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Haitian Creole
Article 4 Article 13


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Native Name
Kreyol

Official Language: Haiti
Home Speakers: French West Indies, Dominican Republic

Background
A Creole (and also a Pidgin) is a language variety used for interethnic contact. In many cases where peoples of different linguistic groups come need to communicate, they use a third language (or material of a third language), in which they have some competence. As a result thereof, the language in question may undergo drastic changes and result in an entirely new language. The outcome of such a process may be a Pidgin or a Creole. Most linguists agree that a Creole is a Pidgin whose lexicon and grammar have been expanded or nativized. The Pidgin is usually not anyone's primary language (so its users have their native tongue to fall back on for in-group communication, i.e. Nigerian Pidgin English), but when it becomes a native language for its speakers it is called a Creole. Haitian is one of the most widely spoken Creoles on earth, drawing most of its lexicon from French with linguistic influences from Wolof. Haitian is spoken by over 7 million people. In Haiti it is the only language of 95% of the population. Haitian Creole was granted legal and educational status in 1961, but it still has a lower social status than Standard French (the other official language of Haiti). The Faublas-Pressoir orthography has now become the standard for spelling rules.

Reprinted from www.unhchr.ch/udhr/