Thursday, November 11, 2010

Update on a Creole…

We are talking like kids in kindergarten, maybe first grade.  I guess that is good?!

We have been working at it, and are making good progress… I think.

From my vantage point, I often feel like we don’t have the time to invest like we would like.  When there are many other pressing responsibilities, it is hard to carve out the time to sit and study.  In fact, impossible.  Most will say, you just have to do it.  I say, you can’t really say that until you live a day or two in my shoes.  There is so much activity that is happening right now, it is just hard to pull away.  I am a little bit discouraged with how little time I have to invest, but I guess this is probably a normal feeling that language learners feel.

Yeah, I know, we just have to do it.

We have remained committed to having our teacher, Pastor Wilfried (see pic), come every weekday for an hour lesson.  There have been a fair amount of days that we have had to cancel because I am out with a team, but generally speaking, we meet every day between 9-10 am.  I have recently tried to get some time to study in the morning at the office before anyone else arrives.  I am hoping this works out.

We can now converse in simple dialogue.  We can greet a congregation from the pulpit totally in Creole.

Becky is great around the house with our Haitian staff.  This practice has been a huge help to her.  She is doing great.  I would say she is hearing Creole better than I.  No, it’s not a competition (so she thinks!).  She is excelling with hearing, where I may be struggling a bit.  It is one thing to be in control and be able to say something, but it is a totally other thing to understand someone else who is speaking.  Becky knows more Creole words related to the home, children, food and cooking.  I know more words related to the church, office work, staff, etc.

Yes, it seems that everything I say can be mostly understood.  This is encouraging!  But more and more I am finding that what I am saying isn’t really the way a Haitian would say it.  For instance, the other day I said “nou te kondwi vit”, which ‘word-for-word’ means “we drove quickly”.  Well, apparently Haitians don’t use that phrase.  They would instead say “nou kouri anpil” which technically means “we ran fast”, but contextually it would mean “we drove quickly”.  It seems more and more I am learning new ways of saying things.  I guess this is all the process of learning.

Sometimes I feel we are making great progress, but other days, it feels like we will never get it.


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