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The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University (CLACS) proudly offers two levels of elementary classes in Haitian Kreyòl, Haiti’s official Mother Tongue. 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. CLACS students are able to take Kreyòl at no cost. For the list of offerings, please see the current course schedule. Quechua, a indigenous language of the Andes region of South America, is also offered at the IDLC at NYU (www.idlc.nyc).
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 first Black 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 spoken, kreyòl understood.” 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.
WL49@NYU.EDU or on social media @haitiancreoleinstitute (instagram) and @kreyolnyc (Twitter & Facebook)
Taking Haitian Kreyòl will allow you to fulfill your Columbia language requirement.