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Creole translation cards help English-speaking aid workers in Haiti


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – An easy to use pictorial Creole/English translation card originally prepared for law enforcement personnel in the United States is being used by those on the ground in Haiti to communicate with Haitians who only speak Creole. The card is available at the Army Knowledge Online portal, accessed by military personnel, and has already been downloaded over 600 times according to Richard Holden, a retired military officer who works with the Army online portal.

According to Keith Schmoke of Andrew Jackson University, who supplied the translation card, he offered the university-prepared Creole-to-English translation cards to Raymond Lutz, his contact at the U.S. State Department in the Virgin Islands. Lutz then contacted the military, who provided the Army Knowledge Online download link through Richard Holden. Everything moved quickly from that point on.

“I saw the television reports and heard the cries – in Creole – of panicked Haitians and heard that many of those aiding in this disaster didn’t understand Creole. I knew that we had developed a translation card that can be used to communicate with those who spoke Creole and wanted to get it out quickly to whoever could use it,” said Schmoke.

“The whole staff at Andrew Jackson University is pleased their efforts to develop translation cards for law enforcement led to the use of the Creole card in Haiti,” Schmoke said. “At times like these every little thing you can do to help, even from afar, will have a reverberating positive effect,” he commented.

Andrew Jackson University’s Jeffrey D. Rubenstein College of Criminal Justice has provided translation cards in many languages free of charge to law enforcement agencies in the United States. A large portion of the University’s students are serving law enforcement professionals and these translation cards help with non-English speaking witnesses and victims.

A wholly online accredited institution, Andrew Jackson University offers eleven degree programs, including five associates, and three each of bachelors and masters. The two most popular degree programs are business and criminal justice. The school is based in Birmingham, Alabama and has students across the globe.


 creole translation
 aid for Haiti

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