February 10, 2014 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Creole is French with a stroke. Like how Portuguese is Spanish with a stroke, and Dutch is English with a stroke.

Or maybe it's the other way around. Whenever I hear my uncle speak Creole, I think I'm having a stroke.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:32 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Huh. I had no idea that Haiti was founded on the only successful slave revolt in recorded history.

That's a remarkable piece of research. "I have succeeded where two hundred years of previous researchers have failed" certainly seems like something you can build a career on.
posted by mhoye at 7:35 AM on February 10

Oh man, I love a good archive-digging adventure story. This shit is like Indiana Jones to me.

Also, this:
What I appreciated most about the international public reaction was the obvious hunger for an alternative narrative of Haiti, one that emphasized the global significance of its achievements during and after the revolution. Cave’s article quoted Leslie Manigat, a Haitian historian and former president. “In the context of the Haitian tragedy,” Manigat argued, “it is important for Haitians and the rest of the world to remember the independence of Haiti.” It was a chance for a public audience to talk about something other than Haiti’s recent political turmoil, devastating poverty, and the destruction of the earthquake.
posted by this is a thing at 7:49 AM on February 10

Dutch is English with a stroke.

Correction. English is Frysian with a stroke, and an unfortunate habit of riffling other languages' pockets.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:49 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]

Huh. I had no idea that Haiti was founded on the only successful slave revolt in recorded history.

The revolt was successful, but France held a gun to Haiti's head for quite a while, bleeding her almost dry:
The Haiti indemnity controversy refers to events surrounding the 1825 demand by France for a FR₣150 million indemnity (later FR₣90 million, comparable to US$12.7 billion as of 2009 with consideration to inflation) to be paid by the Republic of Haiti in claims over property lost through the Haitian Revolution in return for diplomatic recognition. The demand was allegedly delivered to the country by 12 French warships armed with 500 cannons.

Diplomatic recognition by France of Haiti only came in 1834, thirty years after the latter country's declaration of independence. The indemnity was an unrealistic amount, and could never have been fully paid.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:13 AM on February 10

Deal with the devil, man.
posted by Madamina at 9:08 AM on February 10

Interesting story and definitely makes being a liberal studies grad student rather glamorous...."went to London, DC, Haiti....etc...etc" Whee! For my MA, I just visited the exotic locations of Archives II and Norman, Oklahoma....woot, woot.

I think the only thing missing from this story is someone discovering a copy of the declaration inside a frame at a yard sale. It also definitely reinforces how interconnected the world was in the early 1800s.
posted by Atreides at 9:41 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Dutch is German, as transcribed by a drunken Englishman.
posted by Seeba at 9:42 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]

Dutch is German, as transcribed by a drunken Englishman.

I don't think the Englishman is drunk. I think he's on Novocaine.
posted by Madamina at 9:45 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]

Oh my God. I just spent an hour sounding that shiz out. I love it, it's like a puzzle!! "Desenm" for "decembre"?! Brilliant!
posted by Mooseli at 2:07 PM on February 10


And Kreyòl spelling is gloriously regular and consistent compared to French. It's like Kreyòl has scraped off all the silent or near-silent consonants and all the historically accumulated weirdness, and written the words the obvious easy normal way. There's something really satisfying about seeing spellings like viktwa and vwayaj and kado and efò, and going "Shit, yeah, that is what that word actually sounds like."
posted by this is a thing at 3:22 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

But it's awfully hard when you're trying to do Creole and French in the same choir concert and are doing it all phonetically.

Go on! Ask me how I know!
posted by Madamina at 3:31 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Guard your heart when you study the history of Haiti, for it will leave you devastated. There is no rational thing that it can be compared against, and the level of horror in its reality is beyond our comprehension.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:59 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

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