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  #121  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 10:32 AM
jd3189 jd3189 is offline
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
It could be that those Haitians with the ability to emigrate tend to be more the ones who can speak French.

I don't think I've ever met a Haitian here who couldn't speak French and only spoke Kwéyol.
it also depends on the region. Haitians in the NE are more middle/upper class and thus are more likely to know French. They may also have family in Montreal and keep up with the language. Down in South Florida, most of the Haitian community is more lower class, often newcomers. They speak mainly Creole/ Kreyol.

My parents are Haitians who emigrated to NYC originally but moved down to FL. They know both French and Haitian Creole, which makes sense. But a lot of the people I knew growing who came straight from Haiti commonly spoke Creole. Like what was mentioned before, French is a formal language in Haiti. It’s what they speak in government, schools, etc. Creole is the language of the people, similar to Patois in Jamaica and AAVE in the US.
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  #122  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 12:44 PM
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it also depends on the region. Haitians in the NE are more middle/upper class and thus are more likely to know French. They may also have family in Montreal and keep up with the language. Down in South Florida, most of the Haitian community is more lower class, often newcomers. They speak mainly Creole/ Kreyol.

My parents are Haitians who emigrated to NYC originally but moved down to FL. They know both French and Haitian Creole, which makes sense. But a lot of the people I knew growing who came straight from Haiti commonly spoke Creole. Like what was mentioned before, French is a formal language in Haiti. It’s what they speak in government, schools, etc. Creole is the language of the people, similar to Patois in Jamaica and AAVE in the US.
Hey, I did not know you were Ayisyen in origin.

Ma nwè pita! :-)

(Hope I didn't screw that up.)
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  #123  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 12:44 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Not so much for very young kids; due to their brain's elasticity and rapid neural development. Older kids/ teens and adults will be much harder. My niece was learning to count in Mandarin while she was learning to count in English. Had she stuck with it, she'd probably be conversational by now (she's 15).
My daughter was introduced to Mandarin starting at age 5, and it hasn't helped much. Her pronunciation is much better of the individual words she knows is good, but she's not conversational after 8 years.

Mind you, this comes down to how the district teachers Mandarin (a few times a week in one class). Any time you attempt to teach a kid language by the standard class method (as opposed to immersion) it's going to be a miserable failure.
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  #124  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by streetscaper View Post
Lio's response below hits the nail on the head:


Yup the vast majority of Haitians in Haiti and the US are not fluent in French
It still happens fairly regularly that some will try to speak to me in French, especially in Florida or NYC. If I am there long enough, it almost always happens at least once.

Yes, some of them are sometimes hard to understand, as I assume they are trying to "bridge" between their native language and more standard French.

Though I may be hard to understand for them too!
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  #125  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 1:36 PM
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You didn't know jd3189 was a Haïtien pure laine? Thought it was common knowledge
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  #126  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 1:38 PM
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Ma nwè pita! :-)

(Hope I didn't screw that up.)
Just don't call him "a good man", you just know some of the sense is going to get lost in translation
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  #127  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 2:11 PM
streetscaper streetscaper is online now
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post

Ma nwè pita! :-)

(Hope I didn't screw that up.)
Hahah I can't pick out what you're attempting to say :-(

N'a we pita?? (We'll see each other later?)
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  #128  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 2:17 PM
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Just don't call him "a good man", you just know some of the sense is going to get lost in translation
Have to admit I did think of that, as I do know the expression!
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  #129  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 2:20 PM
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Hahah I can't pick out what you're attempting to say :-(

N'a we pita?? (We'll see each other later?)
Haha! So I did screw it up!
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  #130  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 2:33 PM
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As I understand it, kids' brains are most primed for secondary language adoption between ~8 years old and ~11 years old. This seemed true for my wife, who moved from Japan to America when she was 8. She went from ESL-only classes to a full-time integrated student between 2nd and 4th grade. This was back in the early 90s in the Bay Area. I imagine ESL is more advanced than it was back then too.

My cousin went to a Catholic elementary school in New Hampshire in the late 80s, and from the first day of 1st grade, she had full immersion French for half the day. She was native fluent by 3rd grade.

I started learning Japanese . . . once I landed here when I was 20. It's been over two decades now, and I'm still not fluent at a native-level, despite daily full immersion. I'm fully "business fluent" and I have the cultural/situational social understanding necessary to speak at a native level, but I will never be fully literate: I'm just never going to remember how to write the 2,500+ kanji. I can read nearly that number, but I cannot commit all those stroke orders to memory. Especially because of how you input kanji on phones or PCs.
Adding anecdotes, I moved to the US when I was 5 and started kindergarten soon after not speaking a word of English. But by the start of 2nd grade I was fluent (and now my English is unsurprisingly much better than my Romanian).
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  #131  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2022, 2:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Same here, but IMO it's almost certainly because the ones who move here quickly pick up decent French.

Thinking back about it, my Haitian neighbor in FL spoke Creole (his native language) and English, but no proper French -- though I could understand a good bit of Creole, especially if he speaks slowly and we're allowed back-and-forth (which increases the chances of hitting pockets of mutual intelligibility with French).
You also get the same thing with... Romanians.

If you live in Quebec or France you probably have the impression that all or most Romanians speak French.

But if you go there... it's only a relatively small minority that do. I mean, still, more than anywhere else in central-eastern Europe, but it's probably just in the range of 10-15%. Maybe even less these days.
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