What Is The Official Languages Of Haitian Creole?
One of the saddest things about our world is that the struggles of poor nations are rarely publicized. Everyone knows about the French Revolution. There is hardly any person a little bit familiar with the world’s history who doesn’t know about the American Civil War. But no one can tell you which state became the first nation to declare independence in the Caribbean. We don’t really know much about the world’s history, only the version of it that suited the historians. The people of famous countries are celebrated in history, even when they are clearly at wrong. A freedom fighter becomes a rebel when a story gets told from the perspective of the oppressors.
Centuries have gone by without the world acknowledging the true struggles of many people and it is hard to imagine the opposite will ever happen. No one wants to see the true horrors humanity had to face and is still facing in some regions. This is why movies get made about journalists uncovering corruption in first world countries, and the truth about mass killings and state terrorism in third world states is only shown in documentaries. There is a lot that is wrong with our world. But if we don’t begin to appreciate the strength of those who fight for their rights after struggling for years, we will create a huge divide on earth between the privileged and the underprivileged.
Haiti was the world’s first free state to abolish slavery, long before the modern world countries even considered the idea that it is bad to enslave people. People don’t know anything about the revolution run by the slaves of Haiti that lasted for more than ten years. It is the only instance in history when a state was established thanks to the efforts of slaves. The history of this revolution is far more inspiring than that of other stories from our past but the world has never paid much attention to it.
Despite its glorious birth, things didn’t stay good for Haiti and that hasn’t changed throughout its history. All of the history of Haiti can be summarized by the presence of political instability and extremely poor economic growth. The people of the country do not enjoy good living conditions and that’s why it ranks the lowest on the Human Development Index. Haiti has tried to stay active on the international front. It is one of the founding members of the UN and is a member of the IMF, but that doesn’t change the way its politicians run the country.
The 2010 earthquake, something everyone heard about, destroyed the country and its infrastructure almost completely. Things have not gotten better since despite the work various international organizations has done there.
The Official Languages of Haiti:
Rarely in the history of the world do countries ever get over the influence of their oppressors. Whether the rule lasted for a century or for a decade, the culture and lifestyle of the rulers affected the local population greatly in all instances of occupation. The reason why English is the official language in many countries around the world is simply colonialism. The same reason applies on the popularity of Spanish. People pick the language of their oppressors for one reason or another. Later, when the oppressors finally leave, they don’t take away their influence with them. Colonizers always left things behind. In some places, it was their legal system, in some, their love for sports. Language was one of the pretty obvious things. If the oppressed hadn’t learned it, they never would have been able to communicate with their masters and express their demands.
Although Haiti spent plenty of time under Spanish rule too, it was the French that took any real interest in the colony. They brought over slaves from America, established sugarcane plantations, and brought in money into Haitian Creole. Almost a century later, the Haitians threw the French out, but decided to keep their language. There are two official languages in the country today and one of them is French. It is not only the administrative tongue but also the medium used by press for communication. Most of the schools use French as the medium of instruction. 42% of Haitians can speak and read French. But the language spoken throughout the country is a French creole named Haitian Creole. It came into being when French collided with the native languages of Haiti.
Nearly ninety percent vocabulary of Haitian Creole is derived from the other official language of the country. However, that doesn’t mean that the two are similar. In fact, there are many differences between them. The biggest difference arose due to the grammar of Haitian Creole being similar to that of the languages of West Africa. It was also influenced a little by Spanish and Portuguese. However, it is still a French Creole and considered close to a few other creoles of that tongue.
Despite picking up the tongue of their oppressors, the people of this Caribbean country still managed to keep their identity intact. Today, their tongue is not the same as French and there are plenty of differences that allow Haiti and its people to enjoy their separate place on the stage of the earth. It is about time that the rest of the world start noticing countries like Haiti and give them the attention they deserve. One can start by studying about the cultures of such places. That will help us understand the lifestyle of the people living in such states in a better way.