Friday, June 28, 2013

Dear Emmanuel-

Hello Isaac,
I am Haitian-Canadian living in Montreal, Canada. You have a formidable vocabulary and seem to enjoy words and language as much as I do. The city where I live is quite unique, in my neighbourhood people switch between English and French in the same sentence at times, and many people speak Kreyol and Spanish as well.
My question is this. Can you share a list of your favorite words and what you like about each word? Some words are fun to say, some have unique meanings, some just seem to liven up a sentence. I value you thoughts and reflections.


Also, Emmanuel -  Isaac added this verbally, quoting him here:
"I think it is so intriguing that you are Canadian and Haitian. You are the first Haitian-Canadian I have met. Well, I have not met you yet, but I mean on the Internet.  I like your name because it means "God with us" and it is so interesting that you speak three languages and can blend them. I need to learn Kreyol and French. I don't know very much of either of those beautiful languages. It is exhilerating to know that I have a friend born in Haiti that lives in Canada and speaks three languages." 


  1. Hi Isaac,

    I have two questions-- (you don't need to answer both if you don't have time.)

    1. You are both Haitian and American. Which nationality do you identify with more, and where do you suppose you will live when you are grown up?

    2. What qualities do you look for in a friend? Who is your best friend?

  2. Hi Isaac,

    I really liked your word choices! It’s exciting to know that there are a plethora of words in the English language, around 175,000!!! So you will be learning new words your whole life.

    Some words I like just because they are fun to pronounce like: coalesce, effervescent, murmur, serendipitous and coax.

    What I like about other languages, it that there are often words that exist in those language for which there are no simple English translations. For example:

    Iktsuarpok (Inuktitut) you know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.

    Gumusservi (Turkish) is a word that means moonlight shining on water.

    A Jayus (Indonesian) is a joke that is so unfunny and told so poorly that you just have to laugh anyways!!!”

    Lagom is a Swedish word which means something like "just the right amount--not too little and not too much.” I like this word a lot, I feel like tells us about a culture that is appreciative for what it has.

    I am happy to hear that you want to learn Kreyòl and French one day, I bet one day you will!

    In my opinion, we learn languages best when we are motivated by friendships and relationships. Some people work so hard with textbooks to learn a language, when in fact they could probably learn a lot more just with their friends. If you let your friendships lead you to learning you may one day speak French, Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin! You can create your own dictionary by asking people you meet their favorite word!

    Google translate is a fun way to find out how to say things in different languages, you can check that out one day.

    I am happy to be the first Haitian-Canadian that you’ve met! I was born in Haiti and moved to Montreal, Canada when I was 13. There are lots of Haitian-Canadians in my neighbourhood and we like to jump between languages when we talk and express ourselves, because sometimes just one way of saying something feels limiting. I see you doing the same thing when you search for new words, you are looking for the very best way to express yourself. Keep it up!



Hi! I'm Isaac. Ask me anything!