Monday, June 29, 2009

Tok Pisin

You may have heard us say that there are over 800 distinct languages here in Papua New Guinea.  Many people speak a common trade language called Tok Pisin.  It has become more and more popular here especially when a couple gets married that are from different clans.  


During our time in the village we had to speak Tok Pisin every day so we became better at it.  At first our kids tried speaking English with a tok pisin accent but that didn’t work.  Daniel picked it up the best and after several weeks he woke us up talking in his sleep in tok pisin.


We are slowly becoming more proficient in it.  Here are some examples of words:


Wanbel  - agree

Bel kros – angry (feeling angry inside)

Bel isi – peace (feeling at ease inside)

Apinun – afternoon greeting

Pikinini – child

Waspapa – a man that looks out for you – watches over you

Em I wanim samting – What is it?

Mi no save Kakai buai – I don’t eat betel nut  (kai kai = eat and save = to know)

Yu mekim wanim samting – What are you doing?



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