Haiti Language Crisis - Do they speak French or Creole

Language is an important aspect in any nation. It is what unites a country and bridges it with the international community. More importantly, language is what makes every citizen understand each other.


That seems not to be the case in Haiti.

Having a language barrier can be a challenge to any country. Haiti faces language difficulties as there are two main languages that are widely used: the Creole and the French. People and linguists have different opinions on both these languages and how they affect Haiti society.

The majority of Haitians speak Creole. However, its value has been undermined because of the mandatory use of French in schools. There are schools that penalize students for speaking Creole despite the fact that the constitution recognizes both Creole and French as official languages.

According to some reports, around 90% of Haitians are not fluent in French as much as they are in Creole. Also, not all teachers can speak and teach French fluently but students are required to speak and be tested in this language.

Given this language barrier and difficulty, Haiti has been described as a "linguistic apartheid." Those who could not speak fluent French are regarded as second-class citizens, while the use of French has been associated with the elites. Some analysts and critics believe that Creole should be the language of instruction, while French is to be taught as a foreign language. This is because the use of Creole is more prevalent and more Haitians understand it better. They said that using French as the main language of communication will only isolate most Haitians.

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Read more: Elite Class, Creole, society, French, Haitian Creole, Creole Translation, Language, Education

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