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Duolingo Haitian Creole Learners Share Their Tales


Jonas Desir was excited to find out about Duolingo’s Haitian Creole course that debuted in February 2022. Jonas was adopted from Haiti when he was six years previous and raised in Queensland, Australia. At present, he’s in touch together with his start household in Haiti and says the app will assist him join with them on his subsequent go to.

“I used to be adopted by a white household and there weren’t many Haitians in Australia on the time. In consequence, I misplaced all my Creole. I used to be excited when this system got here out as a result of it’s going to offer me a bonus the subsequent time I journey to Haiti and go to my start household,” Jonas says. “Having the ability to communicate Creole helps me higher join with each my household and my nation.”

Situated east of Cuba and Jamaica, Haiti is a mountainous Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, and the nation has two official languages: French and Haitian Creole. Due to French colonization, French is usually utilized in formal settings, like colleges and courts. However Haitian Creole is extra broadly spoken, particularly in rural areas, with over 90% of the inhabitants talking solely Creole. Although Haitian Creole shares some vocabulary with French, the language is definitely a mixture of French, Spanish, Taino, and West African languages with its personal distinctive grammar and construction.

Although Haitian Creole is probably the most generally used language in Haiti, it was traditionally preserved by way of spoken phrase and casual instructing, and the dearth of institutionalized instructing and studying assets makes it tougher for individuals who didn’t develop up talking the language to study it.

This was the case for Rose-Stella Pierre-Louis. Although she grew up talking Creole, she had a tough time retaining the language as an grownup. She now lives in California, however was adopted from Haiti by a Haitian-American household and grew up in New York. Although her adopted household spoke Creole to her, she says it was tougher for her to maintain up her Creole when she moved to Sacramento. Now, Rose-Stella has been utilizing the Duolingo app for just a few months and says the Creole program has additionally helped her join her kids to her first language.

“My youngsters began utilizing the Creole program on Duolingo about two months in the past. Dwelling in Sacramento, I don’t get to talk with any Haitians, and I haven’t got alternatives to show my youngsters to Creole moreover once I make just a few feedback to them right here and there. So utilizing the app has been a enjoyable means for them to interact with my mom tongue.” The motivation to attach with household goes past Haitian-Creole—at Duolingo, we’re seeing an increasing number of learners motivated by household and tradition when learning a brand new language.

“I would like my youngsters to be aware of the language,” says Rose-Stella. “My Haitian heritage is so necessary to me. To be the language of freedom fighters and abolishers of slavery is highly effective. The least I can do is make sure that my tradition and language stick with it in my youngsters.”

And eventually, Magalie Wilkerson is one other Haitian adoptee who has discovered the Creole program integral in connecting her again to her Haitian tradition. Like Jonas, Magalie was adopted by a white household and didn’t develop up talking Creole. She initially used the Duolingo app to study Spanish and was delighted when she discovered Creole was added!

“I’ve been ready years for Duolingo to have Haitian Creole on their app,” she says. “I’m utilizing Duolingo to assist me have a day by day behavior of studying Creole. It’s straightforward to make use of, I can do it anyplace and anytime. It is enjoyable and difficult at instances, and the app additionally retains you on observe by reminding you to review.”

For a lot of Haitian adoptees, entry to an easy-to-use app to study Creole and converse with different Haitians has been life-changing.

“Studying Creole has positively helped me join with each my household and tradition. I wish to be fluent in Creole as a result of it does get difficult to have deep conversations once I solely know primary Creole.” Wilkerson provides, ”Studying Creole for me means connecting to my Haitian heritage that was stripped from me by way of adoption. Now I really feel extra snug talking it and might join extra totally with my start tradition and my start household.”

Duo the owl holding the Haitian flag

With our Haitian Creole course, the language may be handed on to much more generations. Like Jonas, Rose-Stella, and Magalie confirmed us, studying Haitian Creole may be participating and enjoyable! Strive Haitian Creole for your self!

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