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Haitian Creole, Creole in general

I've been wanting to learn Haitian Creole for some time but without the necessary online resources it's been extremely difficult. I speak French however the grammar and vocabulary still seem so foreign. Haitian Creole seems the most likely of the Creoles to be put onto Duolingo since it's the most widely spoken with around 6 M speakers on Hispañola and more including the Haitian diaspora. Any help would be appreciated, hope to see it one day in the Incubator.

July 1, 2014



I was born and raised in Port-au- Prince, Haiti. Currently, I am a Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. I teach French and Haitian Creole.  This semester I have four Creole classes, one of them being an independent study with Nyya Toussaint. Nyya and I would like to contribute to this course in order to provide professional and accurate translations not only for out University but English speakers around the world interested in Creole. I am excited to have a Duolingo course in Creole as it will be very helpful to our students who study abroad in Haiti every summer. 

Mwen fèt Pòtoprens, Ayiti. Se la m grandi. Kounye a, mwen se yon pwofesè nan Department of Modern Languages nan Florida International University nan Miyami, Florid. Mwen anseye franse ak kreyòl ayisyen. Semès sa a mwen genyen kat kou kreyòl, e youn nan yo se yon kou endependan avèk Nyya Toussaint. Mwen ak Nyya nou ta renmen kontribiye nan kou Duolingo a pou nou kab vini ak tadiksyon ki kòrèk epi ki pwofesyonèl, non sèlman pou inivèsite nou an, men tou pou moun ki pale anglè tout kote sou latè e ki enterese nan kreyòl. Mwen pa ka tann pou gen yon kou kreyòl sou Duolingo paske sa ap itil tou pou etidyan nou yo ki toujou ale ann Ayiti nan yon pwogram ete nou genyen chak ane.


how is the course right now?


The course hasn't been updated in seven months!!!

Kou a pa te mete ajou nan sèt mwa!


The earthquake in January 2010 pretty much sold out all the existing Haitian Creole learning materials of several well-known language publishers. I am surprised that it is so hard to get contributors for Duolingo for an online version. I mentioned the need for putting Haitian Creole into more online apps at my talk on the subject at Microsoft HQ in 2010. There were so many motivated people in 2010. What happened?


hey bro I'm haitian and fluent in haitian creole! i can help you!!


Could you start adding it to the incubator, please? That would be so amazing. It seems you're not the only one fluent in Haitian on Duolingo, so maybe you can work together.



become a contributor


Well said. The policy of Duolingo makes sense, seeking to reduce the sheer number of dialects that would seek space in the incubator. Certain "dialects" should be treated like languages when (1) it is noticeably difficult to speak the "dialect" with only knowledge of the "standard," and (2) when the "dialect" is the main tongue of millions of people. Personally I think a third "tipping" factor would be that without the ability to cloud-translate that Duolingo offers, that population would lack access to material on the web that Duolingo does make available via immersion.

So if Haitian Creole is very much a written language as well as a spoken one, then presumably the incubator would break down many barriers to web content currently faced by the Haitian Creole community.

That seems like the criterion that should most fit with Duolingo's design and should trump the otherwise reasonable barrier to dialects. (By contrast, no dialect of Arabic meets that third criterion since every Arab who can read, reads fushaa (modern standard Arabic). So MSA suffices for making web content available to Arabs, and no Arabic dialect is "needed" on Duolingo, though I am sure many would welcome them, too.)


It's indeed written. I went to school in Florida, and during my last year I received an official document from the school/district that was written in Haitian Creole. I don't know what dialect they had chosen -- and I've lost the paper since then -- but one certainly exists.


In the United States, the two most spoken languages are (obviously) English and Spanish. What becomes more interesting is if you break it down by state. Almost every state's second language is Spanish, but a few are French (Louisiana, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine), German (North Dakota), Yupik (Alaska), and Tagalog (Hawaii).

But if you look at the languages most spoken by state other than English and Spanish, there's a much wider variety. Here in Florida, where I live, the third most spoken language is Haitian Creole. Once I make it through the German and Spanish trees, it would be good if this course was offered so that I can speak to more of my fellow Floridians. (Assuming no planned foreign travel gets in the way.)



I am interested!


I'd be super interested in learning this tree, if it ever gets made :D


Planning to go there in 2018, so I would really like to learn it!


Please make a course for Haitian Creole...it is vital and a language that a lot of 2nd and 3rd generation Haitian -Americans would love to learn and improve


it is now in the incubator!


