Showing posts with label In praise of Haitian Creole. Show all posts
Showing posts with label In praise of Haitian Creole. Show all posts

Monday, August 25, 2014

"We need to use the language of the people to help uplift the people:" An Interview with Wynnie Lamour (Part II)

"We need to use the language of the people to help uplift the people:" An Interview with Wynnie Lamour  (Part II)

Docteur Lou: I want us to talk about your role as a translator, more particularly your work on FrankÉtienne?

WL: I have translated an excerpt of Franketienne's "Dezafi" for Transition Magazine.
Translating from Haitian Creole to English is an exciting process for me.
You have to think consciously of what is being said in one language, take that and convey the same idea/emotion/thought into another language.
It was challenging and fun and frustrating and exciting all at once.
My hope is to one day translate the novel in its entirety into English.

Docteur Lou: To the individuals who are unfamiliar with Franketienne and his works? Who is he? What contributions has he made to Haitian literature and culture?

WL: Franketienne is a living legend.
He is considered one of the founding fathers of Haitian Literature, and is also one of the founders of the genre of literature known as Spiralism.
His novel "Dezafi" is credited as the first full-length novel to be written entirely in Haitian Creole.
His a novelist, a sculptor, a playwright -- the list goes on. His connection to Haiti is genuinely to the people.
Speaking with him is an experience with someone whose insight is so deep, you get lost in his words, and they stick with you long after you've left his presence.

Docteur Lou: Marvelous!

Docteur Lou: Briefly, what does Dezafi tell us or reveal about Haitian cultural identity or for a better world the Haitian soul? What is the importance of Dezafi in Haitian literary canon?

WL: "Dezafi" tells the story of the people.
and how they overcome a major challenge in their town.
It reveals little about Haitian cultural identity that's not already clearly known to the world
- that the Haitian people are a revolutionary people.
Dezafi is one of the first novels in which the Haitian people could see themselves written into the literature.

Docteur: Can the readers of “Haitian: Then and Now” access your translation of Dezafi online?

WL:  My translation of an excerpt of Dezafi is available through Transition magazine only.

Docteur Lou:  What is your vision for the Haitian Creole Language Institute of New York for the next 5 or 10 years from now?

WL: I envision HCLI being a cultural center where anyone can learn the language. I want HCLI to be the place that parents plan to send their children to learn the language of their ancestors.
I envision HCLI being a hub of information regarding the Haitian Creole language.

Docteur Lou: Thank you.

Docteur Lou: Are there any links to your website would you like to share with our readers?

WL: The main page has all the information about HCLI:
It explains what services we offer and what courses are currently in place.

Docteur Lou: Anything else would you like to share with us?  Any final thought?

WL: I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share with you and the Haiti: Then and Now community. It's important that we all support each other in our efforts to move forward.
It is really is up to us to continue what was begun so long ago and to make our ancestors proud of their sacrifice.
It was really my pleasure speaking with you!

Docteur Lou: I thank you very much for your time and collaboration. Kembe la! As they say in English, keep up the good work!

WL: Mesi anpil zanmi mwen!

WL: We will talk again soon.

Docteur Lou: Definitely!

To access Part I of the interview , click on the link below: