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Learning Haitian Creole


Haitian Creole was recently named the official language of Haiti, followed by French, which is the language generally spoken in diplomatic circles.

Wondering how you can begin learning Haitian Creole even though you’re not in Haiti?

Fortunately, there are many books and online resources available.


1) Great books

Haitian Creole for English Speakers  Mandaly Claude Louis-Charles

A great introduction to Haitian grammar with exercises to reinforce them. Complete with answers to exercises and English-Haitian Creole, Haitian Creole- English glossaries.

The Oxford Picture Dictionary  Norma Shapiro, Jayme Adelson-Goldstein

Use of pictures make learning new vocabulary more productive and fun!

Simon & Schuster’s Basic Haitian Creole   Pimsleur

A book of basics accompanied by an audio CD that promises some lever of language proficiency with only 30 minutes of study per day.

Haitian Creole Phrasebook  Jowel C. Laguerre

Haitian Creole phrases catered to meet the needs of those focused on development in Haiti. Includes chapters geared towards physicians, aid workers, and general volunteers. Focuses more on learning expressions rather than grammar rules.


2) Online resources

Sweet Coconuts

Fun Haitian blog created to help non-natives master Haitian Creole. Includes grammar exercises and explanations in addition to proverbs, songs, idioms, and so much more. People submit questions and answers are regularly posted.

Haitian Creole Language & Culture Resources (University of Iowa)

Includes links to a Haitian Creole dictionary, grammar explanations, vocabulary lists, proverbs, audios, course materials, and more!

Haitian Creole Bible

The Haitian Creole translation of the most popular book of all time can be found here.

Better yet, audio recordings of its passages can be listened to here. This is a great way for you to read along and improve your listening skills.

Haiti Hub

This organization sells online tools to help you better your written and conversational Creole. They also offer free lessons with native speakers via Skype!


SFH Creole Crash Course A handout created by SFH staff that presents Creole phrases in a fun and aesthetic manner.

Haitian Creole Phrasebook Ten pages of important phrases and basic grammar explanations.

Haitian Creole Vocabulary Charts Great vocabulary sorted by category and organized into charts for learners who prefer this format.


Useful Links

History of Creole Language The Another Side of Haiti website has a great section on the history of Haitian Creole, among other resources.

A Comparison of Haitian Creole and French According to the Library of Congress sources.

Proverbs A comprehensive list of Haitian proverbs with their English translations. A great way to learn some new words!

Haitian Creole Alphabet Song Learn the Haitian Creole alphabet by listening to this fun song on YouTube!

Haitian Counting Video Learning the numbers that they use in Haiti will help you quantify, express dates and times, and not to mention shop in the markets!


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