I'm so happy right now!


A Haitian Creole course would be awesome. I live in South Florida and just to be able to ask simple questions would be so helpful. The language structure/word order are distinct from French, so knowing French helps, but it's not enough


I speak it and I agree that it's pretty difficult to learn online, given the limited resources :( knowing french does help a bunch though! I've found that learning french was much easier since I already speak something similar to it


Could you please start with adding the course in the Incubator. That would be so amazing!



Bonjou! si gen Moun ki vle apran pale kreyol ayisyen, nou ka kontakte m! hello! if there are people that want to learn haitian creole you can contact me!


Mwen ta renmen apran!


I vote for Haitian Creole as well. Haitian creole would be very important for missionary/humanitarian work. I think with a course like this, more people could easily be able to help bring relief to such a disaster stricken environment.


Creole is a language I want to learn. Aside from how beautiful it sounds, it is a language that heavily populates the culturally diverse area I live in. Becoming familiar with creole is something I want to do following a visit to Haiti.


I would love for my children and husband to study Haitian Creole. Please add it. thank you.


It is now in the incubator!


Wi tanpri! I would love to be able to strengthen my Haitian Creole if it becomes a course


I'd love to take a course in Haitian Creole as well.


Living in Miami as a medical practitioner, speaking Haitian Creole is a must. I hope Duolingo finds a way to bring these courses to life.


Yes, it is ABSOLUTELY a valuable language. As language service providers and multilingual consultants (www.jamii.co), we have a lot of requests for Haitian Creole. It's a very valuable language to learn. We also have many Spanish/English linguists looking to learn Haitian Creole to expand their professional skill set. It would be GREAT for more linguists to be able to utilize duolingo to help expand their linguistic skill set to Haitian Creole.




Can they PLEASE add Haitian Creole! I absolutely love languages--specifically in Latin America--and this is one of the languages I am missing! Currently, I speak Spanish and Portuguese, and I would love to be able to learn Harlan creole to visit Haiti some day :)


Isn't "Creole in general" not a language but a category of languages? For example, Haitian Creole is a creole of French and another language and Liberian Kreyol is a creole of English and another language so those two creoles are not dialects of the same language. http://www.britannica.com/topic/creole-languages has a lot more information! :)


Well, just as canadian french is different then euro french. I think the haitian creole is not only english, french, spanish influenced but also has some of the island language base which changes it a bit. I really would like to learn it as it is spoken on the Caribbean coast of panama and costa rica, which we visit so alot so it would be a perfect next language for me to begin to learn.


To clarify, Haitian Creole is substantially more distinct from any other language than the furthest difference between Canadian French and European French. It is indeed influenced by French, Spanish, English, and Taino words, but the grammatical structure most reflects various West African languages, such as Gbe and Fan. It is majorly unintelligible among even it's closest linguistic relatives, make it a distinct language in its own right.

Comparing it to other creole languages, it does share similarities with, naturally, other French-based Caribbean creoles. However, to my knowledge, there aren't Haitian communities, let alone Haitian Creole-speaking communities, in Central America, as you referenced. It could well be another language that is locally called Creole, but it isn't Haitian.

Nonetheless, clearly, I too have an interest.


If you visit Boca del Toro archipelago, and the town's you take boat taxis from the Panama shore (can't remember the town's name) they speak a type of Creole or something melding English, French (bayou type) Spanish, Portuguese, and some old languages from the slavery years. Not sure how to explain it but it was interesting to listen to. Whether it is different then other carribian dialects, no idea that is my only carribean experiences so far.


Hell yeah!!! TímTím!


Noticed some government documents here in Sourh Florida are in English, Spanish and Hsitian Creole. It is now needed here as much as Spanish. May not be classified as language but it's taken over here.


Actualy, according to the definition of a language, Kreyòl (Haitian Creole) is a language like all possiblu human languages, and IS classified as such.






There should definitely be a course for Haitian! Coming from Miami, I would love to understand the culture and language more. I am a student at Florida International University and would be interested in establishing this as a course on duolingo to help students setting up in this specific language course on campus.


waiting . . . I'm IN Haiti, trying to learn Kreyol while also working as a university English professor. All the students want to practice English with me, so I'm finding it hard to learn Kreyol, though I'm pushing through with determination! But having a good Duolingo course would be extremely helpful to me!


