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a Phrasebook for Travelers and Newcomers

Getting Around the Islands in


Compiled by Terry Dovale, Geraldine Dammers and Barbara Lockwood. Illustrated by Terry Dovale and her mother, Elena
Copyright 2005 Lockwood, Dammers, Dovale. All rights reserved. This book or any part thereof may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the authors.

Terry Dovale
1952-2002. Bubbling with laughter, Terry attracted people and adventures all her life. She lived many roles: a Buddhist, beloved teacher, advertising executive in Curaao, and asparagus picker in France, to name only a few. Getting Around the Islands in Papiamentu is Terrys second phrase book. She wrote her rst, an English phrase book for Tibetan speakers, while teaching Tibetan refugee children in a monastery in Dharmsala, India.

Geraldine Dammers and Barbara Lockwood

Geraldine Dammers. In 1780 the Dutch appointed a Dammers as Commander of Bonaires West Indies Company and Geraldines family has lived on the island ever since. In 2004 Geraldine was appointed Commissioner of Education for Bonaire. A primary school teacher for over 25 years, Geraldine is a recognized guardian of her islands language: a Papiamentu teacher and translator who is constantly called upon to advise on correct usage, Geraldine hosts a twice-weekly radio show in which she speaks to Papiamentu speakers about their own language. Barbara Lockwood sailed to Bonaire in the early 90s. She has worked as an Educational Psychologist, University Lecturer in Special Education, and Business Writing Consultant. She has brought to this book both her knowledge of how people learn and her life long trials as a tin ear learner of any language other than English.


you dont need this book. Why youll be glad you have it.

Here on the ABC islands, most of the people you are likely to meet speak four languages: English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamentu. So, speaking Papiamentu is not a matter of survival. But every year people line up to learn Papiamentu. Its fun, they say. Its a courtesyto speak to Antilleans in the language of the islands. I can understand the culture better. Or, they tell us, I want to know whats really going on! So speaking Papiamentu is more a matter of sociability than survival. Weve remembered that in choosing phrases for our phrase book. Anda phrasebook rstweve included their side of the conversation too. As you scan the table of contents, youll see, for example, some of the essential dialogues of everyday life, such as how to buy food, how to have a really good gossip, and how to give comfort in times of sorrow. (We did cover emergency situations, but very briey, because we feel that when life is tough, youll want to speak your own language.) You have in your hands more than just a phrasebook. Geared exactly to life on the ABC islands, this book gives you island road signs, the Dutch and Spanish words for foods sold in Dutch grocery stores and off the Venezuelan fruit boats, as well as insights into local knowledge. But although our rst aim is to give you a practical book, language is more than saying the right sentences at the right time. So we end the book with a history of Papiamentu and with the essentials of Papiamentu grammar, so you can go beyond the phrases weve given you. Bon Bin.

Why you dont need this book. Why youll be glad you have it. __ 3 AT THE VERY LEAST _________ 6 1. Saying it __________________________ 6 2. Greetings & Politeness _______________ 8 3. Quick Guide to Questions & Requests __ 12 4. The Easy Responses ________________ 14 THE NITTY GRITTY __________ 16 1. Money ___________________________ 16 2. Numbers _________________________ 18 3. Timeby the Day __________________ 19 4. Timeby the Hour & by the Clock ____ 20 5. TimeDays, Months & Celebrations __ 22 HERE & THERE AROUND THE ISLANDS ________ 23 1. Island Road Signs __________________ 23 2. Driving __________________________ 24 3. Buses & Taxis _____________________ 26 4. Churches & Landmarks _____________ 27 5. Those Impossible Directions__________ 28 6. Staying in Touch: Snail & Email, Telephone ____________ 30 SHOPPING __________________ 32 1. Grocery Shopping __________________ 32 2. ShoppingEverything but Food ______ 38 3. Shopping Decisions ________________ 40 RESTAURANTS & SNACKS _____ 41 NEED A LITTLE WORD? ________ 44

ONLY IF YOU REALLY WANT TO ____________ 50 1. At Your Hotel _____________________ 50 2. Activities & Entertainments __________ 52 OH NO! _____________________ 54 1. Aches & Pains _____________________ 54 2. The Body _________________________ 55 3. Remedies _________________________ 56 4. Troubles _________________________ 58 GETTING TO KNOW YOU _____ 60 1. Who is this Person? _________________ 60 2. Our Families ______________________ 61 3. Shooting the Breeze ________________ 62 4. The Sorrows ______________________ 64 5. Talking About Others _______________ 66 6. Weather __________________________ 68 RESIDENTS & CRUISERS ______ 70 1. Living Here _______________________ 70 2. The Cruising or Yachting Life (from hardware store to hardware store) _____ 72 3. Getting Work Done _________________ 74
PAPIAMENTUS BEGINNINGS__________ 78 A SPOONFUL OF GRAMMAR _________ 80 INDEX ____________________________ 86 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS _______________ 88

Abbreviations used in this book: sr./sra. (A), (B), (C) (D), (S) Seor or Seora word used on Aruba, Bonaire, Curaao Dutch or Spanish word


1. Saying It
What syllable to stress Papiamentu is pronounced much like Spanish. In Papiamentu, stress falls on the second last syllable when the word ends in a vowel. When a word ends in a consonant, stress falls on the last syllable. When the stress doesnt follow these two rules, an acute accent () marks the syllable stressed. Consonants Consonants are pronounced in Papiamentu as they are in English, with few exceptions. In some words (often those that come from Dutch), the nal n in the word or syllable is pronounced as ng as in -ing (but g sound is never stressed). Watch out for two consonant combinations: dj is a hard j as in jam; zj is a soft j as in the French jour. (In Papiamentu spelling, words cant start with the letter j, so when a word starts with a j sound, d or z is put in front of the letter.) Also watch out for . The () puts a y sound after the n as in canyon. Vowels Pronounce vowels as: a ah e i& i ee o oh u oo

father t** & mother*** fee both food

**Where we differ. Other sources compare the e sound of Papiamentu to the ey of they or the ayof playbut without the glide. Geraldine, our expert, believes that English speakers get closer to the e sound if they pronounce it as the i in t. ***Schwa, the unstressed vowel sound of English (mother, broken, about, purpose) is occasionally used in Papiamentu. This soft grunt sound is oftenbut not alwaysfound in er, en, el combos.


Accents In Papiamentu three vowels take a grave accent ( ` ) (, , ). With the grave accent, these three are pronounced as the soft vowel equivalent in English ( as get, as got, as gut). In our pronunciation guides, well show these soft vowels simply as the letter without any symbol, but well prompt its sound with its example word.

Good to know, but not essential Only a very few words in this book contain dipthongs (two vowels written together and pronounced as a single sound). The ve common dipthongs are: 1. ai hard ias in eye 2. ei a Dutch sound that makes two different hard asapproximately like train and aye. (The word they will get you close.) 3. ia with a yah soundas in papaya (ia is not always a dipthong. It is also pronounced as two separate soundsas in fami-a, estadi-a, gui-a, bri-a, kri-ansa, ti-a) 4. ie as in fiesta 5. ue quit, quill (blend oo with a soft i [oo-i])
NOTE: In all, Papiamentu contains 21 vowel combinations or dipthongs. And the rules are complicated. Some vowel combinations have more than one dipthong sound; some have sounds more Dutch than English or Spanish; and some combinations can be pronounced either as a dipthong or as two separate vowel sounds, with no spelling clues to guide you. But you can master this bookand most conversationswithout knowing these complications.

Simulated pronunciationa tool for how to say it Starting on page 8 youll see how we help you say the Papiamentu words. After each section of phrases you will see (in italics) a simulated pronunciation of the Papiamentu vocabulary used in that section. Read the simulation as though it were English, putting the emphasis on the bold syllable. To save space in this little booklet, we give the simulated pronunciation for a word only once on each set of facing pagesthe rst time it appears on those pages. Lists of words (as opposed to lists of phrases) are without any pronunciation aids.


2. Greetings & Politeness

The hellos Good morning. Bon dia. (Literally good day) afternoon night Bon tardi. Bon nochi. How are you? Kon ta bai? How is Kon ta bai ku your family? sr./sra. su famia? your wife/husband? bo kas? (Informal) sr./sra su kas Fine, thank you. Bon, danki.
bon=bohng dia=dee-ah tardi=tahr-dee nochi =nohchee kon=kohng ta=tah bai=by ku=koo seor=sinyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah su=soo famia= fah-mee-ah kas=kah-sah ku=koo danki=dahn-kee

The goodbyes Goodbye. See you later. Till tomorrow. ... God willing. Till next week. Greet (name) for me. Ill be right back. Come right back. Have* a good day. Have* a good week.
(*literally, pass)

Ay. Te awor. Te maan. Te maan ku Dios ke. Te otro siman. Kumind () pa mi. Mi ta bai bolbe. Bai bolbe. Pasa un bon dia Pasa un bon siman.

ay=ah-yoh te=ti (it) awor=ah-woh-roh maan=mahyahng si=see Dios= Dyohs ke=ki (it) otro=oh-troh siman=see-mahn kumind=koo-meen-dah pa=pah mi=mee bolbe=bohl-bi (it) pasa=pah-sah un=oong

Politeness Please. Please help me. Do me a favor. Can I ask you a favor? Be so good as to Bless you.

