Mwen konnen sèlman kreyòl  liv

With our friend and colleague Stephen Arnold in Guadeloupe at the 1993 African Lit Association. The occasion was the presentation of the Fonlon-Nichols Award to the Cameroonian – Ivoirien novelist and playwright Werewere Liking.

I had composed a short statement in the best Guadeloupean Kreyol I could muster.  I mustered well enough to have been sorely embarrassed when, afterwards, Guadeloupeans began speaking at me in it.

Regrèt, mwen konnen sèlman kreyòl  liv, I had to say in my pitiful Haitian-inflected Kreyol:

Sorry, All I know is book creole.