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What does "sak pase" mean?

Sak pase? Nap boule. Everybody uses them. They are Haitian Creole expressions. But what do they mean and how do you use them properly. In this post, I'm going to cover everything you need to know about those popular Haitian Creole expressions.

Sak pase meaning

What does "sak pase" mean?

"Sak pase" is a Haitian Creole greeting phrase that translates to "what's up" in English. The expected response to "sak pase" is "n'ap boule" which means "I'm fine".
You can use "Sak pase" in conversation with your friends and most people you know, but there are other Creole phrases and expressions you should try in both formal and informal situations. I mention them in the last part of this post below.

What does "nap boule" mean?

"Nap boule" is a Haitian Creole phrase that translates to "I'm fine", or "I'm okay". This is the response you will give to the person who asks: "sak pase"?

I know you have probably heard celebrities say "sak pase nap boule" as if it is just one expression. Is that okay? The answer is... let see below.

Is it okay to say "sak pase nap boule"?

Nap boule meaning

It is a mistake to simply say "sak pase nap boule" as if it is just one phrase. I have shown you that one is the question, and the other is a response.

Yet, many TV personalities such as Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Jason Derulo, Wyclef Jean, Oprah Winfrey, and Garcelle Beauvais have used the phrase the wrong way.

In fact, here is an example of Beyonce doing exactly that. But it's not her fault because the journalist doesn't point out the difference for her.

Many TV superstars, classmates, and coworkers continue to make this mistake because they don't realize they are asking a question and providing their own answer to it. Again, this is wrong.
Even worst, you have people with Haitian background that are making this mistake, too.

What's going on here?

You see when you say "sak pase nap boule", you're saying "what's up I'm fine".

This is a forgivable mistake for non-creole speakers. However, for those who have Haitian roots, you should probably know the difference.

Non-creole speakers mostly make this mistake because they have no idea of what they're saying. They simply repeat what they hear.

But if you have Haitian parents and friends you can learn the basics.

"Sak pase" and "nap boule" are cool expressions, but there are other Creole phrases and expressions you should try in both formal and informal situations.

Creole phrases to use instead of "sak pase"

formal haitian greeting response

Here are some standard Creole greeting and response to use instead of "sak pase" and "nap boule".

You can say any of the following:
  1. Sa k'ap fèt? (What's up?) - not formal
  2. Kòman ou ye? (How are you) - formal
  3. Kouman kò a ye? (How are you doing?) - formal
  4. Sa fè lontan nou pa wè (It's been a long time) - formal
Here is how to respond to the above questions:
  • M'ap boule (I'm fine) - not formal
  • Mwen byen (I'm well) - formal
  • Mwen trè byen (I'm well) - formal
  • Ah! Wi. Se vre. (Oh, yes! You are right!) - formal
To take your Creole to the next level get this book or that book.

I think you should now understand what "sak pase" and "nap boule" mean, how to use them properly, and some alternative phrases and expressions you should try instead.

Have you used "sak pase" and "nap boule" the wrong way? Are you changing your way? Do you need help with Creole? Let me know in the comment box below.

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