Por fabor. Yuda mi por fabor. Hasi mi un fabor. Mi por pidi sr./sra. un fabor? Sea asina bon di Sal.

por fabor=pohr fah-bohr yuda=yoo-dah hasi=hah-see pidi=pee-dee sea=say-ah asina=ah-see-nah di=dee sal=sah-lu


Thank you (very much). (Masha) Danki. Youre welcome. Di nada. Youre welcome. Na sr./sra. su rdu. Go ahead. Pasa numa. Dont trouble yourself. No tin nodi molesti. Welcome (to our home) Bonbin (na nos kas). Thank you for the trouble. Danki pa e molster.

masha=mah-shah molster=moh-les-ter (=get) nada=nah-dah na=nah rdu=or-doo bonbin=bohn-beenee nos=nohs kas=kahs pasa=pah-sah numa=noo-mah tin=teeng nodi=noh-dee


Oops Im sorry that Im sorry. Excuse me. (when passing) Pardon/Excuse me? I did not hear you. I do not understand. Repeat that please.

Ta duel mi ku Mi tin duele. Despensa. Ablif? Mi no a tende sr./sra. Mi no ta komprond. Por a ripiti, por fabor.

duel=duil (quill) duele=dui-li (quill) despensa=di-spin-sah ablif=ah-bleef a=ah tende=tin-di komprond=kohmprohn-di (it) ripiti=ree-pee-tyi

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE On Monday morning say: Have a good morning (day)a good week. Pasa un bon diaun bon siman. On Friday say goodbye with: Have a good weekend. Pasa un bon n di siman (wiknt*). On a day before a holiday, say goodbye with: Have a good holiday. Pasa bon dia di esta. Respond to the above wishes with: Egualmente.
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


Rick & Maria meet Laura (also see page 60)

Rick: May I introduce us? My name is Rick. Meet my friend, Maria.

Mi por introdus nos mes? Mi yama Rick.** Sera konos ku mi amiga, Maria.

NOTE: These two words, sera konos, act together as an idiom used to introduce someone. Alone, sera means close.

Laura: Good to meet you. My name is Laura. Where are you (formal) from? Rick: Im from Holland. Im Dutch. Maria is from the US. Shes American. Laura: How long have you (formal) been here?

Un plaser. Mi yama Laura. Di unda Rick i Maria ta? Mi ta di Hulanda. Mi ta hulandes. Maria ta di Merka. E ta merikano. Kuantu tempu Rick i Maria tin aki?

Rick: Maria has been here Maria tin dos siman two weeks. aki. Im not a tourist. Mi no ta un turista. I live here. Mi ta biba aki. Ive lived here three years. Mi tin tres aa bib aki. And you (formal) I Laura? and your family? I Laura su famia?
**NOTE: When being introduced, Islanders usually say I am called... rather than using the literal translation of My name is ... (Mi nmber ta ....).



Laura: Oh, just call me Laura. Ai, bo por bisa (mi)Bo numa.
NOTE: With this sentence Laura is inviting Rick to use the informal you, bo, when speaking to her.

Laura: My family is from Aruba. Mi famia ta di Aruba. I came to Bonaire to work. Mi a bini Boneiru pa traha. Ive been here six weeks. Mi tin seis siman aki. Rick: Join us for coffee? Bo ta bin bebe k* ku nos?


Laura: Sure. Why not? Lets go. Sigur no. Ban. YOU SHOULD KNOW Dont say bo, say seor or seora. Calling a stranger or formal aquaintance bo or you is very rude. Replace all yous with an ofcial title or with a title of respect such as seor or seora (S). Titles from Dutch are: mener (for men) or mfrou/yfrou (for women). Shon is unisex, but was originally the title for a slave owner and is now very, very formal indeed. If you know the person better, use their name (the rst name is ne). The formal your is a title (or name) plus suseora su, Alice su. Dont say: Would you like milk with your coffee? (Bo ke lechi den bo k?) Say: Would seor like milk with seors coffee? (Seor ke lechi den seor su kf?) Seor and seora will be abbreviated throughout this book as sr./sra.

*A Dutch (and English) word with a Papiamentu spelling.



3. Quick Guide to Questions & Requests

The three biggies Do you speak English? Can you help me? Do you understand? Sr./Sra. ta papia ingles? Sr./Sra. por yuda mi? Sr./Sra. ta komprond?

seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah ta=tah papia=pah-pya Ingles=Eeng-lis por=pohr yuda=yoodah mi=mee komprond=kohm-prohn-di (it)

Buying Do you have? I need (something) I need (+ verb innitive) I want (something) I want to How much (for it)? Will you sell me the ? Is this the price? Do you take travelers checks?

Sr./Sra. tin? Mi mester di (algu) Mi mester (+ verbo/vrbo) Mi ke (algu) Mi kir a Kuantu (pe)? (= pa + e) Sr./Sra. por bende mi e Esaki ta e preis? Sr./Sra. ta asept chknan biahero?

tin=teeng mester=mis-tir di=dee ke=ki (it) kir=keeer kuantu=kwahn-too por=pohr bende=bin-di e=i (it) esaki=is-ah-kee preis=preys asept=ah-sip-tah biahe=byah-hi

Directions Where is? Where can I (get)? How do I get to? Is this the way to ?

Unda ta? Unda mi por (haa)? Kon mi ta yega? Esaki ta e kaminda pa?

unda=oon-dah haa=hah-nyah kon=kohng yega=yigah kaminda=kah-meen-dah

Time and details When? When is? When do you open (close)?

Ki ora? Kuantor ta? Ki ora ta? Ki ora sr./sra. ta habri (sera)?



*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


What time do you have? Kuantortin? When will it be ready? Ki ora e ta kla? When should I Ki ora mi tin ku come back? bini bk?

ki=kee ora=ohr-ah or=ohr habri=hah-bree sera=sirah kla=klah ku=koo bini=bee-nee bk=bek

Sorting it out & getting a name Why? What for? Di kon? Pakiko? What are you doing? Kiko sr./sra. ta hasi? With whom am I Ku ken mi tin speaking? e honor? With whom should I talk? Ku ken mi tin ku papia? Who wants to ? Ken ke ? Who will be meeting us? Ken ta bin topa nos?
pakiko=pah-kee-koh kiko=kee-koh hasi=hah-see ken=king topa=toh-pah bin=been nos=nohs

They might ask What is your name? Where are you staying? How may I help you? Do you like it here? You might answer My name is Im staying at Im looking for Yes, very much.

Kon sr./sra. yama? Unda sr./sra. ta keda? Ku kiko mi por yuda sr./sra? Sr./Sra. gusta aki?

yama=yah-mah keda=ki-dah gusta=goo-stah aki=ah-kee

Mi yama Mi ta keda na Mi ta buska Si, hopi.

nomber= nom-ber buska=boo-skah si=see hopi=hoh-pee

NEW YEAR. OLD YEAR. Ship-loads and ship-loads of recrackers are set off New Years Eve. You have to burn money to make money (so they say). On New Years Eve people burn incense and take it around throughout the house.



4.The Easy Responses

Yes & No Yes No I think so. I dont know. Never (again)! Not true! I hope not. Maybe some other time. Si N Mi ta kere ku si. Mi no sa. Nunka (mas)! No ta brdat! Mi ta spera ku n. Kisas un otro biaha.

si=see n=no mi=mee ta=tah kere=ki-ri ku=koo sa=sah nunka=noon-kah mas=mahs brdat=ber-daht spera=spi-rah kisas=kee-sahs un=oong otro=oh-troh biaha=byah-hah

Making sure Really? Who said? You dont say! Since when?

Brdat? Ken di? No bisa mi! For di ki dia?

ken=king di=dee bisa=bee-sah for di=fohr dee ki=kee dia=dee-ah

Stating an opinion I dont care. Wrong. Right. I think that This isnt the same.

No ta import mi. Robes. Korekto. Mi ta kere ku Esaki no ta mskos.

import=eem-pohr-tah robes=roh-bis korekto=kohr-iktoh esaki=is-ah-kee mskos=mis-kohs

Forgetting & losing Dont forget. I forgot. I lost (my book). Im lost. What are you looking for?

No lubid. Mi a lubid Mi a prd (mi buki). Mi a prd kaminda. Kiko sr./sra. ta buska?

lubid=loo-bee-dah a=ah prd=per-de (=get) buki=boo-kee kaminda=kah-meen-da kiko=kee-koh seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah buska=boos-kah

Learning Papiamentu I know some Papiamentu Mi sa algun palabra na words. papiamentu.



I would like to practice with you. Please, speak slowly. Explain to me what .......means. I did not understand. Can you repeat that for me?

Mi lo ke praktik ku sr./sra. Por fabor, papia poko poko. Splika mi kiko ke mn . Mi no a komprond. Sr./Sra. por ripit esei pa mi?


