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Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary

The Indiana University, Creole Institute



Publication date: Spring 2007
© 2007
ISBN 0-929236-06-8

  • 781 + xxxiv pages
  • Introductory remarks on Creole (iii)
  • Orthography and Sound System (v-vi)
  • Grammatical sketch (vii-xviii) [noun phrases, determiners, definite determiners, indefinite determiner, demonstrative determiner, adjectives, personal pronouns, expressing possession, verb system, verb markers, verb markers combinations, aspectual and modal verbs, aspectual verbs, modal verbs, serial verbs, copula {linking verb}, imperative, negative sentences, interrogatives, comparison of adjectives, coordination and subordination, means for expressing emphasis, numbers in Creole]
  • A user’s guide to the dictionary (xix-xxi)
  • Detailed discussion of the content of entries (xxiii-xxviii) [headwords, order of listing of headwords, homonymy and polysemy, verbs, equivalents {glosses}, illustrative examples, order of senses in polysemic words, multiple word subentries, general information, order of listings, subentries with variants, cross references]
  • Bibliography (xxix-xxxii)
  • Hardbound
  • 2 Easy-to-Read Columns in 71/2” x 11” Format

An authoritative, extensive, and new dictionary


  • 30,000 headwords (many, especially verbs, with multiple senses)
  • 26,000 subentries (multiple units or idiomatic expressions whose meanings cannot readily be derived from the individual meaning of the constituent words)
  • 70,000 different senses of words
  • 35,000 idiomatic expressions or compound word

Ordering information

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Please mail orders directly to the Creole Institute at

Creole Institute
Indiana University
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Ballantine Hall 602
Bloomington, IN 47405, USA

Phone (812) 855-4988
Fax (812) 855-2386
E-mail: creole@indiana.edu

Make your check or money order payable to Indiana University. Payment is accepted in US dollars only.

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Phone (812) 855-4988
Fax (812) 855-2386 

Discounts 5-10 copies: 15%;  11 or more copies 20%; bookstores (20 copies or more): 30%


The Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary features an unmatched set of lexicography features

*Abundant sentence-length examples with English translations

kriye1 v int. 1 to cry, weep, sob, wail. Sa ou genyen w ap kriye?: What are you crying for?. 2 to whine. Ase plede kriye la!: Enough whinning! ˚kriye de ran dlo de ran larim see kriye san ˚kriye matyè see kriye san ˚kriye pike to cry one’s heart out. Jan l ap kriye pike la, li p ap janm konsole: The way he’s crying his heart out, he could never be consoled. ˚kriye san {matyè}/kriye de ran dlo de ran larim: to shed bloody tears, cry one’s eyes out. Li kriye san lè l pran nouvèl lanmò a: She shed bloody tears when she heard of the death. Li kriye san paske l pa reyisi egzamen an: She cried her eyes out because she failed the exam. ˚fè yon moun kriye nan yon sèl grenn je to beat severely, tan one’s hide. Si ou anmède m, m ap fè ou kriye nan yon sèl grenn je: If you annoy me, I’ll tan your hide.

kriye2 v int. 1. to peep Tande zwazo yo k ap kriye nan pyebwa a: Listen to the birds peeping in the trees. 2 to creak, squeak Se pou n grese pòt la pou l pa kriye konsa. We have to oil the door so it doesn’t creak like this. 3. to yell at Pa vin kriye sou mwen la: Don’t come yelling at me. ˚kriye lamarye twò bèl to rejoice too early about sth. Pa janm kriye lamarye twò bèl pou pa desi apre: Don’t count your chicken before they hatch so you aren’t disappointed later. cf rele lamarye twò bèl. ˚kriye (rele) onz patou to claim victory before a fight. Jodi a yo bat li, li pa fouti kriye onz patou: Today, he lost the fight, he can’t claim victory.

kriye3 n. weeping. Nou tande bri kriye a: We hear the sound of weeping. cf dlo nan je. ˚glann kriye tear/lachrymal glands.

