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Bislama – The Language of Vanuatu About the Language Due to a long history of inter-island and inter village trading, many ni-Vanuatu speak numerous languages. However, over 113 distinct languages and many more dialects are found throughout the group. When Europeans arrived, a lingua franca evolved. Its name, Bislama, derived from the Beche-de-mer (sea cucumber) traders who developed a form of Pidgin English throughout the Pacific. It began as a simplified form of phonetic English, with Spanish and French colloquialisms added for good measure. As with all languages, it soon took on a life of its own; borrowing and incorporating new words and evolving of time. Today, although similar to Solomon and Papua New Guinea pidgin, it is nevertheless distinctive. Bislama, though phonetically English with a broad accent, is grammatically simpler. Everything, including women, is spoken of in the "masculine". Being a simpler language means that complex ideas or new concepts must be described functionally. The results are descriptions and stories that can be a great deal longer rather if told in English. Spoken Bislama is relatively easy to understand if the speaker is slow and enunciates the phrases. Written Bislama is also relatively easy to comprehend. However, in the same way that a Welsh barman may have no trouble in understanding spoken English, an Australian or American may have great difficulty understanding the barman due to a strong accent.
Nov 24, 2021 2:22 AM
Comments · 2
Vanuatu is on my Countries I Must Visit list 😍
November 27, 2021