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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

*Updated---> Pale Franse pa di lespri pou sa

I'm part of several social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, I'm a member of a Haitian Facebook group. A couple days ago, I suggested that if people are posting documents in French or Kreyol, that they should also provide an English translation or a link for people to translate it themselves. I surprisingly received mixed reactions. Below are screenshots of the convo. That post is what brought today's topic to mind.

 French was the primary and only official language in Haiti for a very long time. However there was a movement to recognize Kreyol as an official language as well, partly because the majority of the population does not read, speak or write French. Kreyol was legally recognized as an official language in 1987. French is the language of instruction in Haitian schools however I think there is often a disconnect because most students are not using the language in their home lives.

 I've also always seen French as a method of exclusion used by the minority bourgeois group against the majority of the plebeians. The ability to converse, and understand written French is a good separator of the haves from the have nots. It's always rubbed me the wrong way when Haitians who speak English and or Kreyol attempt to speak French to me. What do you fine people think, especially people in Haiti or familiar with Haitian culture? A twitter friend retweeted a link to an article in the Boston Globe about the importance of Creole. Check it out here.

Click on image to view, and also I'm Marie B (in case you don't know me off of the internets :)

Names & faces have been smudged to protect the not so innocent

I'll leave you with a quote from Audre Lorde- "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."


  1. Interesting. I personally would have been annoyed with the whole conversation. A simple request that just required a simple response.

  2. Wow, that's a bit much just for a simple request. smh!

  3. Yes ladies, I thought so as well. That just goes to show how deeply ingrained the value for French is. It's a huge problem in many cultures where the official language is not the language of the masses.

    Thnx 4 checking this out Inez!