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Bislama Language People

Vanuatu

 

Bislama Language

With more than 100 local languages along with English and French, Bislama (Pidgin English) is used as a vital communications tool. It allows the 40% who were educated in French to talk with the 60% who were educated in English. The colourful language reflects the friendliness of the people as well as the fact that it has to exist with only 2500 words (English and French each have more than 35,000 words). It's pretty much a phonetic language, so try saying the words out loud to get the feel of it.

And so, to a few words in Bislama - (Smol tok tok long Bislama)

  • Hello - Alo
  • Goodbye - Tata
  • Please - Plis
  • Good morning - Gud morning
  • Good night - God naet
  • Excuse me - Skiusmi
  • Thank you very much - Tank yu tumas
  • And - Mo
  • How much? - Hamas
  • Do you have…? - Yu gat…?
  • I don't understand - Mi no savee
  • Child - Pikinini
  • Drunk - Fuldrong
  • Fish - Fis
  • See you - Lukim yu
  • I am very sorry - Sori tumas
  • What is your name? - Wanem nem blong yu?
  • My name is… - Nem blong mi…
  • Big - Bigfala
  • Food - Kakae
  • This food is delicious - Kakae emi gud
  • Drinking water - Kolwater
  • Seawater - Solwater
  • Seagull - Pigeon blong solwater
  • Excellent - Nambawan
  • I am hungry/thirsty - Mi wantem samting long kakae/dring
  • Call a doctor/police! - Singalot doctor/polis!
  • You must do good work every day - Yu mas makem gud work evri dai
All in all a pretty simple language, but it's simplicity is also what gives it its eccentricity… for example:
  • His Royal Highness, Prince Charles is known as nambawan pikinini blong Missus Kwin
  • a super supreme pizza will come with evri samting
  • a bra is - basket blong titi
  • a piano is black fala box we igat black teeth, hemi gat white teeth you faetem hard I singout
  • a violin - wan smol box blong white man, oli scratchem beli I singout gudfala
  • A saw - Pulem I kam, pushem I go, wood I fall down
  • A helicopter - mixmaster blong Jesus Christ

As you can see, it's fun and pretty easy to pick up. The locals will be happy to teach you a few words!

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