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February 1, 2010

Google Translate Adds Haitian Creole

Google's translation service added support for Haitian Creole, the most popular language in Haiti. "Haitian Creole language, often called simply Creole or Kreyòl, is a language spoken in Haiti by about eight million people, which is about 80% of the entire population, and via emigration, by about one million speakers residing in the Bahamas, Cuba, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Belize, Puerto Rico, and United States," mentions Wikipedia.

It's an early release labeled as "alpha", so the translation quality isn't very high.

A week ago, Microsoft Translator added support for Haitian Creole. "In the current crisis in Haiti there are a number of initiatives to rapidly build software to assist in humanitarian aid. Responding to community requests for a machine translation (MT) system to translate between English and Haitian Creole, our team has been hard at work over the last few days. I am glad to announce that an experimental Haitian Creole MT system is now publicly available via several services and APIs powered by Microsoft Translator technologies. We will continue working on improving the system, but we hope meanwhile that in spite of the experimental nature – it will be of use in the relief efforts."

I used both Microsoft Translator and Google Translate to translate an article from VOA News. Google's translation (on the right) is much better:


  1. hmmm...more much language google now
    that better :)

  2. Actually, both translations suck pretty badly...

  3. Wow in the wake of a tragedy that cost hundreds of thousands of lives you're really comparing whose translation is better? I realize that this is probably not your intention, bur you come off a smug ... our translation is better. Why not work with Microsoft of this to come up with a better system rather than comparing whose results are better?

  4. Gen yon gwo diferans ant kantite sa ou bay ak kantite moun ki jwenn

  5. I just think it's amazing they can develop the software so fast. Clever people! (especially at google)

  6. At sternet you can search people from haiti:

  7. This is something that I have been waiting for so long. When people say Haitian people speak French, it's a great disservice to the Haitian people. Big Bravo for Google. Currently there are close to 10 million people in Haiti and more than 2.000.000 Haitians living outside of Haiti. In addition, in Martinique, Guadalupe, Fren Guyana, St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Seychelles, and Reunion, Creole is their national language as well.

    Having Creole on Google and Microsoft Machine Translation (MT) is a real victory for all Creole-speaking people and writers all over the world.

    I am a Haitin linguist with a lot of passion for the promotion of the Creole language.

    I am willing to assist anybody, businesses or institutions in their effort to promote the Creole language.

    Thanks ,

    My e-mail:


  8. Also, check out "Haitian Creole In Translation: Medical Phrase Pronunciation Guide" on ALTA's Beyond Words blog:

    It's a free language resource created for the relief effort in Haiti. Based in part on the British Red Cross Emergency Multilingual Phrasebook, the audio guide can be listened to online or downloaded for later use on any MP3 compatible device. It provides 52 Haitian Creole emergency medical phrases for those working in the field.

  9. TRADIKTE - Haitian Creole (kreyòl ayisyen) Translator has now been released. This is the First mobile app using Google's Haitian Creole Translation technology, and is also the First Haitian Creole Translation widget for Nokia S60 phones. You can download it here

    Current version supports translation from Creole to English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

    - Kiran Vaka

  10. Hi
    When you translate text in SitePal translator you get this error:

    Translation Error!


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