Housekeeping in Haitian Creole VIII – Progress at last (nan denye)

kreyol, French, Haiti schools

Haitian Creole is a melange of words from many languages

At last a progress report, rather than a random selection of despairing snippets about what Rudyard Kipling called “all the mean worry of housekeeping”. That too in Haitian Creole. It’s enough to turn anyone off housekeeping, unless, of course, they were already, firmly, off it.

As  someone clever once said, housework must be the reason most women go to the office. Thereby, they have a house clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.

Mme Josette, bless her, does her best to keep the balance between cleanliness and happiness in our home. She cleans some and leaves some dirt, perhaps to offer a contrast. (As an aside, it’s my belief her eyesight isn’t particularly good, but I would never tell her that.)

Anyway, she’s as pleased as punch I’ve started twice-weekly classes in kreyol. Ke l kontan anpil (Her heart is very happy). Two hours last week and I’ve started to be able to say so much more to her – and possibly, a great deal more grammatically. My kreyol must hurt the good lady’s ears a little less now.

Good to know:

In Haiti, when they say Delko, they mean all generators.


Kodak – camera

Panmpez – diapers

Konfleks – cereal

Fab – laundry detergent

Kolgat – toothpaste


Ale – to go

Achte – to buy

Bay – to give

Bezwen – to need

Chita – to sit

Bwe – to drink

Genyen – to have

Kapab – to be able

Tounen – to turn

Rive – to arrive

Sonje – to remember

Vle – to want

Rele – to call

Rete – to live

We – to see

Kwe – to think

Till next time (jiska pwochenn fwa).

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac