Learn To Speak Basic 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.

Dushi
/ 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 dia
/ bon dee ya /
Good morning!

Bon tardi
/ bon tar dee /
Good afternoon!

Bon nochi
/ bo – noh – chee /
Good evening

Mi nòmber ta
/ mee nòm – bur ta /
My name is

Unda ta …
/ oon – da ta /
Where is …

Danki
/ daan – kee /
Thank you

Ayo
/ aa – yoh /
Goodbye

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 fabor
/ por fah ­ bor /
Please

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.

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