I would love to learn Haitian Creole! I bought a book but found it insufficient to learn the language. There are no "real" online courses that help, but there were some nice enough introductions to convince me that this would be a great language to learn (and perhaps very easy!). Please add this course to Duolingo!


PLEASE MAKE THIS A COURSE! I am a Foreign Language Areas Studies student studying Haitian Creole at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Additionally, my family is from Haiti which has allowed me to tour and volunteer on the island since a young age. With the help of Professor Andre (FIU) I would like to contribute to this course in order to provide students, volunteers/missionaries, entrepreneurs, non-Creole speaking Haitians, and those interested in learning Haitian Creole with a prestigious outlet to learn the language.

Mwen se yon etidyan Foreign Language Areas Studies (FLAS) pou Kreyòl Ayisyen nan Florida International University nan Miami, Florid. Epitou, fanmi mwen se Ayisyen. Se konsa, m te fè yon toune al travay kòm volontè sou zile Ayiti lè mwen te piti. Avèk èd Pwofesè Andre nan FIU, mwen ta renmen kontribye pou ede moun k ap aprann Kreyòl, etidyen, volontè/misyonè, antreprenè, Ayisyen ki pa pale Kreyòl. Sa a se yon opòtinite pou yo aprann lang nan, ki gen anpil prestij.


Do you think you could start with it? It seems you are bilingual enough to start creating the course. Maybe you can make other students at your university enthusiastic about creating a Haitian Creole course on Duolingo, so you can work together.



Yes ! I want to be an incubator... I've recently applied, but I think need to have more incubators willing to help and to show more interest on this post. So you too apply to be an incubator !


Dosen't the Haitian Creole Course have to come out before you can apply to be an incubator for that course?


No we need to ask them to make it a course... so if you apply to be an incubator it is possible they will let us get started! https://incubator.duolingo.com


Mwen vle kontribye cours Kreyol la. Mwen pense ke mwen ka ede w kan cours se pre pou kontribyson.




Well done, it actually appeared


Mwen vle ede w... men m pa pense ke mwen pale kreyol kouraman... alò mwen prale tann pou inscri.


I think you should still become an incubator!


Mwen te aplike... Eske ou prale kite m participe nan incubator?


Ossi, si ou prale fini bientot, mwen vle konnen si mwen ka ede ou e lot moderator fe kours pou moun ki pale Franse...


is the course finished yet :(


Thank you so much, NyToussaint! I am thrilled that you are working on this course and I cannot wait to take it.


can you please tell me how the course is doing right now?


Fantastic, theres a large population of haitian speakers in southern florida. It would really help to have this course.


I would love a haitian creole course! In the last few years my country has been accepting haitian immigrants and I would love to welcome them in their language!


When is Haitian creole coming to duolingo?!


I know Haitian Creole. I would've been able to help.


My husband works with a population of primarily Haitian Creole speakers and we would love to have Duolingo as a resource for learning it. There are very few other resources out there and I am sure Duo would do a great job.


I'll also throw in my vote as someone who would really like to see a Haitian Creole course on Duolingo. There is a Pimsleur course for Haitian Creole as well as a small book from Assimil for French speakers, but the resources seem to be pretty few and far between.


The incubator states that it will be done late April, has there been any updates?


It seems cool, but I doubt I would ever use it unfortunately.


Duolingo really needs to bring in haitian creole. It has been considered it’s own language and not a dialect for a while. I have had the opportunity to learn to understand creole due to the people i have surrounded myself with but cannot speak it. It would be nice to hold a conversation in this language that has such a strong presence in north america. It is no longer a language that is reserved only for haiti. It is found in haitian multiple communities across the globe and travel to haiti has risen. Wether it is touristic, benevolent, or for those who want to get in touch with their roots. And families. I am surprised that after five years the topic of haitian creole has not made it out of the forums and is still only a discussion and it is not even listed as an option on the list of language requests...


The unofficial Saint Lucian Creole course in the Duolingo forum area seems to be much further along than Haitian Creole which has been recognized as an official language in Haiti (and also even in Florida). The St. Lucian Creole spelling system was finally well established in the early 1990s. The St Lucian Creole dictionary by Mondesir (Mouton de Gruyter) in around 1992 finally gave St Lucian a significant official language resource at an international level. But Haitian Creole has a much longer history of published language documentation. Haitian Creole has been in Microsoft Translator and Google Translate since 2010, so it doesn't make sense that it can't get farther in the incubator, unless there is a problem with contributors.

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