creole language spoken in the Dutch West Indies
Phrasebooks > Papiamento phrasebook

Papiamento or Papiamentu is a Portuguese-based creole language spoken by more than 400,000 people, mainly in the Dutch Caribbean, in the ABC islands. It is the official language of Aruba and Curaçao, and also has recognized language status in the special Dutch municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Papiamento (in Aruba) or Papiamentu (in Bonaire and Curaçao) is a language largely based on Portuguese and Spanish, with a considerable influence by Dutch, Arawak Indian and African languages.. Almost all citizens of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao speak Papiamento, although many are also multilingual and are able to speak Dutch, Spanish and English as well.

Papiamento is written in the Latin alphabet with 9 vowels and 22 consonants (including the letter ñ from Spanish alphabet). As a creole language, Papiamento has a vocabulary largely derived from Spanish and Portuguese, with about 20% of the words coming from Dutch. Papiamento has a official spelling, but Aruba has a spelling that is different from Curaçao and Bonaire. Despite having an official spelling, Papiamento has a very limited vocabulary and very basic grammar compared other languages such as Spanish or Portuguese.

Pronunciation guideEdit

VowelsEdit

The Papiamento/Papiamentu vowels are: a, e, i, o, u, ò, è, ü, ù

  • Pronunciations*

a: [ah] (pronounced like o in house)

ò [hoh]

e: [ehh]

è [heh]

i: [e] (like ee in cheese)

ü [iuh] (like e in me)

o: [oh] (like ow in owl)

ù [euh] (like the word you)

u: [oooh] (like oo in the word hoop)

ConsonantsEdit

The consonants are: b,c,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,m,n,ñ,p,q,r,s,t,v,w,x,y,z.

Common diphthongsEdit

Diphthongs are: zj, ch, ng, dj, sh

Phrase listEdit

BasicsEdit

Common signs


OPEN
CLOSED
ENTRANCE
EXIT
PUSH
PULL
TOILET
MEN
WOMEN
FORBIDDEN
Hello.
Hala. (Ha-lah)
Hello. (informal)
Hala. (Ha-lah)
How are you?
Kon ta bai? (Kohn-tah-bigh)
Fine, thank you.
Bon, danki. (Bohn, dahn-kee)
What is your name?
Kon Yamabo? (Koen yah-mah-boe)
My name is ______ .
Mi nomber ta______ . ( Mee nohn-behr tah_____ .)
Nice to meet you.
Hopi smak. ( Hoh-pee smahk.)
Please.
Por fabor. (Pohr fah-bohr.)
Thank you.
Danki. (Dahn-kee)
You're welcome.
Bo ta bon bini. (Boh tah bohn bee-nee.)
Yes.
Si. (Sih)
No.
No. (Noh)
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Despensa. (This-pin-saw)
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Despensa. (This-pin-saw)
I'm sorry.
Ta sinti largu. (Tah sihn-tee lahr-goo)
Goodbye
Ayo. (Ah-yo)
Goodbye (informal)
Te otro biaha. (Teh oh-tro bee-ah-a)
I can't speak Papiamento [well].
Mi no por papia [bon] Papiamento. (Mee noh pohr pah-pee-ah [bohn] Pah-pee-ah-mehn-too.)
Do you speak English?
Bo sa papia na ingles? ( Boh sah pah-pee-ah een-glehs?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Tin un hende mira ku ta papia ingles? (Teen oon ehn-dee mee-rah koo tah pah-pee-ah een-glehs?)
Help!
Yudami! ( You-dah-mee!)
Look out!
Ki kuido! ( Kee koo-ee-doh!)
Good morning.
Bon dia. (Bohn dyah.)
Good evening.
Bon nochi. (Bohn noh-chee)
Good night.
Bon nochi. (Bohn noh-chee)
Good night (to sleep)
Bon nochi. (Bohn noh-chee)
I don't understand.
Mi no ta komprendé. ( Mee noh-tah kohm-prehn-deh.)
Where is the toilet?
? ( ?)

ProblemsEdit

Leave me alone.
. ( .)
Don't touch me!
! ( !)
I'll call the police.
. ( .)
Police!
! ( !)
Stop! Thief!
! ! ( ! !)
I need your help.
. ( .)
It's an emergency.
. ( .)
I'm lost.
. ( .)
I lost my bag.
. ( .)
I lost my wallet.
. ( .)
I'm sick.
. ( .)
I've been injured.
. ( .)
I need a doctor.
. ( .)
Can I use your phone?
? ( ?)

NumbersEdit

1
( )
2
( )
3
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4
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5
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6
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7
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8
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9
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10
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11
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12
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13
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14
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15
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16
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17
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18
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19
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20
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21
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22
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23
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30
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40
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50
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60
( )
70
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80
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90
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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
( )

TimeEdit

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

Clock timeEdit

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

DurationEdit

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

DaysEdit

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

MonthsEdit

January
( )
February
( )
March
( )
April
( )
May
( )
June
( )
July
( )
August
( )
September
( )
October
( )
November
( )
December
( )

Writing time and dateEdit

ColorsEdit

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

TransportationEdit

Bus and trainEdit

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 _____?
( )

DirectionsEdit

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
( )

TaxiEdit

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

LodgingEdit

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.
( )

MoneyEdit

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?
( )
Do you accept British pounds?
( )
Do you accept Euros?
( )
Do you accept credit cards?
( )
Can you change money for me?
( )
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)?
( )

EatingEdit

A table for one person/two people, please.
( )
Can I look at the menu, please?
( )
Can I look in the kitchen?
( )
Is there a house specialty?
( )
Is there a local specialty?
( )
I'm a vegetarian.
( )
I don't eat pork.
( )
I don't eat 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 _____.
( )
I want a dish containing _____.
( )
chicken
( )
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
( )
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.
( )

BarsEdit

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!
( )

ShoppingEdit

Do you have this in my size?
( )
How much is this?
( )
That's too expensive.
( )
Would you take _____?
( )
expensive
( )
cheap
( )
I can't afford it.
( )
I don't want it.
( )
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.
( )

DrivingEdit

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
( )

AuthorityEdit

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?
( )


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