English has had a large influence on many languages, and Haitian Creole is not an exception. The occupation by the United States (July 28, 1915 – August 1, 1934) had several significant effects on Haitian language. Words like chany, or shoe shiner, and kannistè, or canister were introduced into the Haitian Creole language during the occupation.
More recently, the massive emigration to the United States and access to the internet and cable television have helped English replace French as the second language in many sectors of the population, especially in the IT field.
Due to the rapidness with which technology changes, Haitians tend to just adopt the English words for new technology and developments into Creole rather than coining a new native term. Considering how hard it is to translate new inventions and developments, it is more convenient to simply keep the original English name.
The influence of the English language goes beyond a Haitian American speaking Krenglish. English has invaded Creole to the point that we have created blended words. An interesting example is how the suffix -man (pronounced as mann in Creole) is often placed in combination with a Creole word to describe someone (usually a male) who is an expert in an area or who takes part in an activity. For example, daso means to crash a party and a dasomann is someone who crashes a party.
Here is a list of 50 words that we borrowed from the English language. By recognizing the English, it will be easier for you to remember the Creole translations.
|4. Bakòp||To Backup|
|11. Choublack||Shoe-black Plant|
|14. Delòk||To unlock|
|16. Djake||To jack|
|17. Djonp||Jump drive|
|18. Djèskanm||Just come (New arrival)|
|19. Drayklinin||Dry cleaning|
|21. Estat||To start|
|25. Flòch||To flush|
|29. Gòl||Goal (sport)|
|42. Mikse||To mix|
|46. Sètòp||Set up|
|48. Tcheke||To check|
|49. Tepe||To tape|
Marleen is a Haitian Creole translator and Language Advocate. After completing her Graduate Studies at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (SciencesPo), she decided to launch Creole Solutions to focus on her mission to promote Haitian language and culture. She worked for the Consulate General of Haiti in Chicago and the United Nations Environment Program in Haiti.
Marleen se yon tradiktris k ap travay pou defann dwa lang. Apre li te fini ak etid siperyè li nan Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (SciencesPo), Marleen te deside lanse Creole Solutions pou konsantre sou misyon li pou voye lang ak kilti lakay monte. Avan sa li te travay pou Konsila Jeneral Ayiti nan Chikago ak Pwogram Nasyonzini pou Anviwònman an Ayiti.