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#1145: Bilingualism: Dorce replies to Durran


In a message dated 11/29/1999 9:09:13 AM Pacific Standard Time, Mary Durran 
<mdurran@colba.net> writes:

<< I quite agree with Greg Chamberlain on this.  While in the long term
 Haitians might want to work to have Creole established as the sole official
 language of Haiti, we have to face that in the short term, practically all
 the opportunities are available only to those who speak French. 
I think people may be laboring under false assumptions here.  Contrary to the 
posts on this thread, the vast majority of Haitians who do not speak French 
and live in various levels of poverty, DO NOT wish to be part of the 
bourgeoisie.  I use my husband as a reference on this and many other matters 
that concern the majority class Haitian.  He tells me that if you are Haitian 
you speak Kreyol so therefore if a Haitian speaks French to him, he will 
reply in Kreyol and considers the French as the Haitian equivalent of 
"putting on airs."  (By the way, he speaks French and will respond in French 
to a French speaker given that (s)he is not Haitian)  He said, "I am Kreyol 
not French so that is what I speak."  What non-French speaking Haitians 
aspire to is the capability to make enough money to give them and their 
families a decent life.  (Much like most everyone in the world)  Perhaps the 
answer to this Kreyol/French conundrum is for the minority French speakers of 
Haiti to stop devaluing Kreyol and Kreyol speakers as low class and a measure 
of one's uneducated status.  Integration of Haiti's two distinct 
personalities needs to happen so that Haiti can become functional.  That is 
the importance of this thread.