(See pg. 82 for placing lo in the future tense.)

algun=ahl-goong palabra=pah-lah-brah na=nah Papiamentu= Pah-pyah-min-too lo=loh ke=ki praktik=prahk-tee-kah ku=koo por fabor= pohr fahbohr papia=pah-pyah poko=poh-koh splika=splee-kah mn=meng komprond= kohm-prohn-di ripit=ree-pee-tee esei=i-say pa=pah

How much, how good A few. (Very) Good. A small amount. Carefully, slowly. More. Much more. Too much/too many. Enough. Very nice. Tasty. (sweetheart)

Poko. (Hopi) Bon. Un tiki. Poko poko. Mas. Hopi mas. Muchu. Di mas. Basta. Dushi.

hopi=hoh-pee bon=bohng tiki=tee-kee mas=mahs muchu=moo-choo basta=bah-stah dushi=doo-shee




1. Money
How much? How much is it worth? How much does it cost? Three dollars & ten cents. How much money do you want (for it)? I want eight guilders. Kuantu e ta bal? Kuantu e ta kosta? Tres dler* i djes sn. Kuantu sn**sr./sra. ke (pe)?(= pa + e) Mi ke ocho orin.

kuantu=kwahn-too e=i (t) ta=tah bal=bahl kosta=koh-stah tres=tris i=ee djes=djis sn=seng seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah ke=ki ocho=ohchoh orin=oh-reeng

Getting the bill May I have the the bill please? I think that there is a mistake here. What is this charge?

Mi por a haa e kuenta, por fabor? Mi ta kere tin un fout aki. Ta kiko e preis aki ta?

por=pohr a=ah haa=hah-nyah kuenta=kwin-tah kir=kee-er sa=sah ku=koo tin=teeng un=oong fout=fout aki=ah-kee kiko=kee-koh preis=preys ta=tah

Paying They might ask you Do you have change? a guilder cent Sign here please. Could I see some ID?

Sr./Sra. tin sn larg? un orin sn Firma aki por fabor. Sr./Sra. tin un forma di identikashon? passport identity card? pasaporte sdula? a drivers licence? un reibeweis?
larg=lahr-gah rma=feer-mah aki=ah-kee por fabor=pohr fah-bohr forma=fohr-mah identikashon= ee-din-tee-fee-kah-shohng pasaporte= pah-sah-pohr-ti reibeweis=rey-bi-weys sdula=se-doo-lah *English word with a Papiamentu spelling. **Literally plaka means money and sn means cent, but plaka has a rude double meaning, and is perhaps best avoided.



Do you accept credit cards? Do you give change in US$? Here is your money.

Sr./Sra. ta tuma tarheta di krdito? Ta duna sn bk na dler*? Ata sr./sra. su sn aki.

tuma=too-mah di-dee tarheta=tahr-hi-tah krdito=kredee-toh duna=doo-nah bk=bek ata=ah-tah su=soo aki=ahkee


At the bank I want to cash travelers checks. I want to change US $ for guilders. Whats the exchange rate for US $? Can you give me 5 bills of 10? How much money do I have in my account? The bank machine isnt working.

Mi ke kambia chknan biahero aki. Mi ke kambia. dler* pa orin. Kuantu ta e kambio di dler* merikano? Sr./Sra. por duna mi 5 papel di 10 ? Kuantu sn mi tin riba mi kuenta? E bankomtiko (ATM) no ta traha.

kambia=kahm-byah kambio=kahm-byoh merikano=miree-kah-noh papel=pah-pil riba=ree-bah kuenta=kwinta mashin=mah-sheeng traha=trah-hah

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE The big amounts: Islanders write numbers in the European format. They separate thousands by periods (.) and show a decimal place with a comma (,). For example, theyd write six thousand ve hundred dollars as: $6.500,00 (seis mil sinkushen dler). And the little stuff: The term for money (plaka) comes from a now extinct 21/2 cent coin, so 25 is djes plaka (10 plaka). 10 is un depchi. 50 is un yotin, a term which comes from guillotine (as in cutting a guilder in half).
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


2. Numbers
110 1 un 2 dos 3 tres 4 kuater 5 sinku 6 seis 7 shete 8 ocho 9 nuebe 10 djes
un=oong dos=dohs tres=tris kuater=kwah-ter sinku= seen-koo seis=seys shete=shi-ti ocho=oh-cho nuebe= nwi-bi djes=djis

11101 10 + 1 = 11 20 + 2 = 22 30 + 3 = 33 40 + 4 = 44 50 + 5 = 55 60 + 6 = 66 70 + 7 = 77 80 + 8 = 88 90 + 9 = 99 100+1 = 101

djes + un = diesun/djesun binti + dos = bintidos trinta + tres = trintitres kuarenta+ kuater = kuarentikuater sinkuenta + sinku = sinkuentisinku sesenta + seis = sesentiseis setenta + shete = setentishete ochenta + ocho = ochentiocho nobenta + nuebe = nobentinuebe shen + un = shentiun

djesun=dji-soong bintidos=been-tee-dohs trintitres=treen-tee-tris kuarentikuater=kwah-rin-teekwah-ter sinkuen-tisinku=sin-kwin-tee-seen-koo sesentiseis=si-sin-tee-seys setentishete= si-tin-tee-shi-ti ochentiocho=oh-chin-tee-oh-choh nobentinuebe=noh-bintee-nwi-bi shentiu=shin-tee-oong

1001.000 100 shen 200 doshen 300 treshen 400 kuatershen 500 sinkushen

600 700 800 900 1.000

seishen sheteshen ochoshen nuebeshen mil

shen=shing doshen=doh-shing treshen=tri-shing kuatershen=kwah-ter-shing sinkushen=seen-kooshing seishen=seys-shing sheteshen=shi-ti-shing ochoshen=oh-cho-shing nuebeshen-nwi-bi-shing mil=meel

Ordinal numbers (the) rst (the) second, third the hundredth time last

prom, (e) di prom (e) di dos, di tres di shen bes ltimo, delaster

prom= proh-mi e=i (t) di=dee bes=bis ltimo=ooltee-moh delaster=di-lah-ster



3. TimeBy the Day

Dividing the day I need it (by) . . . morning noon noon till 16:00 16:00 till 18.00 night midnight

Mi mester di dje . . . mainta mrdia tramrdia atardi (a)nochi mei anochi

mi=mee mester di = mis-tir dee dje=ji mainta=mah-eentah mrdia= mer-dee-ah tramrdia=trah-mer-dee-ah atardi=ah-tahr-dee (a)nochi=(ah)noh-chee mei=mey


Today Awe Ill pass (by) . . . Mi ta pasa . . . this morning awe mainta this noon awe mrdia this afternoon tonight awe tardi awe nochi
awe=ah-wi (e=t) tardi=tahr-dee

The past Pasado I saw him . . . Mi a mir (= mira + ) . . . yesterday ayera yesterday morning (etc.) ayera mainta (ts.) last week siman pas last year aa pas
ayera=ah-yer-ah siman=see-mahng pas=pah-sah ts (tseter)= et-si-ter-ah aa=ah-nyah

The future Futuro I am going to visit . . . Mi ta bai bishit . . . tomorrow maan tomorrow morning (etc.) maan mainta (ts.) the next (following) day e siguiente dia day after tomorrow next week next year in a moment in two days a week from now otro maan otro siman otro aa aki (un) ratu aki dos dia aki un siman

maan=mah-nyahng e=i (t) siguiente=see-gyin-ti dia=dee-ah otro=oh-troh aki=ah-kee ratu=rah-too



4. TimeTalking about Time By the Hour & By the Clock

Talking about time at last soon early late now for the time being in the meantime porn pronto tempran lat awor por lo pronto mintrastantu

porn=pohr-feen pronto=prohn-toh tempran = timp-prahng lat=laht por=pohr lo=loh mintrastantu=myin-trahs-tahn-too

By the hour hour (hour long) 1 hour 2 hours By the clock minute oclock 1, 2, 3 oclock 4, 5 oclock 6, 7 oclock 8, 9 oclock 10, 11 oclock 12 oclock

ora (ora largu) un ora (largu), dos ora (largu),

ora=ohr-ah largu=lahr-goo un=oong dos=dohs

mint or un or, dos or, tres or kuator, sinkor seis or, shetor ochor, nuebor djes or, djesunor djesdos or

mint=meen-ut (=lure) or=or

EXAMPLE: It is 2 oclock, and the plane is 3 hours late. Ta dos or, i e avion ta tres ora lat. Squishing two-syllable times. From 4:00 onwards, dont say the nal syllable of the number word; shorten the word to one syllable. For example say, shetor NOT shete or.



