What is a good language to learn in the DR?

Gitana-

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I will be moving to San Pedro de Macoris next week and was thinking about trying to learn a new language in the 4 years or so that I will be there. Spanish is my first language and my English is pretty good. I was thinking about either Portuguese, Italian or French.

I will be working in the health area afterwards (in the US), most probably with underserved populations, maybe Haitian Creole would be a better choice? Is it very similar to French?

Is there a population of any of those nationatilities in the San Pedro area?
 

Bronxboy

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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-1Ripm6RuDU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>..................


Just a thought...........
 

Gitana-

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What is a good language to learn in the DR? That's easy: "Hillbilly Spanish."

Frank
LOL

I already understand "Hillbilly Spanish", "Dominican" and "Mexican" and I am NOT interested in speaking them!

Maybe Kreol so you can communicate with all of the Haitians.
I'm leaning more towards this. Creole (Kreyol?) is probably a more practical choice even if I love the sounds of Italian and Portuguese. There is a growing population of Haitians in Central Florida so I would also be able to use it when I come back.
 

Africaida

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I will be moving to San Pedro de Macoris next week and was thinking about trying to learn a new language in the 4 years or so that I will be there. Spanish is my first language and my English is pretty good. I was thinking about either Portuguese, Italian or French.

I will be working in the health area afterwards (in the US), most probably with underserved populations, maybe Haitian Creole would be a better choice? Is it very similar to French?

Is there a population of any of those nationatilities in the San Pedro area?
I would learn French, not kreyole, because Haitians also speak French as Kreyole was derived from French. Also when you return to the US, it could also be useful with other communities such as Francophone Africans. It will also be easier to practice, to find newspaper, TV.

Lastly, French will be a little more challenging than either Italian and French, if that s what you are looking for.

Learning kreyole before French makes little sense IMHO, it is like learning Jamaican Patois before English. :alien:
 
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Gitana-

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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-1Ripm6RuDU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>..................


Just a thought...........
Interesting that you mention it. My daughter in law is an ASL Interpreter, she has a BS in the language and does it for a living, and she absolutely LOVES her job. My son is following in her footsteps and going to school now for it and my youngest daughter plans to do it also. I find it really difficult. I know a few phrases and how to spell my (shortened) name, that's it. I'll keep it in mind, thank you for the suggestion.

ctrob: Chinese????!!!!! Not in my wildest dreams.
 

Gitana-

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I would learn French, not kreyole, because Haitians also speak French as Kreyole was derived from French. Also when you return to the US, it could also be useful with other communities such as Francophone Africans. It will also be easier to practice, to find newspaper, TV.

Lastly, French will be a little more challenging than either Italian and French, if that s what you are looking for.

Learning kreyole before French makes little sense IMHO, it is like learning Jamaican Patois before English. :alien:
Makes a lot of sense. Do Haitians in general speak/understand French, or is it only the more educated ones?
 

drstock

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I would learn French, not kreyole, because Haitians also speak French as Kreyole was derived from French. Also when you return to the US, it could also be useful with other communities such as Francophone Africans. It will also be easier to practice, to find newspaper, TV.
It is NOT true that all Haitians speak French. Many can't understand you if you try to speak to them in French.

However, I find it quite amusing to interject with a "Oui!" when Haitians are talking. They get quiet a shock, thinking I know what they are saying!
 

JaraChica

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Learn Kreyol. It's super easy to learn, (I was totally fluent in about 6 months) you can use it a TON through out the DR (I translate in hospitals pretty often) and once you learn Kreyol, French become much easier. What make Kreyol easy is that they have no verb conjugations, and a small vocabulary. As far as being similar to French, much of the vocabulary SOUNDS like French, but written phonetically, like Spanish. So, to say 'bad', you say 'move' in Kreyol, read just like Spanish and sounds just like 'mauvais' (French). I now understand a lot of spoken French (mainly the verbs), because it sounds like Kreyol!
 

Africaida

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Makes a lot of sense. Do Haitians in general know French, or is it only the more educated ones?
All the one I met, even in DR, knew French. The more educated one are obviously more comfortable with it since they speak it more often.
 

Major448

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I would learn French, not kreyole, because Haitians also speak French as Kreyole was derived from French. Also when you return to the US, it could also be useful with other communities such as Francophone Africans. It will also be easier to practice, to find newspaper, TV.

Lastly, French will be a little more challenging than either Italian and French, if that s what you are looking for.

Learning kreyole before French makes little sense IMHO, it is like learning Jamaican Patois before English. :alien:
It is estimated that only about 10% of Haitians speak French ... the "educated/ruling" class. But ALL Haitians speak Creole.

I would go with Creole if I wanted to be able to speak with "any" Haitian ... but French would work if I wanted to interact with just the upper levels.

creolenationallanguageofhaiti
Haitian Creole - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Africaida

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It is NOT true that all Haitians speak French. Many can't understand you if you try to speak to them in French.

However, I find it quite amusing to interject with a "Oui!" when Haitians are talking. They get quiet a shock, thinking I know what they are saying!
Not my experience. I never met an Haitian who couldn't understand me in French, the same way I know what they are talking about when they speak Kreyole.

@Major :I speak French with all the Haitian I met in DR, they are no educated nor ruling class. The younger one, born and raised in DR, do not understand well as they didn't go to school in Haiti.

But as Jarachica said, if it is super easy, unlike French, then I would start with that.
 

JaraChica

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Absolutely true! Most Haitians do not speak French, it's only a small percentage of the Haitians that had access to good education that learn French. Even at that, they read it more than they speak it, usually.