English-based creole language of Vanuatu
Phrasebooks > Bislama phrasebook

Common phrases

  • Me / you - mi / yu
  • Him / her / it (neither masculine nor feminine)
  • this here - hem/ hemia
  • Us /we / all of us - mifala / mifala evriwan
  • You / you (plural) - yu / yufala
  • I do not know/understand - mi no save
  • See you later / ta ta - Lukim yu/ tata
  • I am going now - ale (French derivation of allez) mi go
  • One/ two / three - wan / tu / tri
  • How much (is that) - hamas (long hem)
  • Plenty or many - plenti
  • Filled to capacity / overfilled - fulap / fulap tumas (too much)
  • Day / evening / night - dei / sava (literally supper) / naet
  • Hot / cold - hot / kol
  • What / what is that - wanem / wanem ia (literally wanem here?)
  • Why / why did you - frowanem (for why?)
  • Please / thank you / sorry (very sorry) - plis / tangkyu / sori (sori tumas) - sorry too much
  • Do you know - yu save (pronounced savee)

Bislama is a pidgin language used in Vanuatu and is now a creole in urban areas. It essentially combines a typically Melanesian grammar with a mostly English vocabulary. It is the only language that can be understood and spoken by the whole population of Vanuatu, generally as a second language.

It is a mixture of phonetic English woven in a loose French sentence structure spoken with ‘local sound' producing some comical outcomes e.g., ladies brassieres or bathing top is called "Basket blong titi"; no offense intended. An excellent Bislama dictionary is available from good book shops: 'A New Bislama Dictionary,' by the late Terry Crowley.

Pronunciation guide edit

Vowels edit

Consonants edit

Common diphthongs edit

Phrase list edit

Basics edit

Common signs


OPEN
CLOSED
ENTRANCE
EXIT
PUSH
PULL
TOILET
MEN
WOMEN
FORBIDDEN
Hello.
. (Halo )
Hello. (informal)
. ( )
How are you?
afta? yu oraet? ( ?)
Fine, thank you.
. ( )
What is your name?
? (Wanem nem blong yu?)
My name is ______ .
______ . (Mi, nem blong mi _____ .)
Nice to meet you.
. ( )
Please.
. ( plis)
Thank you.
. (tankui )
You're welcome.
. (welkam )
Yes.
. (yes )
No.
. (no )
Excuse me. (getting attention)
. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
. ( )
I'm sorry.
. (sori )
Goodbye
. (lukim yu )
Goodbye (informal)
. ( ale tata)
I can't speak Bislama [well].
[ mi save toktok smol bislama nmo]. ( [ ])
Do you speak English?
? (yu save toktok ingish ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
? ( ?)
Help!
! ( !)
Look out!
! ( !)
Good morning.
. (Gud moning)
Good evening.
. (afanoon )
Good night.
. (Gud naet)
Good night (to sleep)
. ( )
I don't understand.
. ( mi no kasem save)
Where is the toilet?
wem toilet? ? ( ?)

Problems edit

Leave me alone.
. ( .)
Don't touch me!
! ( !)
I'll call the police.
. ( .)
Police!
! ( polis!)
Stop! Thief!
! ! ( stop! Stilman!)
I need your help.
Mi needm help blong yu. ( .)
It's an emergency.
. ( .)
I'm lost.
. ( .)
I lost my bag.
. (Mi lusem basket blong mi.)
I lost my wallet.
. ( .)
I'm sick.
. ( mi sik.)
I've been injured.
. ( .)
I need a doctor.
mi needm wan dokta. ( .)
Can I use your phone?
mi save usum fone blong yu ? ( ?)

Numbers edit

1
( )
2
( )
3
( )
4
( )
5
( )
6
( )
7
( )
8
( )
9
( )
10
( )
11
( )
12
( )
13
( )
14
( )
15
( )
16
( )
17
( )
18
( )
19
( )
20
( )
21
( )
22
( )
23
( )
30
( )
40
( )
50
( )
60
( )
70
( )
80
( )
90
( )
100
( )
200
( )
300
( )
1,000
( )
2,000
( )
1,000,000
( )
1,000,000,000
( )
1,000,000,000,000
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.)
( )
half
( )
less
( )
more
( )

Time edit

now
( a)
later
( )
before
( )
morning
( )
afternoon
( )
evening
( )
night
( )

Clock time edit

one o'clock AM
( )
two o'clock AM
( )
noon
( )
one o'clock PM
( )
two o'clock PM
( )
midnight
( )

Duration edit

_____ minute(s)
( )
_____ hour(s)
( )
_____ day(s)
( )
_____ week(s)
( )
_____ month(s)
( )
_____ year(s)
( )

Days edit

today
( )
yesterday
( )
tomorrow
( )
this week
( )
last week
( )
next week
( )
Sunday
( )
Monday
( )
Tuesday
( )
Wednesday
( )
Thursday
( )
Friday
( )
Saturday
( )

Months edit

January
Januware ( )
February
Februrari ( )
March
Maj ( )
April
Epril ( )
May
Mei ( )
June
Jun ( )
July
Julae ( )
August
Ogis ( )
September
Septemba ( )
October
Oktoba ( )
November
Novemba ( )
December
Desemba ( )

Writing time and date edit

Colors edit

black
( )
white
( )
gray
( )
red
( )
blue
( )
yellow
( )
green
( )
orange
( )
purple
( )
brown
( )