Between the hours 7:30 (literally half to 8) 5:15 (a quarter past 5) 5:45 (a quarter to 6) 3:05 (5 past 3) 7:55 (5 to 8)

mitar di ocho (8) kuartu pas di sinku (5) kuartu pa seis (6) sinku (5) pas di tres (3) sinku (5) pa ocho (8)

mitar=mee-tahr di=dee ocho=oh-choh kuartu=kwahr-too pas=pah-sah seis=seys sinku=seen-koo


Generally rst earlier later previously before

prom mas tempran mas lat ntes prom ku

prom=proh-mi mas=mahs tempran=tim-prahn lat=laht antes=ahn-tis ku=koo

Customer: Good afternoon, sir. When will my tire be ready? Bon tardi, seor. Ki ora mi tayer* ta keda kla? Repairman: Good afternoon, maam. Come back at 4.30. Bon tardi, seora, por bini bk mitar di 5 (sinku). Customer: I cant come at 4.30. I have a yoga class starting at 4. It nishes at 5.30. When do you close? Mi no por bini mitar di 5(sinku). Mi ls di yoga ta kumins 4 (kuat) or i ta kaba mitar di 6 (seis). Ki ora seor ta sera? Repairman: We close at 6.00. Nos ta sera 6 (seis) or.

At the Tire Repair Store

Customer: Good. I should be here before 6.00. Till then. Bon. Mi lo ta aki prom ku 6 (seis) or. Te awor. Repairman: Goodbye. Ayo.

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


5. TimeDays, Months, & Celebrations

Days Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Months January February March April May June July August September October November December Dianan djadumingu djaluna djamars djrason djaweps djabirn djasabra Lunanan yanari febrari mart aprel mei yni yli ougstes sptmber* ktober* novmber* desmber*
jah-doo-meen-goo jah-loo-nah jah-mahrs jah-rah-sohng jah-wips jah-by-i-er-ne (=get) jah-sah-brah

yah-nu-ahree (=lure) -bru-ahree (=lure) mahrt ahpril mey yu-nee (=lure) yu-li (=lure) ou-gus-tus (ou=rowdy)

Celebrations Happy New Year. Happy Birthday. Congratulations. Merry Christmas. Easter

Dianan di esta Bon Aa. Pabien. Pabien. Bon Pasku. Pasku di Resurkshon

bon=bohng aa=ah-nyah pabien=pah-bying pahs-koo di=dee Resurkshon=ri-soo-rek-shohng

*The English pronunciation is close enough.




1. Island road signs are international signs:

A red rimmed circle means NO! Some circles also have the slash, but the red-rimmed circle by itself means NO. Sometimes what is prohibited is drawn within the circle: no left turn, no bikes, no passing, etc. A red-rimmed triangle means Be Careful! The type of danger you are to watch for is drawn within the symbol: a narrow road, sharp corners, a road needing repair, donkeys, etc.

Blue circles & squares give you a command / indication. A white arrow pointing up on a blue square indicates a one-way street. A white arrow pointing left tells you that you must turn left. Parking restrictions. A red-rimmed circle with a red slash and a blue interior means that you cant park. If the sign is blank on one side, the parking restrictions apply only to the side of the street on the lled-in side. Yield. Stop. Right-of-way. The yield sign is the same as in North America, a downward pointing triangle. A stop sign has STOP written on it (within a red-rimmed triangle, within a red-rimmed circle.) You have right of way at the intersection you are approaching if you see a fat vertical arrow with a narrow cross bar (within a red-rimmed triangle).




2. Driving
At the rental shop Id like to rent a: car bicycle motorcycle scooter truck Mi ke hr un: outo baiskel motosaikel* skuter*, brmer pikp*, trk*

mi=mee ke=ki (e=t) hr=hur (=lure) un=oong outo=ow-toh baiskel=beyes-kel brmer=brom-er

At the service station Na pmp di gasolin Fill it with Yen = (yena + ) ku regular (super). regular (super). x guilders of gas, x orin di gasolin, please. por fabor. I have run out of gas. Mi gasolin a kaba. I think that I (I may) Mi kir sa ku mi need oil. mester di zeta. Will you check the level? Sr./Sra. por kontrol pa mi?
yen=ying =i (t) ku=koo orin=oh-reeng di=dee gasolin=gah-soh-leeng por fabor=pohr fah-bohr a=ah kaba=kah-bah kir=kee-er sa=sah mester= mis-tir zeta=zi-tah seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah kontrol= kohn-troh-lah pa=pah

My tire is at. I need a tire repaired.

Mi tayer* ta plat. Mi mester drecha un tayer*. Change the spare tire. Kambia e tayer di sper. **When will it be ready? Ki ora e ta kla? **The three whens: If you want to know when during the same day, say ki ora (literally, what hour). If your when extends to tomorrow and beyond, ask ki dia (literally, what day). And when you are connecting two ideas (or using a general when as we just did in this sentence), say ora.


*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


I want my car washed. Mi ke laba mi outo. I need: Mi mester di: air in my tires airu den mi tayernan diesel a gas (Jerry) can disel* un djrikn* oil water zeta awa
laba=lah-bah airu=eye-roo den=ding awa=ah-wah


Carspermits & paperwork drivers license reibeweis license number number di outo license plate plachi di number insurance certicate papelnan di seguro sticker steker*

reibeweis=rey-be-weys papelnan=pah-pil-nang seguro=sigoor-oh number=noom-ber platchi=plah-chee

Riding with friends Can I give you a ride? Can I give you a lift? Im going to . Where are you going? Ill take advantage of your offer.

Mi por duna sr./sra. un kabesi boto?**

(= kabes + di boto)

Mi por duna sr./sra. un left*? Mi ta bai . Unda sr./sra. ta bai? Lo mi hasi uso di sr./sra. su oferta.

duna=doo-nah kabes=kah-bis i=ee boto=boh-toh bai=by unda=oon-dah ta=tah lo=loh hasi=hah-see uso=oo-soh su=soo oferta=oh-r-tah

**Youre rightboto means boat, not car The use of boat in the offer, Can I give you a ride?, comes from early days in Curaao. Before the bridges were built, boats took paying passengers from one shore to another. But if you sat up front, you didnt have to pay. Thats because the person in the front of the boat (kabesi boto) always got wet.
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


3. Buses & Taxis

Buses bus stop parada di bs, bshalte (D) Where can I get a bus? Unda mi por kue bs? When does the bus Ki ora e bs leave (arrive)? ta sali (yega)? How much does it cost? Kuantu pa bai? (from to )? (for di te )?
parada=pah-rah-dah di=dee e=i (t) bus=buhs unda=oon-dah mi=mee por=pohr kue=kwi ki ora=kee or-ah ta=tah sali=sah-lee yega=yi-gah kuantu= kwahntoo pa=pah bai=by for di=fohr dee te=ti (e=t)

Does the bus for (district) stop here? Is this the correct bus for (address) ? Driver, I need to go to Driver, can you tell me when we get to How do I get to?

Bs di () ta para aki? E bs ak ta bai ()? Sr./Sra., mi mester bai Sr./Sra. por bisa mi ora nos yega Kon mi ta yega

para=pah-rah aki=ah-kee seor=si-nyohr seora=sinyoh-rah mester=mis-tir por=pohr bisa=bee-sah nos=nohs kon=kohng

Tipping, taxis & airport vans This is for you. Esaki ta pa sr./sra. We need a taxi at Nos mester di un taksi* () oclock. () or. to (address) at (address) pa () na (). Pick us up at Bin buska nos na Please call us a taxi. Yama un taksi pa nos, por fabor. How much to go to? Kuantu pa bai ()? That is my bag. Esei ta mi falis. And that one. I esun ei.
esaki=i-sah-kee bin=beeng buska=boos-kah yama=yahmah un=oong por fabor=por fah-bor esei=i-sey falis= fah-lees esun=i-soong i=ee ei=ey (they)

* English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



4. Churches & Landmarks

Landmarks road main road a block corner intersection building house store (called) kaya kaya prinsipal blki skina krusada edisio kas pakus (yam...)

kaya=kah-yah prinsipal=preen-see-pahl blki=blaw-kee (=got) skina=skee-nah krus=kroos kaminda= kah-meen-dah edisio=i-dee-feeseeoh kas=kahs pakus=pah-koos yama=yah-mah

Looking for a church A Roman Catholic church Un misa katliko A Protestant church Un krki Is there an English church Tin un misa (krki) here? Ingles aki? When are the services? Kuantor tin misa? (Cath.) Kuantor tin sirbishi? (Prot.)
misa=mee-sah krki=ker-kee tin=teeng Ingles=Eeng-lis kuant=kwahnt or=ohr sirbishi=seer-bee-shee


Directions (Its) beside Go into, inside. Go outside. (Its) behind (something) (Its) in back. (Its) in front of (Its) between north south east west

(E ta) banda di Drenta den, drenta paden. Bai pafo. (E ta) tras di (E ta) patras. (E ta) dilanti di (E ta) mei-mei nort sit ost, pariba wst*, pabou

banda=bahn-dah drenta= drin-tah den=ding sali=sahlee e=i (t) tras=trahs dilanti=dee-lahn-tee entre=in-tri nort=nort sit=suiht ost=ohst pariba=pah-ree-bah pabou=pah-bow (ou=rowdy)

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



5. Those Impossible Directions

Excuse me, sir/madam. Despensa, sr./sra. Please, where is the Despensa, unda e banko nearest bank? di mas serka ta? bus stop parada di bs gas station pmp di gasolin washroom bao
despensa=dis-pin-sah seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyohrah unda=oon-dah ta=tah e=i (t) banko=bahng-koh mas=mahs serka=sir-ka parada=pah-rah-dah di=dee pomp=pohmp bao=bah-nyo

Where is? How do I get to? Is this the way to ? Is (place) far or near? I am looking for Do you know where (name) lives? the market is?

