Kreyol pronunciations that affect the spelling of names

RO is pronounced WO. Roody = Woody, Eronise = Ewonise.

R isn’t pronounced when it’s not followed by a vowel. Cherline = Cheline, Lourdes = Loudes.

“Front-rounded vowels” are a major prestige marker. The educated elite uses them to distinguish themselves from the masses/the peasantry/the rural population, who use unrounded vowels. People who speak only Kreyol may “hypercorrect” vowels that should be unrounded to rounded vowels in order to sound more educated. [source]

The rounded vowels are closer to French, and the unrounded are native Kreyol. For example, the rounded u (umlaut) of “du riz,” rice, is duri with a rounded vowel, and diri with an unrounded vowel. “Sucre,” sugar, is suk with a rounded vowel, and sik without.

u (umlaut -> i: du riz = duri = diri, sucre = suk = sik

o (umlaut) -> e: bleu = bleu = ble, mesure = meuzu = mezi

oe -> ɛ: peur = peu = pe, beurre = beu = be

oe (tilde) -> ɛ (tilde): lundi = lundi = lendi, parfum = pafun = pafen

Based on the examples above, the final R disappears from all Kreyol words.

A final D is silent, so it can be left off (or added to words that didn’t have it): Altenor, Altenord.

Other French-to-Haitian comparisons: depuis = depi (day-pi), chien = chen, boite = bwat, honneur = hone (o-neh), respect = respe (ray-speh)

I wish I knew the words to put into Google to get a rundown of how French words change when they enter Kreyol.


French spelling that affects the spelling of Kreyol-pronounced names

Letters that are pronounced alike

ai, aie, è, ei, e [before two or more consonants (including double consonants), x (in all cases), or a final consonant (silent or pronounced)] = e as in bed

au, eau, o (at the end of a word, or before s/z) = o

t, tt, th = t

ch, sh = sh


Same Name, Different Spelling

These pairs of names belong to the same person, as verified by their CIN (personal identification number). In the document they came from, the Liste des Agentes de Securite Electoral, family names were supposed to be listed first, and personal names second.

  • OMESTIC Mackenson, OMESTYL Marckenson – The C/L switch is probably a typo. Omestil = Omestyl, Mack = Marck.
  • CASIMIR Miyensky, CASIMIR Mijensky – IY = IJ. Possibly a nod to Scandinavian/Slavic pronunciations of J.
  • AURELUS Daniel, ORELUS Daniel – AU = O
  • EXUS Gaspard, EXY Gaspard
  • CHEREMOND Junior, CHEREMONT Junior – mond = mont
  • MICHEL Beathe, MICHEL Berth = The name is probably Berthe. Disappearing R, disappearing silent E.
  • CIVIL Jackson, JACKENSON Civil – Transposition of family and personal name; Jackson = Jackenson, which is probably personal preference or a nickname, since the difference between the names is audible.
  • MALIVERT Jemson, MALIVERT Jameson – James = Jems
  • EMIL Thermidor, EMILE Termildor
  • PIERRE Frisnel, PIERRE Fritznel – S = TZ
  • RODNEY Jean Claudi, RODNEY Jean Claudy
  • BRIZE Louis-Menes, LOUISMENES Brize
  • COLAS Elan, KOLA Elan
  • NOEL Ghyslaine, NOEL Gishlene
  • DUROSIER Frederic, FREDERIQUE Durozier
  • SAINT FLEUR Sostene, ST FLEUR Sosthene
  • LEGERME Elys, LESLY Legen – Transposition plus typos; Legerme Elys is supposed to be the same as Legen Lesly.

Probably typos:

  • GUERRIER Elumaque, GUERRIER Telemaque
  • JEUDY Vita, JEUDY Vina
  • ELIBERT Pierre Enod, ELIZAIRE Pierre Enod


Names in Kreyol


Darline = Dalin

Eve = Ev

Ginette = Jinèt

Josephine = Jozefin

Mary-Rose = Mariwoz

Sarah, Sara = Sara

Stephanie = Stefani

Rachel = Rachèl

Rosalie = Wozali


Adam = Adan

Adolph = Ad’of

Adrien = Adriyen

Albert = Albè

Anthony = Antoni

Antoine = Antw’an

Berton = Bètonn

Blaise = Blèz

Charles (pronounced the French way) = Chal

Etienne = Etyèn

Frank = Frank

Jacques = Jak

Jean-Claude = Janklod

Jean-Jacques = Jan-Jak

Jean-Marie = Jan-Mari

Judes = Jud

Max = Maks

Pierre = Pyè

Roger = Woje

Stephane = Stefàn

Yves = Iv

Last Names

Bosquet = Boskè

Dejean = Dejan

Roumain = Woumen

Savain = Saven

Potential Sources

Voice of America News – Browse Region – Haiti