After several informative and fun conversation hours this spring semester with Illinois State Management Development International (MDI), participants from various Francophone countries, four Haitians with professions in the national government visited Laura Edwards’ French 116 (Second Year French, Part II) class to exchange questions and answers about Haiti and Haitian Creole.

Several Haitian MDI participants visited a French 116 class

Students prepared questions beforehand that ranged from “What is life like in Haiti” to “What is the history of the French language in Haiti?” to “Is there a past, present, and future tense in Haitian Creole?” Students were excited to learn about variations in pronunciation (less use of the French R) and much simpler conjugations of verbs. Phonetically, Haitian Creole is easy to figure out once you learn the alphabet and all of the sounds.  Every letter is pronounced.

At the end of the get-together, many students in French 116 were eager to travel to Haiti and experience life and language there firsthand.  We hope that this is only the beginning of a friendship with and growing knowledge of Haiti, its people, and language.