Published On: Mon, Nov 10th, 2014

The languages of Curacao

Curacao statisticsCuraçaoans are, by nature and necessity, masters of language. Most native speakers will use DutchEnglish, and Papiamentu with equal aplomb. Dutch is the official language, while Papiamentu is the most common. Spanish is also spoken by most Curacaons, and English is widely used.

Papiamentu (Papiamento)

A multifaceted Creole language, is based on Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and several African dialects. It's spoken most often in the ABC Islands, and has been in use for 300 years. It is, in a way, the original language of Curacao, and was meant to be a spoken communication, not a written one. For that reason, You'll often see different spellings for the same words, not just among the ABCs, but on each island. For instance, Curacao spells the language's name Papiamento, while Curacao renders it Papiamentu.

Papiamentu Words and Phrases

Papiamentu Dutch English
Bon bini Welkom Welcome
Bon dia Goedendag Good day
Morru Goedenmorgen Good morning
Bon tardi Goedenavond Good afternoon
Bon nochi Goedenacht Good night
Ayo Tot ziens Goodbye
Con ta bo nomber? Hoe heet je? What's your name?
Mi nomber ta ... Ik heet ... My name is ...
Con ta bay? Hoe gaat het met je? How are you?
Mi ta bon Met mij gaat het goed I am fine
Danki Dank u wel Thank you
Masha danki Vele dank Thank you very much
Di nada Graag gedaan You are welcome
Mi dushi Mijn liefje My love
Mi ta stima bo Ik hou van je I love you

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