Haitian French

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Haitian French[1]
français haïtien
Native toHaiti, United States, Canada
Latin (French alphabet)
French Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Haitian French (French: français haïtien, Haitian Creole: fransè ayisyen) is the variety of French spoken in Haiti.[1] Haitian French is close to standard French. It should be distinguished from Haitian Creole, which is not mutually intelligible with French.


The phoneme 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 make 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 subtle creole-based tone carrying the French on top is found.[1] Importantly, these differences are not enough to create a misunderstanding 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 a growing number of Haitians would rather speak it as precisely as possible and pursue this by listening to Radio France Internationale and matching the somewhat conservative style of speech heard on that station.[1]

In the educated groups, French is spoken more closely to the Parisian accent. 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 (2002). Accents: A Manual for Actors, Volume 1. p. 195. ISBN 9780879109677. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  3. ^ Efron, Edith (1954). "French and Creole Patois in Haiti". Caribbean Quarterly. 3 (4): 199–213. doi:10.1080/00086495.1954.11829534. JSTOR 40652586.

Further reading[edit]

  • Etienne, Corinne. "French in Haiti: Contacts and conflicts between linguistic representations". In Piston-Hatlen, D.; Clements, C.; Klingler, T.; Rottet, K. (eds.). Pidgin-Creole Interfaces: Studies in Honor of Albert Valdman. John Benjamins Publishers. doi:10.1075/cll.28.12eti.
  • Etienne, Corinne (2005). "Lexical particularities of French in the Haitian press: Readers' perceptions and appropriation". Journal of French Language Studies. 15 (15 3): 257–277. doi:10.1017/S0959269505002152. S2CID 145721220.
  • 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]