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Papiamento Words & Phrases


Language

In Aruba, the people speak, write and read English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento fluently. Many also speak French and German.

Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages of Aruba. All documents and government papers are in both languages and lessons at school are also given in Dutch and Papiamento. Papiamento is only spoken on the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).

Dutch is the official language of Aruba due to the fact that Aruba is a Dutch colony. All documents and government papers are in Dutch and lessons at school are also given in Dutch. Papiamento is the native language, only spoken on the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). Most of the inhabitants speak Papiamento at home or on the streets with friends.

English is recognized as an international language and all inhabitants of Aruba are obliged to learn English as early as the 4th grade in primary school. Spanish is also taking on equal importance since Aruba is located just off the South American Continent. Spanish is also taught as early as the 5th grade of primary school. French is taught in high school as an optional language.

More About Aruba's Native Language

The citizens of Aruba did not consider the native language of Papiamento to be important until 1995, when voices were raised in the community that Papiamento is a language that should have equal value with the other languages. It is a unique language only spoken on three islands and it should be taught at school. A task force was raised to discuss the possibility of bringing Papiamento into schools. The year 1998 was declared Year of Papiamento in Aruba and all attention was focused on what to do about it . The government decided that it was best to put Papiamento in the schools and in the school year of 1998/1999, Papiamento was officially taught as a new language subject in school.

There is also a Papiamento dictionary in bookstores and fairy tale stories written in Papiamento. Even though all three ABC islands speak Papiamento, they each employ different accents and use some words in different ways.

What follows are some words and phrases you should know in Papiamento. Papiamento is fun!! It has a rhythm of its own and it is very easy to learn. Arubians are very delighted when visitors use our language.

Simple Words and Phrases
  • Bon dia: Good Morning
  • Bon tardi: Good Afternoon
  • Bon nochi: Goodnight
  • Bon Bini: Welcome
  • Danki: Thank you
  • Con ta bai: How are you?
  • Mi ta bon: I am fine
  • ajo: Bye
  • kwan tor tin: What time is it?
  • Unda bo ta biba: Where do you live?
  • Ami: me
  • Abo: you
  • Nos tur: All of us
  • boso: All of you
  • nos dos: The two of us
  • mi: I or I am
  • Mi por papia Papiamento: I can speak Papiamento
  • Mi stima Aruba: I love Aruba
  • Mi kier: I want
  • Pabien: Congratulations
  • Pasa un bon dia: Have a good day
  • Hopi bon: Very Good!
  • Poco poco: Quietly or slowly
  • Te aworo: See you later
Words For a Loved One
  • Un sunchi: A kiss
  • Un braza: A hug
  • Mi dushi: My sweetheart
  • dushi 'om: Delicious or great
  • Ku tur mi amor: With all my love
  • Ranka Lenga: To french kiss
  • frei: A loved one
  • Mi amor: My love
  • ranka orea: To cheat on someone
  • hole dushi: Smells good
  • Hopi bon: Very good
Shopping
  • kwanto esaki ta costa: How much does this cost
  • Mi ta wak rond: Looking around, browsing
  • Ban dal un trip: Lets go out on a trip
  • Banco: The Bank
  • Plaka: Money
  • Ki pelicula ta hunga awe?: What movie is playing today
  • keds: Sneakers
  • sapato: Shoes
  • den caya: In the town
  • Mi tin sed: I'm thirsty
  • Mi tin hamber: I'm hungry
  • Ban kas: Lets go home
  • Botica: Drugstore
More Words and Phrases
  • bin aki: Come here
  • ban sali: Lets go out
  • ban goza: Lets enjoy
  • tur kos ta bon: Everything is going well
  • ban sigi: Lets continue
  • ban come: Lets eat
  • awa: Water
  • awacero: Rain
  • lamper: Lightning
  • strena: Thunder
  • nubia: Cloud
  • lama: The beach, also the ocean
  • tera: Sand, also country
  • kunuku: The country side
  • den stad: In the city
  • na waf: At the port
  • brug: Bridge
Food
  • cuminda: Food
  • pan: Bread
  • manteca: Butter
  • keshi: Cheese
  • Pisca: Fish
  • beleg: Cold cuts
  • lechi: Milk
  • soft or refresco: Soda
  • mangel: Sweets/candy
  • chupa bebe: A lollipop made in Aruba
  • pastechi: Similar to pate
  • suku: Sugar
  • salo: Salt
  • pika: Pepper