The short answer is: speak and write in Haitian Creole. Here’s why…
Ask us Anything: Answers to questions about Creole translations
What is Haitian Creole
Haitian Creole is a “blended” language that originated in Haiti from 17th-century French and African dialects. Today the language, also referred to as kreyòl ayisyen, is spoken by 10–12 million people worldwide, and, along with French, is one of the two official languages of Haiti.
In recent years, there has been an effort to revitalize the language by standardizing grammar and spelling rules. As Haiti sheds its colonial history, there is greater emphasis on using Haitian Creole in the media and in government communication. A renewed sense of pride in the language was recently expressed when the United Nations in Haiti website was published in a Haitian Creole version.
Recognizing the increasing participation of Haitian Creole speakers online, social media platforms such as Facebook have also published a fully localized Haitian Creole version of their website. Users can now select Haitian Creole as the language of the homepage interface.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 1.1 million Haitians have made their home in the United States, as a direct consequence of the ongoing economic and political turmoil in Haiti.
Haitians living in exile stay connected with their heritage and language and prefer to be addressed in their native language for communication ranging from employee information to parental guidance documents and legal contracts.
Frequently asked questions
Here are a few questions we frequently hear at Creole Solutions:
Can I reach out to Haitian Creole speakers with our existing French content?
Customers sometimes want to know whether their existing French materials would be a good fit to connect with Haitian audiences. Our answer is that French is only spoken by ten percent of Haitians, while Creole is the language of everyday interactions. French is reserved for formal occasions, but we would recommend using modern Haitian Creole for any communication from the industry sectors we frequently work for.
One of our salespeople is from Haiti. Can I ask her to translate our content? It’s not that much.
There is no guarantee that a person with knowledge of two languages has the necessary writing and transfer skills to produce a flawless translation for a specific audience. It takes years of practice to attain excellence in translation. Ask your employee to write a short paragraph in Creole – we will be glad to assess it.
Is there a certification for Haitian Creole translators and interpreters?
The American Translators Association (ATA) currently offers certification in a limited number of languages. This list does not include Haitian Creole, but we adhere to all industry standards recommended for high-quality translation.
I need a certified translation, can you help?
We can offer to prepare a notarized certificate of accuracy to accompany your translation, for example for use in court. Please contact us for further details.
What buyers of Haitian Creole translation need to know
Translation allows businesses to reach more customers, unlock new markets, and foster new relationships. Our Buyer’s Guide for Translation Services contains helpful tips for approaching translation projects.
Do you have more questions or need help with a translation project? Get in touch – we will be pleased to assist you!