January 12, 2014

Haiti's French/Creole Divide

Jacques Pierre, Miami Herald

The Associated Press

All Haitians born and raised in Haiti speak Creole. In fact, the 1987 Constitution states that Creole is “the only language that binds all Haitians together.” However, Haitians who speak and write only Creole have no access to most official documents because Haitian authorities, so far, still write most official documents in French — even though less than 10 percent of the population understand French. Presidential candidates have only recently begun speaking in Creole; once elected, though, many give speeches only in French, which I consider a betrayal to the people who voted them in. Two years ago, the current government refused to sign into law a decree from the 1987 Constitution to create a Creole academy.

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TAGGED: Haiti, Creole, French