Haiti is one of the few sovereign countries in the Americas which has adopted French as their official language. French is the accepted language which is used in the media, official documents, and the educational system. French is the customary written language in the country. Despite the fact that French is their official language, approximately one in every ten people in Haiti can converse in fluent French. Most of the citizens of Haiti converse in Haitian Creole. There are three dialects of this language in Haiti, namely southern, central, and northern Haitian creoles. Haitian Creole is a blend of various West African languages, Taino and French.

French and Haitian Creole are the official languages in Haiti, whereas French is spoken by about 40% of the population in the country. More than 95% of the population in the country uses Haitian Creole. Haitian Creole have similarities to the French Creole and are closely related to Louisiana Creole and Antillean Creole.

Haitian Creole mainly exists in spoken form, and there are few written texts in the language. However, when visiting Haiti, one would hear the locals saying ‘’byen venu’’ which means welcome and ‘’sak pase?’’ which means ‘’how are you?’’. When one is asked ‘’sak pase’’ they would reply ‘’mwen byen’’ which means ‘’I am well’’. The Haitian Creole has more of French phrases and words like ‘’wi’’ which means ‘’yes’’ and ‘’mesi’’ which translates to ‘’thank you.’’

There is a small community of Spanish speakers from the neighboring Dominican Republic living in Haiti. Spanish is also commonly used on the Haiti-Dominican Republic border. A smaller percentage of Haitians have adopted English and speak fluently in English.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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