Archive for May, 2018


Creole Word of the Week: Babouk├Ęt

A baboukèt, or muzzle, is a device that is placed over the snout of an animal to keep it from biting or otherwise opening its mouth. The Haitian society, especially the media, experienced tight government censorship during the Duvalier era. When the dictator fled into exile in 1986, the long-silenced public rejoiced in their freedom of speech. One of the popular expressions from that era is “Baboukèt la tonbe!” (the muzzle has fallen), which means that the people could finally speak freely.

More about baboukèt from our online dictionary

With over 20,000 entries, this is the largest English <> Haitian Creole dictionary available online. It will help you find the Creole translations in context of English words along with examples of use. This dictionary continues to grow and improve as well. Click here!

Creole Word of the Week: Jovi

The Africans brought their languages and religions with them during the Slave Trade. Vodou, which means spirit or deity in the fon language, is a creolized religion forged by African descendants that were brought to Haiti and Christianized by Roman Catholic missionaries. Many aspects of the Vodou religion are influenced by African languages and the Vodou religion has its own sacred language. This sacred language is mainly used for worship, songs, prayer, and of instruction for the religious system. A layperson or non-practitioner would have trouble understanding this sacred language and it requires gradual acculturation to master its outer and inner meanings.

The word “jovi”, which means children, is one of those words from the sacred Vodou language.  This language has been made available to the public through rasin, or roots, a Haitian musical style with elements of traditional Haitian Vodou ceremonial and folkloric music combined with rock and roll.

 

With over 20,000 entries, this is the largest English <> Haitian Creole dictionary available online. It will help you find the Creole translations in context of English words along with examples of use. This dictionary continues to grow and improve as well. Click here!

Creole Word of the Week: Marasa

We have been taught that Haitian Creole is simply broken French. However, anyone who is familiar with African linguistics can hear the influence of African languages. We can see this African heritage not only in the grammar structure but in the vocabulary as well. African languages, such as Fongbe and Kikongo are very much alive in the Haitian Creole language. Because of cultural connections between Haiti and Benin, there is a large number of Vodou-related words that are etymologically connected to Fongbe. Also,  many African slaves transported in the slave trade spoke Kikongo, one of the Bantu Languages spoken by the Kongo people. Its influence can be seen in many creole languages in the diaspora.   Marasa comes from mabasa, or twins, in the Kikongo language.

More about marasa from our online dictionary

With over 20,000 entries, this is the largest English <> Haitian Creole dictionary available online. It will help you find the Creole translations in context of English words along with examples of use. This dictionary continues to grow and improve as well. Click here!

How to translate anatomical terms in Haitian Creole

Anatomical terms can be a challenge when interpreting for Creole-speaking patients. An interesting example is the simple term “lèstomak”, or chest, which resembles stomach in English or “estomac” in French. An untrained translator or interpreter could easily mistranslate “lèstomak” as stomach. This could be dangerous, especially when interpreting for patients. A patient with chest pain could be misdiagnosed for a stomach-related condition and prescribed the wrong medication.

Therefore, we ask our translators and interpreters to do two things:

  1. When interpreting for a patient and it seems that he may be using an incorrect term, ask the provider if you could ask the patient to clarify or point
  2. When translating a word that could lead to confusion, use the correct term and put the commonly used term in parentheses

For example, when translating the word chest. A translator can use “pwatrin”, the correct term and put “lèstomak” in parentheses. This is because some people may not be familiar with the word “pwatrin”.

We have created some illustrations that will could be very useful for patients, interpreters, and healthcare providers. Click here to check them out.

Visit our Medical Creole Website for more. This free tool was created to facilitate communication between healthcare professionals and patients when an interpreter is not available. It includes medical vocabulary, anatomy illustrations, and phraseology.

Creole Word of the Week: Dechouke

Over the past few decades, many creole words have taken a new meaning linked to politics. Dechouke is an agricultural term meaning to remove roots and stumps from a plot of land after the trees have been felled. After the fall of Duvalier in 1986, it took on the political sense of forcing an abusive leader from office. The word was used systematically in Haitian vocabulary as they rooted out the tonton macoutes and took down targeted buildings to erase the dynasty from the country. 

More about dechouke from our online dictionary

With over 20,000 entries, this is the largest English <> Haitian Creole dictionary available online. It will help you find the Creole translations in context of English words along with examples of use. This dictionary continues to grow and improve as well. Click here!

3+ million words translated each year.

Healthcare, Legal, Education, Technology, Insurance and Non-Profits.