The Haitian Creole language is spoken by a majority of the inhabitants of Haiti and, although French is the official language, only the elite in Haiti consistently use French. If somehow, after the recent tragic events in Haiti, you are a foreign aid worker assigned to Haiti, knowing how to speak Haitian Creole should be a big help, since if you are not able to communicate it is difficult getting around assisting other people. Native French speakers and those who are fluent in French could puzzle through the language, so knowing how to speak French is a great help, but if you don't know French, then you will find it difficult to learn Creole than if already you had knowledge of French. Creole is also based on the French language, but has evolved from the combination of French and different tribal languages from Africa like Ewe, Fon and Wolof. The Haitian Creole vocabulary is largely derived from French but this is not easily recognizable because of pronunciation and spelling differences and the number of words from other languages that contributed to its creation is also substantial, including some more recent words borrowed from English.
There are two good programs I know of that teach Haitian Creole, Pimsleur Creole and BYKI Haitian Creole so I set out to compare both.
In my comparison of the two programs, I somehow now feel that the Pimsleur Creole course is too slow with the lessons being too unnecessarily repetitious even with the things that I have already found easy and, being contained in five tapes, I somehow feel that from this volume of material I should have learned more. It is clear, from my own experience, that it does not equip you for holding a fluent conversation in Haitian Creole, but only gives you a basis and it is mostly up to you to piece things together. The publishers of Pimsleur Creole could make some improvements for their full length course because I now conclude that at present this is not good value for your money. This could be acceptable for someone who has intermediate or above average knowledge of the French language, since much of Creole is based on French, but if you are just starting to learn Creole, then this will be too slow and not enough.
In contrast, with BYKI Haitian Creole Deluxe, the learning experience was more varied and interesting because aside from the traditional exercises, which I won't mention much anymore but can assure you that it is efficient and effective, BYKI Haitian Creole Deluxe even helps you to use your newly learned vocabulary in a real world context by being integrated with Twitter. You can see just how the words and phrases you have just learned are being used in real time - provided you have a network connection. Other innovative features that I found very useful include SlowSound that helps improve pronunciation because you can adjust the speed of the native speaker sound to be able to hear every nuance. Haitian Creole lists created by other users can be downloaded, free of charge, at any time from BYKI.com. You can use the software with your pocket PC or iPhone. You will know just how much or how fast you have learned with personal progress tracking and you can now use it as a phrasebook especially for emergency situations.
BYKI Haitian Creole Deluxe is hands down the best software for learning the Creole language whether you are a beginner or have intermediate knowledge. It is a very well designed program that is user friendly and makes the learning process interesting with a direct practical approach in teaching.