*Cross-checking references providing links to synonyms or semantically related expressions

siyale2 v tr. to watch closely M ap siyale l lontan pou m te ka bare l nan men: I’ve been watching him closely in order to catch him red-handed. cf liyen1, veye

liyen1 v tr. 12 to tail, spy on, watch s.o. Yo liyen l jis yo kenbe l nan men: They spied on him until they caught him red-handed. cf siyale, veye

veye1 1 v tr. … 3 to spy upon L ap veye moun k ap pale gouvènman an mal: She’s spying on people who speak unfavorably about the government. cf liye1, siyale

*Abundant expressions (subentries)

lalin1 (lin) n. moon •lin a katòz moon just appearing above the mountains •lin ansent {antye/kenz/lan plenn/mapou} full moon •lin balize partially shining moon •lindemyèl honeymoon •lin desann {nan dekou(d)/kasan/kase} waning moon •lin kaba waning crescent moon •lin kwasan {montan} waning moon •lin lan nouvèl  new moon •lin nan mwatye first, last quarter of moon •lalin pa janm chanje katye time stands still, things never change •lin premye dekou waning gibbous moon •lin twa dekou last quarter moon •dekou(d){kasan(t)/patans/patent/trèz} lin waning moon •fèt nan move lin to be jinxed, be cursed Ou fèt nan move lin, tout sa w ap regle pa janm pase byen:You are jinxed, you’ll never succeed in anything you've undertaken. •gwo {laplenn/plenn} lin full moon cf lin ansent •je lalin see je •nan lalin daydreaming. Li p ap suiv, li nan lalin: She isn’t paying attention, she’s daydreaming. •nouvèl lin new moon •plèn lin full moon •pran lalin pou fwomaj to think the moon is made of green cheese, be naive. Sispann pran lalin pou fwomaj: Stop being so naive. •premye katye/ti lin waxing, first quarter moon •swiv lalin see swiv •twoke lalin pou fwomaj see twoke.

*Clear separation of homonym (words with the same spelling but different meaning or different word class)

ba1 see bay

ba2adj. 1 low Branch yo twò ba: The branches are too low. Li kite travay la paske salè l twò ba: She quit her job because the pay was too low. 2 low [discouraged], depressed. Moral msye ba : He is discouraged. 3 weak [unwell] M santi m ba jodi a: I feel weak today. 4 starved, ravenous Msye te ba papa!: He was starved, man! * ·bay kout ba see koutba ·chapo ba! See chapo ·do ba see do·kout ba see koutba ·mache do ba see mache ·pran kout ba see koutba ·vant ba see vant ·yanvalou do ba see yanvalou

ba3 n. stockings * ·ba chosèt (koton) stockings [sports], thick stockings ·ba kilòt panty hose ·demi ba knee-high stocking(s)

ba4n. pack saddle [wooden] cf ekipay, lekipay

ba5 n. line [drawn with a pencil or pen] ·pwen ba period [punctuation]

ba6 n. 1 bar [metal, wood] 2 helm, tiller * ·ba direksyon steering shaft * ·ba fè steel bar cf feray.

·ba fiks (paralèl) parallel bars ·ba savon soap bar. ·ba sekirite security bar ·ba van wind barrier forming rudimentary kitchen ·ba vitès gearshift lever cf levye

ba7 n. stripe

ba8 n. snack bar, small restaurant cf restoran

ba9 n. peck, little kiss on the cheek cf bo * ·fè ba pou yon moun to kiss, to give a kiss. Fè ba pou mwen: Give me a kiss.

ba10 adv. ·mete ba1 to give birth [animal]. Manman bèf la met ba yè: The cow gave birth yesterday. cf mete atè ·met(e) ba2 /medba to whelp, give birth [animal] Manman bèf la met bay yè, li fè de ti vach: The cow gave birth last night, she had two calves. cf akouche, mete atè, miba ·mete yon moun ba to humiliate s.o. Pouki ou mete pitit la ba konsa: Why do you humiliate the child like that? ·mete ba lèzam (lezam) to lay down arms, stop fighting. Nou mande militè pou yo met ba lèzam: We asked the soldiers to lay down their arms. ·pa ba from the rectum Yo ba l lavman an pa ba: They gave her the enema from the restum. ·pale ba see pale.


Courtesy of
E. W. Vedrine Creole Project
Boston, Massachusetts


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