Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The 5 W's, Directions, Towns & Villages

Learning the greetings in Haiti, understanding the culture and even eating the food is great but what happens when you’re talking to people and don’t know what to say or how to express where you are. The 5 W’s (who? what? where? why? and when?), and how to get around will be the most reliable resource to save you. Hospitality is vital, but it can only get so far.

The 5 W’s

Who? kiyès/ kilès? ------- (kee-yehs/kee-lehs)
What? – kisa? ------- (kee-sah)
Where? ki kote? -------- (kee-kotay)
Why? – pou kisa? -------- (poo-kee-sah)
When? – kilè? -------- (kee-leh)


Near – toupre -------- (too-pray)
Close to – kole ak -------- (ko-lay/ahk)
Next to – sou kote /akote -------- (soo-ko-tay / ah-ko-tay)
Far – lwen -------- (lwehn)
Up – anlè -------- (uh-leh)
Go Up (stairs) – monte anlè**-------- (mon-tay/an-leh)
Down – anba –------- (uh-bah)
Go Down (stairs) - desann anba**-------- (day-sann / uh-bah)
Left / On the left – goch / a goch -------- (go-sh / ah go-sh)
Right - dwat -------- (dwaht)
On the right - a dwat -------- (ah-dwaht)
Straight Ahead – tou dwat -------- (too-dwaht)
At the corner – nan kwen an -------- (nan/kwen/uh)
East – lès -------- (lehs)
West – lwès -------- (lwehs)
North - -------- (naw)
South – sid -------- (seed)

** Notes**
Some Creole phrases are translated into words that create repetition –-pleyonasm (play-yon-ahsm) -- in English. In the case of “monte anlè”, monte means to go up, however when used with “anlè” it is commonly accepted to simply mean to go up but its literal English translation is ‘go up up’. Similarly desann anba is accepted by Creole speakers as go down. Desann means go down, when paired with “anba” it translates to ‘go down down’. Examples of “pleyonasm” in English are: Repeat again, Return back.

Towns & Villages

These are some of the larger and more popular cities in which most people encounter during trips to Haiti. The names can be intimidating to read without basic French proficiency, but luckily most of the Creole translations make the phonetic sound of the French origin. When you succeed in pronouncing them correctly in Creole, locals will be able to understand.
Port au Prince – Pòtopwens -------- (Pawt-o-pwehns)
Cap Haïtien – Kap Ayisyen or Okap --------- (Cap-i-ee-si-yen / O-cap)
Léogâne – Leyogàn –------- (Lay-o-gahnn)
Gonaïves – Gonayiv -------- (Go-naïve)
Jacmel – Jakmèl -------- (Jahk-mehl)
Jérémie – Jeremi -------- (Jay-ray-mee)
Pétionville – Petyonvil -------- (Pay-ti-yon-vil)
Saint-Marc – Sen-Mak -------- (Sen-Mak)
Carrefour - Kafou -------- (Kah-foo)
Port-de-Paix - Pòdepè or Pòdpè -------- (Pawd-a-peh or Pawd-peh)
Môle Saint-Nicolas - Mòlsennikola -------- (Mawl-senni-kola)
Croix-des-Bouquets - Kwadèboukè --------- (kwa-deh-bou-keh)
Les Cayes - Okay -------- (O-kai)
Delmas - Dèlma -------- (Dehl-mah)
Miragoâne - Miragwàn -------- (Mee-rah-gwahn)
Fort Liberté - Fò Libète -------- (Faw-Lib-eh-tay)
Mirebalais - Mibalè -------- (Mee-bah-lay)
Hinche - Ench --------- (Ench)

Fanm Vanyan
Kreyol Lab Blogger

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