Do you consider Creole as a language?

"Do you consider Creole as a language?"

She replied, "Of course Creole is a language. Creole is my language as well as the language of many people in Haiti. When I tell people that I am Haitian and they ask me if I speak French, I tell them that I speak Creole. Although this is looked at upon as being an inferior language, I am proud to speak Creole and only Creole."

"Do you speak any French?

She replied, "No I only speak Creole. I do understand a little bit if French is spoken to me but don't expect me to reply in French because I can't.

Note from Woodring Saint Preux:

I don't speak French, but I am not the only one!

I was writing a completely different article and decided to browse the web for some related information. I stumbled onto someone's term paper (looks like):

"Creole Language in Haiti" by Lanah Lherisson

I really wanted to copy the whole thing and paste it here but I would rather you read it in it's original location:

saxakali.com

Here are some excerpts from the paper:

Although Creole is now an official language in Haiti, the French language is still associated with the rich and high class people meanwhile Creole is associated with the poor and lower class people.

Many people tend to relate Creole as the language of the poor.

A stereotype has been put on the Creole language and unfortunately people still do not see Creole as the beautiful language that it is.

The knowledge or lack of a language serves to distinguish a person's class within the Haitian society.

French language drips easily and flawlessly form the lips of the educated and elite Haitians.

Whereas their uneducated brethren stumble painfully through a conservation in French. Instead they choose to communicate in the more familiar and comfortable Creole which is not bound by the traditional rules of syntax.

Don't misunderstand, the elite also speak Creole with great ease but the language factor is clearly a distinguishing characteristic.

"Whether we like it or not, one and the other language is a historical part of the Haitian national patrimony.

In spite of its minor standing, Creole is one of the traits that defines the Haitian nation and is experienced by each Haitian as a component of his identity.

Although issuing from the slave period, Creole in Haiti is not soiled with the vice of servitude, because the struggle for independence gave it a national significance as the language of a people who liberated itself with arms in its hands and Creole in its mouth." (5)

Language is the method in which human beings are able to communicate.

The official language in Haiti is French and Creole.

Both languages are used. However, the use of Creole without question is most prevalent.

There is a large quantity of people who speak only Creole and no French at all.

"Creole is a language that developed out of the sociohistorical situation of seventeenth and eighteenth century Haiti, where a pidginized variety of French was used as a contact language between master and slaves and among Africans of diverse ethnic origins in the plantation economy of the time." (3)

Whether Creole was used as a contact language between masters and enslaved people or within enslaved people themselves is debatable.

Some believe that the masters and enslaved people needed a form of communication and Creole was the product of those two groups of people.

Others believe that enslaved people formed the Creole language while trying to communicate within their different languages, all originating from Africa.

"It (Creole) arose out of a need for the slaves, with their knowledge of African languages, to communicate in a language closer to that of their overseers."(2)

Whether this is referring to communication within themselves or with their master is unknown.

With an excess of speakers, one would not think that the language, Creole, would be seen as one that is inferior.

"Popularly, they (Creoles) are thought to be inferior, haphazard, broken, bastardized versions of older, longer established languages.

In academic circles, especially in recent years, attempts have been made to remove the stigma so frequently attached to them by pointing out that there is no such thing as a primitive or inferior language." (14)




The Forbidden Language

Unfortunately even its speakers see Creole as an inferior language.

In many households, parents forbid their children to speak Creole, a language that is to be spoken only to the maid of the house or the gardener:

"The greater tragedy, however, is that such prejudices against Creole languages have been 'mimicked' by the native speakers of these Creole languages themselves;

in St. Lucia, for example, among those who had a social prestige to protect, children were immediately rebuked or beaten should they dare to speak a tongue which only brought them closer to those who were poor or 'black'. "(6)

The history of Creole has a severe impact on its speakers by labeling them as low class people.

"Because historically Creole was spoken mainly by a group of people who had been denied educational opportunities, it became associated with the poor and laboring class, and often families would forbid their children from learning and speaking it, encouraging them instead to become proficient in the dominant European language alone." (2)

The view of Creole as a negative language is presently occurring.

What you were reading is just a part of a bigger paper.

You can read the paper in it's entirety by going to this link:

saxakali.com

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All Comments (29)

Sergo Jean says...

oui, epi si tout lide nou yo te reconet sa depi lontan, peyi ya tap devlope tan cou tout lot peyi .se lang ki pli facil pou apran sou te sa.Si gouveneman ayisyen te fe tout documan lekol an AYiti an creole tout pep la tap konn li.yon peyi ki gran mounn ta dwe gen prop lang

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Brenda says...

Yes Creole is a language! The Haitian's should be proud to speak it. They should be proud to BE Haitian! When I first visited my haitian friends, they would say to me, 'excuse me please Im going to speak creole'.They should not be ashamed but proud.

My friends now are able to speak Creole proudly around me and hopefully others! Haitian's are the strongest and most heartful people in this world.

They keep getting knocked down one way or another but they keep strong and keep singing! God Bless the Haitians! Be proud my

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Youseline Pierre Simon says...

YES IT IS A LANGUAGE .THE SAME AS WHEN JAMAICAN SPEAK PATROI THEY SPOKEN IT FREELY WHY SHOULD I ASHAME OF SPEAKING CREOLE?.

CREOLE SE LANG MANMAN AK PAPA SE POUM PALE, JAMM

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Herman Schurmans says...

How you are right, Nadeche, Kreyol is the soul of the Haitian poeple, its the affective launguage your mother thought you Its the language of her love. Never give But never giveit up for you could lose the language of your deepest emotions.

Haitien belongs to the Haitian identity, and history.

Prejudice to kreyol is class prejudice, or prejudice of cultures esteeming hemselves superior like the French slaveholders before 1804. Nothing is superior to your mothertongue.

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Nadege says...

is creole a language?

is orange a fruit?

of course its a language, and many haitians love creole, i would like to say a minority don't, there used to be a time people acted like they didnt speak creole abroad or didn't want to be connected, but Creole is Haiti, and vice versa.

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Topic says...

Indeed I do. Even though I did not grow up in Haiti, I still feel Creole is a language.

Americans have at least 3 different types of english that they use on the daily basis.

For some to call Creole "ebonics" is totally not

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Topic says...

Creol is only a spoken language.

This is the reason why Haitian from Haiti can't speak french.

French is a foreign language resemble to creol actually very close but in order to learn french, they would have to learn creol.

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Topic says...

yes i do consider creole as a language because it is our official language and our maternal

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Topic says...

send you a reply earlier, I think i should make myself clearer.

If you read my post I never said to give up Creole..

Creole is part of our culture it will stay so, but not an official language.

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Topic says...

I love speaking creole.

It is the only language I do not have to explain myself.

Kreyol pale, Kreyol Konpran.

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