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Confused by Creole?

Travel & news discussion about Guadeloupe

Confused by Creole?

Postby KarenS » Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:22 am

Biochemist Fequiere Vilsaint volunteered to tutor Haitian students in Tampa, Florida and has devised a Creole-English dictionary.

As reported in the Sun-Sentinel:

"Vilsaint describes Haitian Creole as a simple, straightforward and expressive language, with phonetic spelling. Words generally do not contain letters that aren't pronounced. "Creole," for example, becomes 'Kreyol.'
'Guadeloupe have their own creoles, but speakers from each of the islands can, with some difficulty, understand each other.'

A 'creolized language' arises, Vilsaint explains, when dominant and subordinate groups with differing languages exist in prolonged contact. In Haitian Creole, which has long since become a full-fledged language, the vocabulary is French (from the French planters), while the grammar and syntax are African (from the slave laborers).

'A French person can't read Haitian Creole well because of the spelling,' Vilsaint says. 'But read it to them aloud, and they get it.'

'It's a common mistake for English speakers who want to master Creole to start with French, which is a very complicated and difficult language. Because it is primarily phonetic, Creole is very easy to learn.'"

For the entire article go to: ... -caribbean
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