Unda .. ta? Kon mi ta yega? Esaki ta e kaminda pa? () ta leu f serka? Mi ta buska Sr./Sra. sa unda () ta biba? e marshe** ta?

kon=kohng mi=mee yega=yi-gah esaki=i-sah-kee kaminda= kah-meen-dah leu=liw f=of serka=sir-kah buska=boos-kah sa=sah biba=bee-bah marshe=marshi

Please where is the Despensa, unda e lug nearest place for buying mas serka pa kumpra ()? () ta keda? food hardware kuminda hartwer* ofce supplies artkulonan pa osina Where can I get a taxi? Unda mi por kohe un taksi*? Please where is Maduro Despensa, unda Banko & Curiels bank? Maduro & Curiels ta keda?
lug =loo-gah pa=pah kumpra=koom-prah keda=kidah kuminda= koo-meen-dah hartwer=hahrt-wir artkulonan= ahr-tee-koo-loh-nang pa=pah osina=ohfee-see-nah kohe=ko-hi (it) *English word with a Papiamentu spelling.

**Where we differ. Marshe is one of the few words we spell differently than does the English/Papiamentu Bilingual Dictionary by Betty Ratzlaff.



They might say I dont know. Its near. Ill show you. Its easy. Its difcult.

Mi no sa. E ta serka. Mi ta mustra sr./sra. E ta fsil. E ta difsil.


sa=sah mustra=moo-strah fsil=fah-seel difsil=dee-fee-seel

Its too far to walk. Its a short distance from here. Do you have a car? You need a taxi. From here, you go here (from here) there (from there)

E ta muchu leu pa kana. E no ta masha leu djaki. (= di+aki) Sr./Sra. tin outo? Sr./Sra. mester di un taksi*. Djaki, sr./sra. ta bai na/te aki (djaki) (= di+aki) aya (djaya)(= di+aya)

muchu= moo-choo kana=kah-nah masha=mah-shah djaki=jah-kee tin=teeng outo=ow-toh mester=mis-tir djaya=jah-yah aki=ah-kee aya=ah-yah

You want street. You must go to Turn left. Turn right. Go straight ahead. Go ahead until

Sr./Sra. ke kaya . Sr./Sra. tin ku bai na Bira na man robes. Bira na man drechi. Bai stret. Sigui te

(literally, turn to left hand & right hand)

kaya=kah-yah ke=ki (it) ku=koo bai=by bira=bee-rah na=nah man= mahng robes=roh-bis drechi=dri-chee stret=strit sigui= see-gee te=ti (it)

OH, THOSE SISTERS If you should nd yourself standing, walking or sitting between two sisters, you may make a wish.
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


6. Staying in TouchSnail & Email, Telephone

Locating the service Where is: courier internet service post ofce telephone ofce Unda tin:
(use: Fed Ex, DHL)

servisio di internt* osina di pst osina di telefn*

unda=oon-dah tin=teeng servisio=ser-vee-see-yoh di=dee osina=oh-fee-see-nah pst=pawst

Email How do I use your service? What are your rates? Is a machine available?

Kon mi ta usa bo** servisio? Kuantu boso** servisionan ta kosta? Tin un mashin liber?

**you & your refer to a business, so bo & boso are ne. kon=kohng mi=mee ta=tah usa=oo-sah bo=boh un=oong mashin=mah-sheeng liber=lee-ber kuantu= kwahn-too boso=boh-soh servisionan=ser-vee-shoh-nang kosta=koh-stah

Post ofce & courier A stamp for this please.

Un stampia pa esaki, por fabor. Id like to send this letter. Mi ke manda e karta aki. Have you any letters Tin karta pa mi? for me? My name is Mi nmber ta How much to send this Kuantu pa manda e package to England? paki aki pa Inglatera?
stampia=stahm-pee-a pa=pah esaki=i-sah-kee por fabor=pohr fah-bohr ke=ki (it) manda=mahn-dah e=i(it) karta=kar-tah aki=ah-kee pa=pah nmber= nom-ber (=got) paki=pah-kee Inglatera= Een-glah-tirah

address customs envelope no value post card stamp registered letter

adrs*, direkshon duana envelp* sin balor karchi postal, pskart stampia karta sigur


*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


Telephone Id like to call collect. area (country) code long distance telephone book a call The line is busy. The wrong number. That number isnt in service.

Mi ke yama kolkt.* kdigo di e aria (e pais) largu distansha yama af buki di telefn un yamada E lia ta okup. E number ta robes. E number ei no ta den servisio.

yama=yah-mah largu=lar-goo distansha=dee-stahn-shah af=a-foh buki=boo-kee yamada=yah-mah-dah kdigo=koh-dee-goh aria=ah-rya pais=payees lia=leenyah okup=oh-koo-pah robes=roh-bis ei=aye den=ding servisio=ser-vee-see-yoh


Greta: Good Afternoon. May I speak with Andre Frans? Bon Tardi. Mi por papia ku Andre Frans? Secretary: Good Afternoon. What is your name? Bon Tardi. Kon sra. su nmber ta? Greta: My name is Greta Tymstra. (I am called....) Mi yama Greta Tymstra. Secretary: Just a minute. He doesnt answer. Hes not here. Un momentu. E no ta kontest. E no tei. Greta: Could I leave a message? Could you tell him I called and will call again? When will he be back? When should I phone again? Mi por laga un rospondi? Sra. por bis ku mi a yama i ku mi lo yama atrobe? Ki ora e ta bk? Ki ora mi por yama atrobe? Secretary: You can call back (again) tomorrow morning. Seora por yama bk maan mainta.
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling. HERE & THERE

Playing Phone Tag


1. Grocery Shopping

Shopping and Eating

Shopping in three languages. In the following pages, youll nd Dutch and Spanish words for foods sold in those languages on the ABCs. Island grocery stores have many signs in Dutch (D) and Spanish (S) will come in handy if you want to buy fruits and vegetables directly from the Venezuelan fruit boats which visit Curaao and Bonaire. (Papiamentu and Spanish numbers are almost the same, so youll be OK for the money side of things.) A greeting - Bon dia sr./sra; or Bon tardi sr./sra.- should precede a conversation or request.

The greeting: Good morning Sir/Madam Good afternoon Sir/Madam

Bon dia sr./sra. Bon tardi sr./sra.

bon=bohng dia=dee-ah seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyohrah tardi=tar-dee

Finding the product I need I want Where is Do you have? What kind of (sh) have you? In what other shop could I nd (buy)?

Mi mester Mi ke Unda ta (keda)? Sr./Sra. tin ? Ki sorti (= sorto + di) (pisk) tin? Unda mas mi por haa (kumpra)?

mi=mee mester=mis-tir ke=ki (it) unda=oon-dah ta=tah keda=ki-dah tin=teeng ki=kee sorti=sohr-tee pisk= pees-kah mas=mahs por=pohr haa=hah-nyah kumpra= koom-prah

The store itself small store supermarket the place to buy food box bag cart scale


toko=toh-koh supermerkado=soo-per-mir-kah-doh e=i (it) lug=loo-gah pa= pah kuminda=koo-meen-dah kaha= kah-hah saku=sah-koo tas=tahs garoshi=gahroh-shee balansa=bah-lahn-sah

toko supermerkado, supermarket e lug pa kumpra kuminda kaha saku, tas garoshi balansa

cash register cashier manager customer sale for sale

kaha, kai plaka (=kaha + di plaka) kahera (fem.) kahero (masc.) mnedjer* kliente, kumprad baratio, verkoop (D) te koop (D)

kahi=kah-ee plaka=plah-kah kahera= kah-hi-rah kliente =klee-in-ti kumprad=koom-prah-doh den=ding baratio= bah-rah-tee-yoh

Talking about quality & quantity: bag bottle can, tin saku bter bleki some half a algun mitar whole package hent paki piece slice pida slais* pound kilo liber kilo a couple/pair (of) un par (di)
bter=baw-ter (=got) bleki=bli-kee tiki=tee-kee mitar =mee-tahr hent=hin-ti paki=pah-kee pida=pee-dah liber=lee-ber kilo=kee-loh


small in size small in amount (a little bit) less bigger smaller coarse ne

chikitu tiki un tiki mas tiki, menos mas grandi mas chikitu grf (D) ni

chikitu=chee-kee-too mas=mahs grandi=grahn-dee grf=grof (=got) ni=fee-nee

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



good rotten green ripe hard soft spicy not spicy sour sweet

bon putr brd hechu duru moli pika no pika (dushi) zr dushi, zut (D)

bon=bohng putri=poot-ree brd=ber-de (=get) hechu=hi-choo duru=doo-roo moli=moh-lee pika=peekah dushi= doo-shee zr=zur (=lure) zut=zoot

