter C in the language of “Kreyòl”. As you know, the letter C in English always sounds like the letters S or K. Therefore, in Creole you will see either an “S” or “K” in the place where you may believe a “C” belongs)

coincide – kowenside
coincidence – konyensidans
colleague – kolèg
collect – kolekte
college – kolèj
color – koulè
combine – konbine
comedy – komedyen
common – komen
compare – konpare
complement – konpleman
complex – konplèks
compose – konpoze
concept – konsèp
concision – konsizyon
conclusion – konklizyon

It has been pointed out to me many times by my friends that I have an unhealthy obsession with languages. Although this is probably true -__- what I’m hoping is that I can continue to find little interesting parts of languages ( like what I’ve shared here) and hopefully it encourages people to learn a beautiful language like this one 🙂

-Zakari

4 Comments
  1. Pingback: Rashmee Roshan Lall | English has an enormous share of #HaitianCreole

  2. Pingback: Question From Reader, Haiti Experience… | Memorize Haitian Creole

    • Amy,

      I’m very glad you asked this question! The answer is that the list is being worked on. I’m thinking about adding a new page to the site dedicated to this list. What do you think?

      -Zakari

      Ps. Make sure you are subscribed to the blog so you don’t miss the update 🙂

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