Short Course in Haitian History for Newbies -

mountainannie

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One of the most renowned experts on Haiti was Bob Corbett. He worked in Haiti for many years and then maintained an English list service that is still on-goint "The Corbett List" - He wrote an insightful essay on "Why is Haiti so Poor" back in 1986 - which he revisted in the "90s and which I reprinted on my blog - https://elizabetheames.blogspot.com/2009/01/why-is-haiti-so-poor.html
 

Naked_Snake

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One of the most renowned experts on Haiti was Bob Corbett. He worked in Haiti for many years and then maintained an English list service that is still on-goint "The Corbett List" - He wrote an insightful essay on "Why is Haiti so Poor" back in 1986 - which he revisted in the "90s and which I reprinted on my blog - https://elizabetheames.blogspot.com/2009/01/why-is-haiti-so-poor.html
I have a lot to thank him for. He became my source as to the books to look for when I began to delve heavily into this part of the island back in 2005.
 

mountainannie

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I have a lot to thank him for. He became my source as to the books to look for when I began to delve heavily into this part of the island back in 2005.
I learned a lot from being on the Corbett list over the years - it has gone pretty dormant now. But I actually made a lot of "friends" from that list - same as the "friends" from this Board... The article that he posted is certainly the most insightful into all the back reasons of poverty - particularly on the class distinctions - mulatto/black - stuff that foreigners may simply not get...
 

Naked_Snake

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I learned a lot from being on the Corbett list over the years - it has gone pretty dormant now. But I actually made a lot of "friends" from that list - same as the "friends" from this Board... The article that he posted is certainly the most insightful into all the back reasons of poverty - particularly on the class distinctions - mulatto/black - stuff that foreigners may simply not get...
The educational one between Kreyolspeakers and French speaking ones is equally as heavy, specially since STEM material in Kreyol is in the infancy of being produced.
 
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mountainannie

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The educational one between Kreyolspeakers and French speaking ones is equally as heavy, specially since STEM material in Kreyol is in the infancy of being produced.
When I was in Haiti - back when dinosaurs roamed - the only Kreyole-English dictionary was a pamphlet. Now there is a CD course!

I did try to learn it - but found that what with already knowing French and then having to really brush up what little Spanish I had - it was just tooo much.

I often spoke to myself in sentences with words in three languages! My best friends were French so we three spoke a sorta FrEnish with one another - switching back and forth - ending up in English when I got tired...

But I found that when I was across the border in the market towns in Haiti, there was always someone who understood my French - and I understand enough Kreyole to get around. Plus, of course, in the border towns there are plenty of folks who speak Spanish.

I used to get into arguments with the young earnest Peace Corps types who insisted that ALL education in Haiti ought to be Kreyole - to "avoid instructing them in the language of the oppressor" - and certainly my best Haitian friend - who went to a V. Good French school talked of how angry her parents would be if she spoke French at home but her Very UpTown boyfriend would ONLY speak to her in French.

My position was if the Haitians did not learn French they would be forever isolated - forever at the mercy of whatever an interpreter wanted them to say. Not to mention that there is no literature in Kreyol - that they would always be a small isolated people - that the ONLY way for them to break the cycle of poverty was for them to LEARN FRENCH! Which - is - an - international language... But - what most Haitians I met really wanted to learn was English. Can't blame them... follow the money. I did find that educated Haitians - who had some high school - were amazing at being able to learn other languages - even Russian! Perhaps it was being in the two languages early on? Since they are really quite different even though there are lots of words the same.

When I worked with the Haitian journalists, they always teased me that I did not know Kreyol -but I would tell them that NOW was a PERFECT opportunity for them to practice their French - since ALL of them were educated in it.
 
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mountainannie

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Talking with someone else on a completely different subject - and this map came up - https://rsf.org/en/world-press-free...pM15JzrWAU47onnbcvJzShMdU5riBlyTs1daQXcNkJHrc. I was surprised to see that Haiti ranked higher than the DR - I suppose that is from the massive radio broadcasts? Since very few Haitians can read. And the Haitian newspapers are printed only in French, I believe. Le Matin used to be available on line - I guess they - like Brittanica - gave up -- But their TV was in Kreyol - https://www.facebook.com/Le-Matin-Haiti-128813183859697/
 

PICHARDO

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Haiti should do away with French in schools and turn to Spanish to further integrate with the rest of Latin America. Haitian Creole will continue to be the mother tongue for the population for generations, learned at home and street.

That’s the key to get Haiti going somewhere fast.

Let French be a subject language at school, but not the official language.
It’s worthless in this part of the world in a failed state condition.

Truth must be told...
 

mountainannie

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Haiti should do away with French in schools and turn to Spanish to further integrate with the rest of Latin America. Haitian Creole will continue to be the mother tongue for the population for generations, learned at home and street.

That’s the key to get Haiti going somewhere fast.

Let French be a subject language at school, but not the official language.
It’s worthless in this part of the world in a failed state condition.

Truth must be told...
While that would certainly be a good idea, it isn't likely to happen.
Haitians that I know would be more open to having English as their THIRD language rather than Spanish.

The reality is that since the very beginning educated Haitians have been taught French. They have read French literature. They quote Racine and Moliere - they have been formed by French thinkers.

Those who have actually gone on to the University level in Haiti have had to pass the French Bac - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baccalauréat which is considered in US colleges to be the equivalent of the first 2 years of college.

The historical enmity between Haiti & the DR makes Spanish an unlikely choice despite the fact the hundreds - if not thousands - of Haitians go to the DR for their university training. The DR medical schools are filled with Haitian students but, unfortunately, very few of them plan to return to Haiti (when I interviewed a group). The Haitian medical society - just as All Things in Haiti - keeps their ranks very closed - requiring certain years of education in Haiti etc, in order to be qualified to practice there.
 

mountainannie

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PICARDO - it is really a question of "follow the money" - with English the Haitians can Write Better Grants , seek money from the entire international community - Japan, Norway, Germany - all the countries giving aid money. Also work for the international aid agencies - the big NGOs which are still the very best jobs in Haiti. Spanish is only needed for cross-border trade. Haiti has very little to export - except its mangoes - which already go to the US.
 
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johne

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Haiti should do away with French in schools and turn to Spanish to further integrate with the rest of Latin America. Haitian Creole will continue to be the mother tongue for the population for generations, learned at home and street.

That’s the key to get Haiti going somewhere fast.

Let French be a subject language at school, but not the official language.
It’s worthless in this part of the world in a failed state condition.

Truth must be told...
I'm not trying to be a wise guy, but for the younger kids it might be wise to teach them a little Mandarin Chinese as I believe in the not too distance future they would be ahead of the curve. One other thing while I'm at it; FWIW the chinese know how to rebuild, or build from scratch a port.
 
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mountainannie

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I'm not trying to be a wise guy, but for the younger kids it might be wise to teach them a little Mandarin Chinese as I believe in the not too distance future they would be ahead of the curve. One other thing while I'm at it; FWIW the chinese know how to rebuild, or build from scratch a port.
Yeah - THAT is a pretty scary prospect. Haiti has a long history of supporting Taiwan. But the VERY first plane that arrived in PauP after the 2010 earthquake was from mainland China... The Yanks arrived quickly and took control of the airport and would not let it offload until they got there - but the French, via Medicins San Frontiers, arrived 2nd (& complained that the Yanks had taken over the airport). AE and I discussed the fact that "communists with guns" arriving in this hemisphere was a pretty alarming sight. (not that I knew that they had guns - they do not need to carry them)
 
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