Word for the Travel Wise (01/29/06)

HaitiFlagWith all the hoo-rah in the media about Oprah feeling “duped” by author James Frey of A Million Little Pieces I started thinking of other books in her prized Book Club. There was one novel I had read a while back, Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat which aided in developing some first ideas about Haiti. Fueled by her own experiences growing up as a young girl in the country, Danticat creates a rather vivid and touching piece of enjoyable literature recommended for anyone with an interest in Haitian art, culture, reading, and language. There are a few words one might pick up and shelf for later use. Maybe on a volunteer vacation to the country?

Today’s word is a Kreyòl (Haitian creole) word used in Haiti:

evite - avoid

Haitian Creole is a language based off the French language and the two are both official langs of the country. When I saw this word I found it interesting because I had just recently received an E-vite from a friend of mind and here this word is similar in spelling (not sure of pronunciation), but quite opposite in meaning. At first I thought finding language learning resource son the web would be difficult considering it’s hard to find a good tourism site, but to my surprise there are a number of good ones.

This Kreyol website features comprehensive cultural and travel info on Haiti. Their overall goal is to spread positive messages about the country and create positive images. Their online Kreyòl dictionary is one of the best! iCreole is a good place translation tool if you wish to know a word within seconds. For a fun look at some popular proverbs check out this Discover Haiti site. Make note that the Creole used in the proverbs is not that of the Creole spoken in Port-au-Prince. Lastly, leave it to good old Pimsleur to have audio books dedicated to learning Creole. Expensive, but you can also look for them in your local library.