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The first words I heard when I arrived on Flamingo Airport 15 years ago were “Bon Bini!” Bon Bini means welcome, and you’ll hear this phrase used frequently by the friendly and accommodating Bonairian people.
Ever since I have a love/hate relationship speaking Papiamentu. I love it as it gives me the opportunity to speak with my Bonairian friends and I hate it as I cannot get fluent and feel very ashamed of that….
I tried to make it easy for you to practice some useful phrases, download my free ebook “70 Useful Phrases in Papiamentu by clicking on “newsletter” on the left or by filling out the form below this article.
The Bonairian language, Papiamentu, is only spoken on the Dutch Caribbean Islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (the ABC Islands) It is also occasionally spoken in Sint Maarten, Saba, and Statia. It is a combination of many languages: Spanish, Portuguese, African dialect and Dutch and has evolved much over the years.
Papiamentu has two forms: Papiamento from Aruba and Papiamentu from Curaçao and Bonaire. Although the Papiamentu in Curaçao and Bonaire are largely the same, there are still minor differences.
On Bonaire, many people speak, write and read English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu fluently.
Although Dutch and Papiamentu are both official languages, all documents and government papers are in Dutch. Lessons at school are given in Dutch and Papiamentu.
If you like to practice some useful phrases please download my free ebook “70 Useful Phrases in Papiamentu by clicking on “newsletter” on the left or by filling out the form below this article.
It is a fun and easy way to have conversations and to meet some of the best people I know on the Island.
Author: Sylvia de Leon