Dairy & staples bread, sandwich brown/whole wheat white small french bread butter cheese our cornmeal pepper salt rice spaghetti Drinks coffee tea juice beer wine mineral water milk powdered evaporated condensed soft drinks Household cleaners broom soap detergent clothes detergent dish detergent hand soap garbage pail cleaner

pan, sntwich* (pan) brin (pan) blanku pan franses manteka keshi haria funchi peper salu aros spaguti* Bebida k* te djus* serbes bia awa di bter, awa mineral lechi lechi na puiru lechi evapor, lechi awa lechi kndns sft, limonada Detergente di kas basora habon detergente habon pa laba paa habon pa laba tay habon pa laba man baki sushi,bar di sushi detergente

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling (with help from the Italian and the Dutch, of course)



all purpose cleaner toilet cleaner window cleaner Treats/sweets cake pie ice cream cookie candy Jars, boxes and tins horseradish hot sauce peanut butter raisins

detergente pa tur uso kos pa limpia tualt kos pa laba bentana Kos dushi bolo pai* iskrim* kuki*, buskutchi mangel, kos dushi, snup (D) Pchinan, kahanan i blekinan rbano pikante sous pika pindakas (D) rasenchi

Meat departmentin three languages

English beef
ground beef grd.beef & pork loin roast pot roast steak stewing meat

Papiamentu bif*
bif mul karni mul bif loin rsbif rsbif pa hasa bifstek karni stoba

Dutch rundvlees
tartaar/ rundergehakt gehakt half om half biefstuk v.d. haas rosbief suddervlees biefstuk stoofvlees/ hachevlees

breast legs thighs wings

pechu pia di galia bl ala

borst kippepoot poot vleugel

other meat/sh products: frankfurter htdg goat kabritu pork karni porko** porkchop prchp*

hotdog geit varkensvlees varkenskotelet

** karni porko=karni di porko=literally meat of the pig * English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


Fruits & vegetablesin four languages

Fruits apple banana coconut grape grapefruit lemon lime mango melon orange papaya passion fruit peach pear pineapple plum watermelon Papiamentu Fruta apel bakoba koko dri grepfrut* lamunchi lamunchi mango milon apelsina papaya parchita pich* pera anasa plm* patia Papiamentu Berdura asprago bonchi roibit kolo wrtel blumkol slder maishi kmkmber Dutch Vruchten appel banaan kokosnoot druif grapefruit citroen limoen mango meloen sinaasappel papaja passievrucht perzik peer ananas pruim watermeloen Dutch Groenten asperge sperciebonen biet kool wortel bloemkool selderie mais komkommer aubergine knoook paprika Spanish Fruta manzana burrito coco uva toronja limn lima mango meln naranja papaya parchita melocoton pera pia ciruela sanda Spanish Verdura esprragos habichuelas remolacha repollo zanahoria colior apio maz pepino berenjena ajo pimiento (verde)

Vegetables asparagus beans (gr.) beet cabbage carrot cauliower celery corn cucumber

eggplant berehein garlic kono green pepper promentn

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



Vegetables lettuce (head of) onion peas plantain potatoes pumpkin spinach tomato sweet potato

Papiamentu Berdura lechuga (A), krpsla (B,C) siboyo pitipu banana batata pampuna spinazi tomati batata dushi

Dutch Groenten sla krop sla ui erwt bakbanaan

Spanish Verdura lechuga cebolla arveja pltano

aardappel papa pompoen calabaza spinazie espinaca tomaat tomate zoete papa dulce aardappel


Seasoningsin three languages**

English anise basil bay leaf capers caraway (seed) celery (leaves/seed) cinnamon cloves cumin curry garlic powder ginger mint mustard nutmeg onion salt parsley pepper hot sauce salt thyme Papiamentu anis yerb i hole louril alkapara eneldo slder kan klabu komino kuri* kono gmber yerbi menta mster notmskat salu di siboyo petiseli peper pika salu teim Dutch anijs basilicum laurierblad kappertjes karwijzaad selderijblad/zaad kaneel kruidnagel komijn kerrie (masala) knoook poeder gember munt mosterd nootmuskaat

uienzout peterselie peper sambal (Indonesian) zout tijm

**Thanks to both The Bonaire Reporter and Nora van Neil aboard Cordelia. *English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


2.Shopping-Everything but Food

If you want a particular product, its easiest to ask for it by brand name. The ABC islands sell both European and North American brands. Where do they sell ? I want to buy. Where do they sell ? Wheres the place to buy? books magazine(s) English newspaper art local art local handicrafts Mi ke kumpra Unda nan ta bende.? Unda e lug pa kumpra ta? buki revista(nan) korant na Ingles arte arte lokal artesana lokal, obra di man

cameras lm kmara* felm* souvenir sunglasses suvenir* brel di solo sun tan lotion insecticide krema pa solo it insect repellant sprei kontra sangura dive equipment snorkle equipment auto/boat supplies computer supplies hardware jewelry fabrics dishes kids clothes mens clothes womens clothes shoes toy cosmetics perfume razor razor blade shaving cream sanitary napkin tampons toilet paper toothbrush toothpaste ekipo pa sambuy ekipo pa snrkel piesa pa outo/boto asesorio pa kmpiuter* hartwer* hoyera tela tay paa pa mucha paa pa hende hmber paa pa hende muh sapatu koi hunga (=kos + di) kosmtika perfume nabaha blet krema pa feita kotks, Kotex tampn papel di wes (W.C.) skeiru di djente pasta di djente

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



Photos & photocopies Where do they develop photos? When will they be ready? I need two copies. Where can I nd a photocopier?

Unda ta laba potrt? Ki dia nan ta kla? Mi mester di dos kopia. Unda mi por haa un mashin* di kopia?

unda=oon-dah ta=tah laba=lah-bah potrt=poh-tret ki=kee dia=dee-ah nan=nahng kla=klah mi=mee mester=mis-tir di=dee dos=dohs kopia=koh-pya haa=hah-nyah mashin=mah-sheeng un=oong


Where do they repair? camera computer engine pump shoe watch

Unda por laga drecha? kmara* kmpiuter* motor/mashin* pmp sapatu oloshi

laga=lah-gah drecha=dri-chah pomp=pohmp sapatu=sah-pah-too oloshi=oh-loh-shee

ITS NOT SPRING CLEANING HERE. Before the Christmas holidays the entire house is emptied of furniture, every nook and cranny is scrubbed, the walls inside and out are painted, and all the curtains are washed (or replaced with special Christmas curtains). NEIGHBORS If you are given food in a dish to take home, always return the dish with food in it.
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


3. Shopping Decisions
Do you have another ? May I try this one? Mi por pas esaki? Do you have another? Sr./Sra. tin un otro? cheaper? un mas barata? smaller? un mas chikitu? bigger? un mas grandi? in a different color? den otro kol? in a different style? den estilo diferente?
barata=bah-rah-tah chikitu=chee-kee-too diferente=dee-rin-ti esaki=i(e=t)-sah-kee estilo=i-stee-loh grandi= grahn-dee kol=koh-loh otro=oh-troh pas=pahs seor= si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah tin=teeng un=oong

Is this made here? Ill take it. I like this. I dont like this.

Esaki ta trah aki? Mi ta bai kun. Mi gusta esaki. Mi no gusta esaki.

a=ah aki=ah-kee bai=by esaki=i-sah-kee gusta=goostah kun=koo-ni traha=trah-hah

Colors & comparisons black pretu blue blou brown bruin, maron clear kla dark skur green brd orange orae red kr white blanku yellow hel

pri-too blou (loud) bruhyn, mah-rohng klah skoor ber-de (=get) oh-rah-nyi (i=it) ko-rah blahn-koo hil

I like the black shirt Mi gusta e kamisa better than the white. pretu mas ku e blanku. I prefer yellow pants. Mi ta prefer karson hel. The red bathing suit is E trahe di bao kr ta the most expensive. esun mas karo/u, kara (A). I like this dress Mi gusta e bist aki mas best (most) mas because it is blue. pasobra e ta blou.




**used instead of snack bar

They will say: Bon appetit! What do you want Kiko seor ke to eat, sir? kome? What do you want Kiko seora ke to drink, madam? bebe? Today we have Awe nos tin Our special is Nos speshal* ta Anything else? Algu otro?
kiko=kee-koh ke=ki kome=koh-mi bebe=bi-bi awe=ahwi (it) nos=nohs tin=teeng algu=ahl-goo otro=oh-troh

Reserving Id like to reserve Lo mi ke reserv for this evening. pa awe nochi. For six people. Pa seis persona. For 7.30. (Literally half to 8) Pa mitar di ocho.
lo=loh mi=mee reserv=ri-sir-vah pa=pah nochi=noh-chee seis=seys persona=pir-soh-nah mitar=mee-tar di=dee ocho=oh-choh

A table for two, please. Un mesa pa dos por fabor. Wed like to sit outside Nos ke sinta paf. inside paden near the window serka dje bentana (di+e) by the sea kanti laman Waiter, Waitress. Weter*,Yfrou (D) May we have Nos por haa the menu please. e men, por fabor.
un=oong mesa=mi-sah dos=dohs por fabor=pohr fah-bohr sinta=seen-tah af=ah-foh aden=ah-ding serka=ser-kah e=i(it) bentana=bin-tah-nah laman=lahmahng weter=wi-ter yfrou=yu-frow (=gut; ow=rowdy) haa=hah-nyah men=mi-noo


Ordering Im expecting friends. Ill order later. What do you recommend?

