CLACS proudly offers two levels of elementary classes in Haitian Kreyòl, one of Haiti’s two official languages. The majority of the population in Haiti speaks Kreyòl, and it is widely spoken in the Haitian diaspora, which has a strong presence in New York and other cities in the United States. Worldwide, more than 10 million people speak Kreyòl, and CLACS is happy to offer students the opportunity to study this vibrant language. It is at the heart of Haitian musical and literary traditions.
As a part of the Indigenous and Diasporic Language Consortium, students at New York University, Columbia University and Lehman College can enroll in Kreyòl. For the list of offerings, please see the current course schedule.
Five Reasons to Learn Kreyòl
- It is the mother tongue of over 10 million people. The Haitian diaspora is far-reaching, giving Kreyòl a global presence.
- It is mutually unintelligible with French. While most of Kreyòl’s vocabulary is from French, its grammatical structures were influenced by West African languages.
- It is the language of revolutionaries. In 1804, Haiti became the second republic in the Americas after a slave rebellion that resulted in the territory gaining its independence from France.
- “Kreyòl pale, kreyòl konprann.” Loosely translated, “Kreyòl speaks, kreyòl understands.” When you study Kreyòl, you can engage more authentically with Haiti’s people and culture.
- It is one of only two officially recognized Creole languages in the Caribbean.The other is Pamamientu, which has official status in Aruba and Curaçao.