Everyone who loves Haiti wants to learn Creole. The richness of Haitian culture is closely connected to this beautiful way of speaking. After my first visit, I couldn’t wait to talk with my new friends directly. After only a year of practice and study, I could handle most common conversations.
That’s what you demonstrate when you make the effort to listen and speak.
I’m not gifted in language, but perseverance always pays off. That’s the real key with language – just keep at it everyday. One simple way to do this is join our FREE Creole club. Estherline gives daily conversation practice and mini lessons to accelerate your learning.
How to Learn Haitian Creole?
Free is always good, if you have the motivation. Here is a list of ways you can begin learning the creole language 100% free.
- Watch lots of free creole video clips on YouTube
- Master all the free audio posts on our blog
- Try the free lessons from How To Creole
- Study your way through the free Sweet Coconuts Blog
- Read Wikipedia in Creole + Google translate
- Follow along in the Creole Bible while listening to the Haitian Talking Bible
- Use the free resources from HaitiHub
- Ask us anything and we’ll reply by email
- Download the free language guides from the University of Kansas
- Duolingo is adding Haitian Creole / English (updates here)
Still, the best way to master the language is to use some (or all) of the paid resources below.
- Byki Mobile App – It’s a flash card program with native audio pronunciation. The download is free then you pay around $8 to unlock the language vocabulary. Some very common French phrases are inluded by mistake, but most everything I’ve learned has helped. This is a quick and cheap way to get started right away.
- Haiti Hub Online Course – It’s an interactive learning program complete with tests and various listening exercises. This provides excellent listening practice. After the course I had the foundations to really start speaking and growing my skills. The cost is $129 for the beginning 16 modules.
- Pimsleur Audio Program – The all listening method to acquire a new language. Most of the dialogue from this system is now reflexive for me when speaking. That’s a great benefit, I only wish they had more than the first phase of 30 lessons. I bought the version for Audible. $79
- Learn Haitian Creole with Gloria – This Facebook group is a wonderful free resource for beginners and advanced learners. Gloria offers private tutoring through her program via Skype. The lessons are more expensive, but you get instant feedback and personal interaction. If you’re serious about learning Creole, it’s worth the investment.
How to speak Haitian Creole?
Once you know some basic vocabulary, it takes effort to practice your new language skills. Here are some ways I
- Personal Tutor – We had a young man from church who helped me.
- Phone Calls to Haiti – Calling down to talk with the orphanage forced me to learn new phrases every week.
- Haitian Creole Video on YouTube – I’ve found Joel Trimble most helpful.
- Listening & Reading the Bible – I listen to creole translation of the Bible and read along with this Creole / English interlinear. This has been a real boost to my ability to read aloud in Creole with less of an American accent.
- Online Resource List – There are many more quality materials available online.
If you’re ready to get started – watch this video from Haiti Hub with 20 useful words you can learn right away.
Q: How long does it take to learn Creole?
A: You can learn the basic grammar and most common vocabulary in just a few months. However, it takes much more practice to truly feel comfortable speaking Haitian Creole without a translator. Even after many years, native Haitians will still detect slight imperfections in your speech.
Q: Is Haitian Creole an easy language to learn?
A: The basic grammar, phonetic spellings, and comparatively small vocabulary make this language very accessible, especially if you have a background in modern French. However, it will require constant practice and experience in conversation to become truly fluent. One drawback is the lack of learning resources and in some areas it’s difficult to find native speakers for practice.
Q: Can you speak French in Haiti?
A: In some business and professional settings you can make due only with French. Those are very limited times and you will need Creole to make your way in ordinary life.