Transportation edit

Bus and train edit

How much is a ticket to _____?
( )
One ticket to _____, please.
( )
Where does this train/bus go?
( )
Where is the train/bus to _____?
( )
Does this train/bus stop in _____?
( )
When does the train/bus for _____ leave?
( )
When will this train/bus arrive in _____?
( )

Directions edit

How do I get to _____ ?
( )
...the train station?
( )
...the bus station?
( )
...the airport?
( )
...downtown?
( )
...the youth hostel?
( )
...the _____ hotel?
( )
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate?
( )
Where are there a lot of...
( )
...hotels?
( )
...restaurants?
( )
...bars?
( )
...sites to see?
( )
Can you show me on the map?
( )
street
( )
Turn left.
( )
Turn right.
( )
left
( )
right
( )
straight ahead
( )
towards the _____
( )
past the _____
( )
before the _____
( )
Watch for the _____.
( )
intersection
( )
north
( )
south
( )
east
( )
west
( )
uphill
( )
downhill
( )

Taxi edit

Taxi!
( )
Take me to _____, please.
( )
How much does it cost to get to _____?
( )
Take me there, please.
( )

Lodging edit

Do you have any rooms available?
( )
How much is a room for one person/two people?
( )
Does the room come with...
( )
...bedsheets?
( )
...a bathroom?
( )
...a telephone?
( )
...a TV?
( )
May I see the room first?
( )
Do you have anything quieter?
( )
...bigger?
( )
...cleaner?
( )
...cheaper?
( )
OK, I'll take it.
( )
I will stay for _____ night(s).
( )
Can you suggest another hotel?
( )
Do you have a safe?
( )
...lockers?
( )
Is breakfast/supper included?
( )
What time is breakfast/supper?
( )
Please clean my room.
( )
Can you wake me at _____?
( )
I want to check out.
( )

Money edit

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?
(yu save tekm american dola? )
Do you accept British pounds?
( )
Do you accept euros?
( )
Do you accept credit cards?
( )
Can you change money for me?
(yu save changem money blo mi? )
Where can I get money changed?
( )
Can you change a traveler's check for me?
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed?
( )
What is the exchange rate?
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?
( )

Eating edit

A table for one person/two people, please.
( )
Can I look at the menu, please?
( )
Can I look in the kitchen?
( mi save luk insaed kitchen)
Is there a house specialty?
( )
Is there a local specialty?
( )
I'm a vegetarian.
( mi no save kakai mit)
I don't eat pork.
( )
I don't eat beef.
(mi no save kakai beef )
I only eat kosher food.
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard)
( )
fixed-price meal
( )
a la carte
( )
breakfast
( )
lunch
( )
tea (meal)
( )
supper
( )
I want _____.
(mi wantem )
I want a dish containing _____.
( )
chicken
( faoul)
beef
( )
fish
( )
ham
( )
sausage
( )
cheese
( )
eggs
( )
salad
( )
(fresh) vegetables
( )
(fresh) fruit
( )
bread
( )
toast
( )
noodles
( )
rice
( )
beans
( )
May I have a glass of _____?
( )
May I have a cup of _____?
( )
May I have a bottle of _____?
( )
coffee
( )
tea (drink)
( )
juice
( )
(bubbly) water
( )
(still) water
( )
beer
(bia )
red/white wine
( )
May I have some _____?
( )
salt
( )
black pepper
( )
butter
( )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished.
( )
It was delicious.
( )
Please clear the plates.
( )
The check, please.
( )

Bars edit

Do you serve alcohol?
( )
Is there table service?
( )
A beer/two beers, please.
( )
A glass of red/white wine, please.
( )
A pint, please.
( )
A bottle, please.
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please.
( )
whiskey
( )
vodka
( )
rum
( )
water
( )
club soda
( )
tonic water
( )
orange juice
( )
Coke (soda)
( )
Do you have any bar snacks?
( )
One more, please.
( )
Another round, please.
( )
When is closing time?
( )
Cheers!
( )

Shopping edit

Do you have this in my size?
( )
How much is this?
( hao mas lo hemia?)
That's too expensive.
( )
Would you take _____?
( )
expensive
( )
cheap
( )
I can't afford it.
( )
I don't want it.
(mi no wantem )
You're cheating me.
( )
I'm not interested.
(..)
OK, I'll take it.
( )
Can I have a bag?
( )
Do you ship (overseas)?
( )
I need...
( )
...toothpaste.
( )
...a toothbrush.
( )
...tampons.
. ( )
...soap.
( )
...shampoo.
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)
( )
...cold medicine.
( )
...stomach medicine.
... ( )
...a razor.
( )
...an umbrella.
( )
...sunblock lotion.
( )
...a postcard.
( )
...postage stamps.
( )
...batteries.
( )
...writing paper.
( )
...a pen.
( )
...English-language books.
( )
...English-language magazines.
( )
...an English-language newspaper.
( )
...an English-English dictionary.
( )

Driving edit

I want to rent a car.
( )
Can I get insurance?
( )
stop (on a street sign)
( )
one way
( )
yield
( )
no parking
( )
speed limit
( )
gas (petrol) station
( )
petrol
( )
diesel
( )

Authority edit

I haven't done anything wrong.
( )
It was a misunderstanding.
( )
Where are you taking me?
( )
Am I under arrest?
( )
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen.
( )
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate.
( )
I want to talk to a lawyer.
( )
Can I just pay a fine now?
( )

Learning more edit

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