Mi ta warda (ta spera) un par di amigu. Mi ta pidi despues. Kiko mener (yfrou) ta rekomend?

warda=wahr-dah par=pahr amigu=ah-mee-goo pidi= pee-dee despues=dis-pwis mener=mi-nir ta=tah rekomend=ri-koh-min-dah

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling. RESTAURANTS & SNACKS


What are your specials? Kiko e spshelnan ta? Bring me (us) (him/her) Trese pa mi (nos) (e) Give it to me (him/her) Duna mi (Dun ) What (which) beer do Kua marka di serbes you have? sr./sra tin? Can I get vegetarian food? Mi por haa kuminda vegetariano?
spshelnan=spe-shel-nang trese=tri-si duna=doo-nah ki=kee tipo=tee-poh serbes=sir-bis haa=hah-nyah kuminda=koo-meen-dah vegetariano=vi-gi-tah-ree-yah-no

Finishing & paying Nothing more, thanks. The bill please. Is the service charge included?

Nada otro, danki. E kuenta por fabor. Servisio ta inklu?

nada=nah-dah otro=oh-troh danki=dahn-kee kuenta= kwin-tah servisio=sir-vee-seeoh inklu=een-kloo-ee

We need: Nos mester: salt & pepper hot sauce salu i peper pika oil & vinegar (a)zeta ku binager knife, spoon, fork kuch, kuchara, frki a plate glass un tay glas red wine white wine bia kr bia blanku Cooking methods grilled cooked raw/rare fried roast boiled medium well done Local foods & sh chicken goat conch rice plantain cornmeal soup (tripe) stew (goat; conch; beef) dorado marlin tuna red snapper wahoo swordsh barracuda a la para, di grel kushin kur has hinka na frnu hereb medio has (kushin) bon has (kushin) Krioyo & pisk galia kabritu kark aros banana funchi spi (di mondongo) stob (di kabritu; di kark; di baka) dradu bala bun pisk kr mulatu di spada (balaai) pik



Ordering at the Counter of an Informal Restaurant

Customer: Good afternoon, maam. Id like goat stew, and my friend would like grilled shbut not too well done. Medium, please. Bon tardi, Seora. Mi ke stob di kabritu i mi amigu ke piska di grel pero no muchu kushin. Medio has,por fabor? Foodserver: Good afternoon. Do you want fries, funchi or rice? Bon tardi. Seor ke batata has, funchi f aros? Customer: My friend wants fries. Im hungry. Could I have funchi and rice? (If you ask forhalf
and half [mitar-mitar] you are asking for both rice and potatoes.)


Mi amigu ke batata has. Mi tin hamber. Mi por haa funchi i aros? Foodserver: Sure. Anything to drink? Sigur. Seornan ke algu pa bebe? Customer: What kind (brand) of beer have you? Kua marka di serbes seor tin? Foodserver: We have Polar and Amstel. Nos tin Polar i Amstel. Customer: Two Amstel, please. Do we sit wherever we want? Dos Amstel, por fabor. Nos por sinta kaminda nos ke? Foodserver: Yes, sit anywhere you like. That will be xx orins. Ill bring it to your table when its ready. Si, sinta kaminda ku seornan ke. Esaki ta kosta (E ta sali...) x orin. Ora kuminda ta kla, mi ta tres na mesa.




1. The,A
a, an the un e
(See also Pronouns pg 84.)

2. Who Whose
I, me, my you, your (singular)

mi bo (See pg 11 for formal us-

you, your (plural) he, she, it

in: el a traha--he worked)

boso e, el (el is used before a, as nos nan di mi (literally of me) di bo, di boso (literally of you) di dje (See pg 6, Saying It.) su di nos (literally of our) di nan (literally of they)

we, our they, their mine yours his, hers his, its ours theirs

3. Is

is, be, am, are will be was, were been

ta lo ta tabata tabata ta

(as in: used to be, has been, have been, had been)

4. Has/had

have, has tin will have lo tin had, have had, had had tabatin (tabata tin)
(See #3 above: have used with been is tabata ta)

5. Helper verbs
(See pg 82 for more on present, past, and future tenses.)

can, could, may, might por will (future tense) lo have the need of tin mester di must, have to, need to, mester, tin di, tin ku should do, does Not used in Papiamentu questions. See page 85.



6. Beginner verbs
(See pg 82 for tenses; pg 75 for imperative.)

do (to make, to perform) get, nd, obtain know (a thing or skill) (a person or place) learn, teach look for make/work need to take (from) (to) want (to wish for; to will) (to lack) buy kumpra come bini, bin forget lubid give duna help yuda like gusta listen skucha live biba look wak, mira put pone lose prd open habri says bisa

hasi haa sa konos sia wak, buska traha mester tuma hiba ke tin falta di sell bende go bai remember krda use usa bother molesti dont like no gusta hear tende stay keda see weta, mira play hunga eat kome close sera talk, speak papia

Do isnt used in Papiamentu questions. See pg 85.


7. Etc.
And i As komo si fuera as if: as if I were richkomo si fuera mi ta riku manera comparison: do as we dohasi manera nos ta hasi like, cause: as I have been taughtmanera mi a si. as usualmanera kustumber.
As, continued LITTLE WORDS

tip and tax are included tep i impuesto ta inklu.


As (continued) mes...........ku judgment: as good/bad asmes bon/malu ku ora when: pay as you enterpaga ora bo drenta At See bottom of page under In for na. Because pasobra Because it is too expensive Pasobra e ta muchu karu. But pero, ma But its not trueMa no ta berdat. Pero no ta berdat. By serka pa ku For pa medicine for a coughremedi pa tos From di from a person, place or time from him/her/itdi dje from heredi aki from nowdi awor for di (foi) out of: Get out of the car. Baha foi outo. from a time: from now onfoi awo Since when? Foi ki dia? si In den into, within: in the oceanden laman durante during: in summerdurante verano ku with: in luckku suerte na at: live in Bonairebiba na Boneiru a hotel in downtown Curaaoun hotl na Punda

close byserka by next monthpa otra luna by myselfpa mi mes arrive by planeyega ku avion

If if notsi no


It e, el el is used before a, as in: el a kibrait broke Of di Or f either funchi or ricesea funchi f aros Since desde time: since hurricane Lenny in 1999 desde orkan Lenny durante aa 1999 desde kupasobra cause: since it was windy desde ku (pasobra) tabatin hopi bientu LITTLE WORDS What kind of sh do you have? Ki sorti di pisk tin?


Both kayente and kalor mean hot. BUT dont say that you (or anyone else) are kayente, unless you mean that you (or they) are feeling very sexy indeed. Use kayente for weather, coffee, food and re. And dont say that you ARE hot (use tin kalor, NOT ta kalor). Like Spanish, Papiamentu uses the word have to say that people have the feeling of hunger, thirst, hot or cold (tin hamber, tin set, tin kalor, tin frieu). When talking about the weather, use hasi (a much used indiomatic verb of being or doing)It is hot/cold. Ta hasi calor/frieu.



So pa, pesei therefore : it was cheap, so I bought it e tabata barata, pesei mi a kumpr asina for emphasis: so muchasina tantu; so happyasina kontentu Than, that ku better than memih ku mi the house that he builte kas ku el a konstru This, that, there is (See pg 85.) To pa he is like a brother to mee ta manera un ruman pami. (pa+ami) to a time: 10 minutes to 5dies mint pa sinku Dont say to with a destination. Say, for example, bai misa for go to church. With ku go with mebai ku mi Without sin without electricitysin koriente

On the Dutch Islands, Tourist Tum isnt a problem. Our food service workers are well educated, cleanliness is an essential, our water is pure, and the kitchens of all restaurantsfrom the award-winning internationals to our smallest snack barshave passed a rigorous health inspection.



LOCAL KNOWLEDGE The Dutch Bar Hap Some island restaurants offer a set course bar meal. Eaten at the bar, its cheaper than a meal eaten in the restaurant itself. The Breakfast Snacks Three deep fried pastries. All wonderful. Sold in small outlets til noon. Filled with meat, cheese, conch or sh (di karni, di keshi, di karko, di tuna). Ask for: Pastechi Pastry crust. Empan Cornmeal crust. Krokt Breadcrumb crust. Six sandwiches. Ask for: pan ku keshi (cheese). pan ku webu (egg fried or scrambled). pan ku ham (ham). pan ku webu i ham. pan ku wrs (sausage). pan ku tuna. Johnny cake thicker covering, like a South American arepa. Always lled with cheese. I say journey; you say Johnny. Ask for a Johnny cake and youll be given a Journey cakea cake that our great-grandfathers took with them on their journeys. The name orginally came to us from England via the Antillean island of St. Maarten where the soft English pronunciation of journey sounded like Johnny.



