Haiti language

haitian flag

The Republic of Haiti is a country that belongs to the Antilles (Caribbean Islands), in Central America. It is made up of almost 11 million people (85th position) and has an area of ​​27,750 km 2 (144th). Its capital is Port-au-Prince. Its human development index is low (163º) and its official currency is the Haitian gourde. And what language is spoken in Haiti?

What language do they speak in Haiti?

Haiti has two official languages, which are the following:

  • Haitian Creole, spoken by virtually the entire population of the country (~11 million).
  • French , which is spoken by 42% of Haitians (4.6 million), is primarily the authorized written and administrative language.

what language do they speak in haiti infographic

Haitian Creole language

Haitian Creole (kreyòl ayisyen), also called Creol, as its name indicates, is a Creole language. With a base of the French language of the 18th century (with 90% of its vocabulary coming from this language), it was mixed with West African languages ​​(such as Wolof and some Gbe languages) and with influences from Portuguese, Spanish, English and Taíno.. This mixture arose between French settlers and slaves from Africa during the Atlantic slave trade in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (former Haiti).

Interestingly, the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola, where Spanish was spoken, had the same equivalent name “Santo Domingo”, which would later derive in the Dominican Republic.

what language do they speak in haiti

Haitian Creole has recently undergone standardization. Although most of its vocabulary comes from French, its grammar resembles West African languages. Creol has evolved so much that it is already unintelligible with French, so it cannot be considered a dialect of the latter.

The French language

French (français) is spoken by 42% of the population, mainly by educated Haitians. It is the medium of instruction in most schools and is used in the business sector (although English is also present in this sector). It is also used in ceremonial events such as weddings, graduations and masses. Haiti is the only independent country in the Americas, along with Canada, that has French as its official language.

Is Spanish spoken in Haiti?

As the island of Hispaniola was, before being governed by the French empire, part of the Spanish empire. Therefore Haiti and the Dominican Republic were Spanish-speaking territories. After the cession to France of Haiti, some inhabitants remained with Spanish as their mother tongue and today it is spoken by a significant minority. Spanish is compulsory in secondary studies (15-18 years old).

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