1. Both Haitian Creole and French are official languages of Haiti
For those of you who own businesses and are not familiar with the island of Haiti and its people, this article should be of tremendous help. Haiti is a small island in the Caribbean and Its population is about ten or eleven million people. There are two main languages spoken on the Island, Haitian-Creole and French. The latter used to be the official language of the country, but it is no more. Haitian-Creole is now the official language of Haiti. Although Haitian-Creole is the official language of the country, the official documents of the government are mostly written in French. It’s been that way since the nation was created in January 1, 1804 after their independence from the French. Documents originating from the island will more than likely be in French rather than Haitian Creole.
2. There are practically more Haitian nationals living in the US than most of Haiti’s major cities
The Haitian population here in the US is now estimated at over 1 million people. Most Haitian immigrants live on the east coast of the United States with New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida having the most of these immigrants. What this means is that if your business is located on the east coast and you have not dealt with a Haitian client yet, sooner or later you most likely will and you more than likely will need an interpreter or translator at that time. This brings me to my last point.
3. Your Haitian client will probably need an interpreter or translator
All Haitian immigrants speak Haitian Creole and some speak French as well due to the fact that instruction in most schools in Haiti is conducted in French. A good number of them speak English well because they’ve studied it in school. Additionally, if they’ve resided in the US for quite some time, they will tend to speak English fluently. Most of them will require the help of an interpreter due to a complete inability to communicate in English or due to having a strong accent that makes it difficult for them to communicate effectively. Here at Languages Unlimited, we receive requests for Haitian Creole interpreters on a regular basis. Our clients that are attorneys are leading the way in terms of requests for the Haitian Creole language. On a given week day, the number of depositions, recorded statements or trials involving a Haitian national in the state of Florida for instance is very large. Our clients that are doctors should be in the same predicament. Hattian Creole speaking patients are seen in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s office all over the east coast of the US daily.
An important thing to remember is that the documents that you will receive from your clients who are from Haiti will be in French. You will need a French translator to work with these documents. Preparing to accommodate your Haitian client is a smart thing to do. As I stated earlier, it is simply a matter of time before you have a client that requires such interpreter or translator and you will be glad you did.