Curacao has four official languages: Dutch, Spanish, Papiamentu, and English. But the most common language used around Curacao and what is considered the island's native language is Papiamentu.
The name of the language is said to be derived from the Portuguese word “papear” which
means “to speak” or “converse”. Papiamentu is a mix of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and
English. Despite most islanders being fluent in English, it is still an added advantage to any
traveler to know a few words or basic phrases of the local language. So to help make your
holiday a bit easier, here are some basic phrases that would get you through some typical
conversations you might come across while visiting the island of Curacao.
/ doo she /
This word means anything from sweetheart to babe, gorgeous or darling. The same word can
also be used to describe how nice someone or something is for you. You will hear this a lot, and
it’s easily one of the most important words to know when visiting Curacao.
/ bon dee ya /
/ bon tar dee /
/ bo – noh – chee /
Mi nòmber ta
/ mee nòm – bur ta /
My name is
Unda ta …
/ oon – da ta /
Where is …
/ daan – kee /
/ aa – yoh /
Mi no ke
/ mee no keh /
I don’t want
Bosnan tin WiFi?
/ bos – nahn teen why – fye /
Do you have WiFi?
Mi por haña
/ mee por han – ya /
Can I have?
/ por fah bor /
Now that you’re equipped with the basics, you can try communicating in the local language and
keep practicing during your stay. The people of Curacao are known to be very friendly and
accommodating so don’t feel too bad if you stumble a bit while trying to speak the language,
people are always willing to help.