The New York Times’ “Ransom” project spoke directly to many Haitians, not just because it provided an explanation for why everyday life in Haiti is so often difficult.
Articles appeared in Haitian Creole alongside English and French.
This was the first time a full article in Haitian Creole (the multi-part series is much smaller) appeared on the Times website, and many Haitians only responded to it over the weekend.
“The greatest service you can do for Haiti today is to read this survey. wrote on twitter Haitian Creole and French from her home in Montreal. “For the first time in history, a newspaper published specific texts in Creole.”
The Times worked with a team of translators based in North Miami, Haitian Creole. Founder and President Fedo Boyer said it was the most ambitious project the team had ever worked on.
Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen, co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haiti Initiative, and Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen, of the Haitian Creole Academy, said the decision to give Haitians the option to read in Haitian Creole sent a “very strong signal”. He is now working with educators in Haiti.
Professor DeGraff said Haitian Creole is the national language of Haiti, one of the two official languages along with French, but many people still believe Haitian Creole is a less important form of communication.
“When it comes to scientific conferences and authoritative forums, Haitians in Haiti tend to prefer French (or even English) over Haitian Creole,” he said. “It is a widely held, but erroneous, notion that language is not ready to undertake scientific or philosophical or intellectual activities involving complex concepts.”
This was not entirely an accident. Professor DeGraff said that Haitian Creole was oppressed by “forces trying to maintain power and prestige for the colonial powers and the upper classes.”
However, he said Haitian Creole is very important because it is “spoken by all Haitians, while French is spoken by a few.” How to impoverish a large percentage of the population in the realm of official life.
“When the New York Times publishes in Haitian Creole, you respect all Haitians,” he said.
All four written articles and timeline graphics in the series were translated by a three-person team at Miami translation firm CreoleTrans. The company’s founder and president, Mr. Boyer said the project was the most demanding of his 20 years as a professional translator because of the number of drafts before publication.
During this project, he recalled his school days in Les Cayes, Haiti, where he used Haitian Creole in class to give students sticks or stones as a symbol of shame.
“This is why we do what we do. Don’t let other people tell people that you ‘wrote a story about Haiti’. They can read themselves. And if they can’t read, someone can read to them in their native language.”