Haitian French

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Haitian French[1]
français haïtien
Native to Haiti
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Haitian French (French: français haïtien, Haitian Creole: fransè ayisyen) is the variety of French spoken in Haiti.[1]


The consonant /ʁ/ is pronounced [ɣ], but it is often silent in the syllable coda when occurring before a consonant or prosodic break (faire is pronounced [fɛː]). The nasal vowels are not pronounced as in French of France, /ɑ̃/ → [ã], /ɛ̃/ → [ɛ̃], /ɔ̃/ → [õ], and /œ̃/ → [œ̃]. The typical vowel shifts, makes it sound very much like other regional accents of the French Caribbean, and the Francophone countries of Africa.[2] The perceivable difference between Haitian French and the French spoken in Paris, lies in the Haitian speaker's intonation, where a rather subtle creole-based tone carrying the French on top is found.[1] Importantly, these differences are not enough to be misunderstood between a native Parisian speaker and a speaker of Haitian French.[1]

In Haiti, the French spoken in Paris is very influential; so much so, that there is a growing number of Haitians who'd rather speak it as precisely as possible by listening to "Radio France Internationale" and the style spoken. Although quite distinct from the streets of Paris, the results are quite similar to the media of Paris and published books.[1]

In the educated groups, French is best spoken. It is within this group that a major portion of enrollment is provided for the private schools and universities. Even in this group however, a native accent of the language usually occurs in everyone's speech.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Haiti French Vs. Paris French". Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Blumenfeld, Robert. Accents: A Manual for Actors, Volume 1. p. 195. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "French and Creole Patois in Haiti". Retrieved 12 February 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Piston-Hatlen, D.; Clements, C.; Klingler, T.; Rottet, K. "French in Haiti: Contacts and conflicts between linguistic representations". Pidgin-Creole Interfaces: Studies in honor of Albert Valdman (John Benjamins Publishers, in press). 
  • Etienne, Corinne (2005). "Lexical particularities of French in the Haitian press: Readers’ perceptions and appropriation". Journal of French Language Studies (Cambridge University Press) (15 3): 257–277. 
  • Auger, J.; Word-Allbritton, A. (2000). "The CVC of sociolinguistics: Contacts, variation, and culture, IULC". Indiana University, Bloomington (2): 21–33. 
  • Schieffelin, Bambi B.; Doucet, Rachelle Charlier (1994). "The "Real" Haitian Creole: Ideology, metalinguistics, and orthographic choice". American Ethnologist 21 (1): 176–200. doi:10.1525/ae.1994.21.1.02a00090. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Muska Group: Native Haitian French & Haitian Creole Advertisements (Film & Radio)
  • [2] French and Creole Patois in Haiti - JSTOR
  • [3] Accents: A Manual for Actors, Volume 1
  • [4] Haiti French vs. Paris French (A linguistic comparison)
  • [5] Listen to French accents across the world (Videos)