Bonjou! – Good morning!
Bonswa! – Good afternoon!/Evening! (used after 11 AM)
Komon ou ye? – How are you?
N’ap boule! (most common greeting and response) – Good!
What is your name? – ki gen’w rele
My name is… – m’rele…
Nice to meet you – se te on plezi
What’s that called in Creole? – Komen yo di sa’a en kreyol
What does that word mean in English – Sa mo sa’a vle di en engle
How do you say “thanks” in Creole? – Konmen ou di “thanks” en kreyol
Wi – Yes
yo – they, them
Non – No
Mesi – Thanks
Anmwe! – Help!
Non, mesi – No, thanks
Souple – Please
Merite – You’re welcome
Pa gen pwoblem – No problem
Oke – OK
Eskize mwen – Excuse me
Mwen regret sa – I’m sorry
Gen… – There is/are…
Sekonsa! – That’s right!
Piti piti – A little bit
Anpil – A lot
Gen anpil… – There are a lot of…
Isit – Here
La – There
Tout bagay anfom? – Is everything OK?
Pa kounye-a – Not now
Toupatou – Everywhere
Anyen – Nothing
Preske – Almost
Atansyon! – Attention!/Watch out!
Prese prese! – Hurry!
Rete! – Stop!
Kounye-a – Now
Nou ap chache… – We are looking for…
Souple, ban mwen… – Please give me…
Separe sa ant nou – Divide this among you
Ye – Yesterday
Jodia – Today
Demen – Tomorrow
Maten an – This morning
Apremidi a – This afternoon
Aswe a – This evening
lendi – Monday
madi – Tuesday
mekredi – Wednesday
jedi – Thursday
vandredi – Friday
samdi – Saturday
dimanch – Sunday
Ou byen? – You OK?
Konben – How much?/How many?
Poukisa? – Why?
Kote? – Where?
Kisa? – What?
Kile? – When?
Ki moun? – Who?
Kijan? – How?
Kiles? – Which?
Eske gen…? – Is/Are there…?
Eske ou gen…? – Do you have…?
Eske ou ka ede nou, souple? – Can you help us please?
Eske ou ka di mwen…? – Can you tell me…?
montre – show
ban – give
Ki moun ki Ia? – Who is there?
Kisa ou vIe? – What do you want?
Kisa ou ta vIa? – What would you like?
Kisa ou ap fe Ia? – What are you doing there?
Kisa sa a ye? – What is that?
Sa k’genyen? – What’s the matter?
Kisa pi nou fe? – What must we do?
Eske ou te we…? – Have you seen…?
Eske ou pale angle/franse? – Do you speak English/French?
Ki moun isit ki pale angle? – Who speaks English here?
Ou konprann? – You understand?
Kisa ou bezouen? – What do you need?
Kisa ki rive ou? – What happened to you?
Ki kote li ale? – Where did he go?
Kilaj ou? – How old are you?
Kote ou rete? – Where do you live?
Eske ou gen petit? – Do you have any children?
Kote nou ye? – Where are we?
Jezi renmen – Jesus loves you
genyen – to have
chita – to sit
manje – to eat
rete – to stop
kouri – to run
kouche – to lie down
vini – to come
ale/prale – to go
ban – to give
rete trankil – to be quiet
kri – to shout, yell, scream
achte – to buy
fe-apel – to call, name
netwaye – to clean
femen – to close
fini – to finish
obeyi – to obey
fe – konfyans – to trust
console – to comfort
pati – to leave, depart
fe-desen – to draw, sketch
ranfose – to enforce
ou – you, your
mwen – I, me, my, mine
nou – us, our, you (plural)
Ii – him, her, his, hers
Creole is written phonetically. Each letter is pronounced, and each word is spelled as it is pronounced. Creole has only been recognized as the official language of Haiti in the last few years. Therefore, there are many different ways in which the Haitians write and spell Creole words. There is an official standard that has been set, and this standard will be maintained in this publication. The following is a pronunciation guide using this standard; most of the sounds are French.
ch-(as the sh sounds in share) – chache-to look for
o-(sounds like ah) – fo-strong
e-(sounds like the a in aim) – ede-to aid, help
ou-(sounds like oo) – ou-you
e-(as it sounds in leg) – mesi-thank you
r-(not rolled) – respire-to breathe
g- (as it sounds in go) – gen-to have
I- (sounds like ee) – isit-here
s-(always s) – prese-in a hurry
j-(avoid the d sound)- jou-day
y- (as it sounds in yes) – pye-foot
o-(as it sounds in toe) – zo-bone
There are nasal sounds in Creole just as there are nasal sounds in French, which are pronounced partially through the nose but without the “n” itself pronounced (a rare exception to the general pronunciation rule of pronouncing every letter). Some English equivalents that come close to the nasal sounds are as follows:
A. When a nasal sound is followed by another “n”, or “m,” the nasal sound is pronounced, then the “n” or “m” is pronounced separately.
B. If an accent is placed over the vowel, there is no nasal sound.
C. In never indicates a nasal sound.
The letter c is only used in the ch combination.
The letter k is used for the hard sound.
The letter s is used for the soft sound.