There was a crisis in 2010 when Haiti experienced an earthquake and the international bodies who responded to the emergency could not communicate with the victims due to language barriers. This led to various measures being put in place to help volunteers get translation services. The Carnegie Mello University released data from its resources to help the volunteers. This database was backed up by Google Translate and Microsoft Research. Since then, various free applications have been developed to help individuals who want to learn Haitian Creole. This includes iPhone and iPad applications.
Haitian Creole has been the official language spoken in Haiti since 1961, alongside French. This language is spoken by 9 million people in Haiti. Haitian Creole has largely been influenced by French when it comes to pronunciation and Morphology. Haitian Creole has also been influenced by other languages such as Wolof, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Taino and Fon. Generally, French is used in schools and when conducting formal business, while Creole is used at home. Creole is an informal French version, which incorporates a lot of slang spoken in Haiti. Haitian Creole uses a variation of the Latin alphabet. English speakers who want to learn the language should be aware that the pronunciation of the letters is not similar to English pronunciation. Words are pronounced just the same way they are spelled. Diacritic marks are often used on top of vowels when it comes to certain words. This gives an idea of how the words should be pronounced. Generally, it is thought that English speakers will find it easier to learn Haitian Creole. However, it is still important that you practice on a regular basis, if you want to get a good grasp of the language.
1 million people in the Haitian diaspora speak Haitian Creole. Speakers can also be found in Cuba, USA, Canada, France, Caribbean countries and the Dominican Republic. In Cuba, Haitian Creole is the second most spoken language. It is widely spoken by Haitian immigrants in the country. Cubans who have never been to Haiti can also speak the language fluently. There is a radio station that broadcasts in Haitian Creole. The radio station is based in Havana, Cuba.