Islanders in the tourist trade speak at least three languages in addition to Papiamentu: English, Dutch, and Spanish. Because they take pride in speaking to visitors in their own language, Islanders will not address you rst in Papiamentu, but if you want to try out your Papiamentu, they are patient teachers.

1. At Your Hotel
Arriving We have a reservation. Id like to reserve a room (apartment). For one week. Id like a double (single) room. Could I have the key to room Nos tin un reservashon. Mi ke reserv un kamber (apartamentu). Pa un siman. Mi ke un kamber pa dos persona (un persona). Mi por haa yabi di kamber

mi=mee nos=nohs tin=teeng un=oong reservashon=risir-vah-shohng ke=ki reserv=ri-sir-vah un=oong kamber= kahm-ber apartamentu=ah-pahrt-ah-min-too pa=pah siman=see-mahng dos=dohs persona=pir-sohnah haa =hah-nyah yabi=yah-bee di=dee

Requests & complaints May I see Mi por haa the manager? e mnedjer*? The room is: E kamber ta: noisy dirty ruidoso sushi Please make up the room. Drecha e kamber, por fabor. Please bring us: Nos por a haa: a sheet a blanket un laken un deken toilet paper papel di wes a pillow un kusinchi soap habon (dushi) clean towels srbt limpi This is for you. Esaki ta pa sr./sra.
ruidoso=rewee-doh-soh sushi=soo-shee drecha=dri-chah por fabor=pohr fah-bohr laken=lah-ken (broken) papel di wese=pah-pil dee wi-si kusinchi=koo-seen-chee habon=hah-bohng dushi= doo-shee srbt=ser-be-te (=get) limpi=leem-peedeken=di-ken (broken) esaki=isah-kee


* English word with a Papiamentu spelling.

Visitor: Good morning. We are checking out now so we need our bill. Could you send someone to bring (down) our luggage and dive equipment? And could you call us a taxi, please? Bon dia seora. Nos ta bai pues nos por haa nos kuenta? Seora por manda un hende pa (baha) nos maleta i ekipo pa sambuy? I seora por yama un taksi pa nos por fabor? Receptionist: Good morning. Here is your bill. Sign here please for your credit card. The hotel van will take you to the airport. Did you enjoy your stay? Bon dia. Esaki ta seor su kuenta. Firma aki por fabor pa seor su tarheta di krdito.E vn di hotl lo hiba seornan airopuerto. Seornan a pasa bon? Visitor: Yes, thank you. We have enjoyed our stay. Si, danki. Nos a disfrut di nos estadia. LEAVING IT THERE Hawaii has the Goddess Pele. On the ABC islands we listen to our Grannies. In Hawaii, an angry Madam Pele rains bad luck on anyone who takes Hawaiian shells or sand off the island. Here, our Grannies tell us what their Grannies told them. Putting anything from the sea or shore inside a house is very bad luck indeed. (International conventions such as CITES, and island laws such as those of the Bonaire Marine Park, also sayno collecting, transporting or exporting of anything from the sea.)

Leaving the Hotel



2. Activities & Entertainment

Seeing the sights Is there an ofce with tourist information here? What is there to see on the island? Do you have a map of the island? Do you have a museum? an art gallery? What tours are there? Are there any boat trips? Tin un osina ku informashon pa turista aki? Kiko tin di mira riba e isla? Sr./Sra. tin un mapa di e isla? Tin un museo? un galeria di arte? Ki tipo di tur tin? Tin trep* ku boto?

tin=teeng un=oong osina=oh-fee-see-nah ku=koo informashon=een-fohr-mah-shohng pa=pah turista= too-rees-tah aki=ah-kee kiko= kee-koh di=dee mira=mee-rah riba=ree-bah e=i (it) isla=ees-lah mapa=mah-pah museo=moo-say-oh galeria=gah-liree-ah arte=ahr-ti ki=kee tipo=tee-poh trep=trip boto=boh-toh

How much does it cost? How long does it take? Are meals included? Should we bring lunch? What time does it start?

Kuantu e ta kosta? Kuantu tempu e ta tuma? Kuminda ta inklu? Nos mester trese kuminda, lnch*(A)? Kuantor e ta kumins?

kuantu=kwahn-too ta=tah kosta=kohs-tah tempu=timpoo tuma= too-mah kuminda=koo-meen-dah inklu=een-kloo-ee nos=nohs mester=mis-tir trese=trisi kuantor=kwahnt ohr kumins=koo-meen-sah

Sports Where can I sh? dive bike hike water ski golf play tennis snorkle swim windsurf kayak

Unda mi por piska? sambuy kore baiskel kana ski hunga glf hunga tnis* snrkel* landa windsurf kayak

unda=oon-dah mi=mee por=pohr kore=koh-ri baiskel=bys-kul sambuy=sahm-boo-yah piska=peeskah kana=kah-nah hunga=hoon-gah landa=lahn-dah



*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.

Entertainment Whats going on? Are there tickets for tonight? When does the performance start? Where is/are the .? ceremony concert disco party movie reworks musicians band play (use comedy or theater)

Kiko tin? Tin karchi pa awe nochi? Kuantor presentashon (e sho*) ta kumins? Unda e ta? seremonia konsierto diskotk esta sine pagara, vrwrk (D) msikonan banda komedia, teater

karchi=kahr-chee awe=ah-wi nochi=noh-chee

What lm is showing? Kua pelkula ta drai? Where can I rent a video? Unda mi por hr un vidio*?
seremonia=si-ri-moh-nyah konsierto =kohn-syir-to pagara=pah-gah-rah msikonan=mu-see-koh-nahng sine=see-ni komedia=koh-mi-dya teater=ti-ah-ter (mother) kua=kwa pelkula=pi-lee-koo-lah drai=dry hr=hur (=lure)





Were pretty sure that in an emergency youll want to speak English. But if your goal is to speak Papiamentuheres a start on the vocabulary for troubled times.

1. Aches & Pains

Complaining I do not feel well. I have a toothache. a headache a tummy ache a rash sunstroke a sore throat Mi no ta sinti bon. Mi tin dol di djente. dol di kabes dol di barika grawatamentu znestek (D) dol di garganta

mi=mee ta=tah sinti=seen-tee bon=bohng tin=teeng dol=doh-loh di=dee djente=djin-ti kabes=kah-bis barika=bah-ree-kah grawatamentu=grah-wah-tah-min-too garganta=gahr-gahn-tah znestek=zo-ni-stik

There is something in my eye. I am constipated. I have a temperature. I am allergic to penicillin. I have a pain here, in my back

Tin algu den mi wowo. Mi tin konstipashon. Mi tin keintura. Mi tin alergia pa penesilin*. Mi tin dol aki, den (na) mi lomba.

algu=ahl-goo den=ding wowo=woh-woh konstipashon =kohn-stee-pah-shong keintura=kayn-too-ra mester di =mis-tir dee pa=pah penesilin=pi-ni-see-leeng alergia=ah-lir-hee-ah aki=ah-kee lomba=lohm-bah

Getting help He/she has had a heart attack. Please come quickly. Can you recommend: a doctor dentist

El a haa un ataki kurason. (= ataka + di) Por fabor bin lih. Sr./Sra. por rekomend un dkter* dentista

el=il a=ah haa=hah-nyah un=oong ataki=ah-tahkee kurason=koo-rah-sohng por fabor=pohr fah-bohr bin=beeng lih=lee-hi rekomend=ri-koh-min-dah


*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


2. The Body
back bone face heart skin lomba wesu kara kurason kutis body kurpa head kabes muscle mskulo mind mente, sint brain sesu, serebro, selebre

kabei orea dede di man nanishi boka man wowo

brasa pechu kokoti di man stoma

jockey bel rudia kokoti di pia dede di pia pia





3. Remedies

At the drug store Please, here is my prescription. Please make up this prescription for me. When will it be ready?

Na botika Por fabor, ata mi respt. Por fabor, traha e respt aki pa mi. Ki ora e ta kla?

ata=ah-tah mi=ee respt=ri-sept traha=trah-hah e=i (it) aki=ah-kee pa=pah ki=kee ora=oh-rah kla=klah

the pills Take one 3 times a day. the medicine for internal (external) use

e pldoranan, tabltnan Tuma un tres bia pa dia. e remedi pa uso interno (eksterno)

pldoranan=peel-doh-rah-nang tabltnan= tahb-letnang tuma=too-mah tres=tris bia=byah dia=dee-ah remedi=ri-mi-dee uso=oo-soh interno=een-ter-noh eksterno=ik-ster-noh

a bandage ointment cough lozenges ear drops sedative

un frbant (D) krema mangel pa garganta gota pa orea sedativo, kalmante

frbant=fer-bahnt krema=kri-mah mangel=mahn-gul garganta=gahr-gahn-tah gota=goh-tah orea=oh-ray-ah sedativo=si-dah-tee-voh kalmante=kahl-mahn-ti

You might say Im not sure how Mi no sa kon pa usa to take the medicine. e remedi. How many times a day Kuantu bes pa dia mi do I take the medicine? mester usa e remedi? Is the prescription Mi por ripit e respt? renewable?
sa=sah kon=kohng usa=oo-sah kuantu=kwahn-too bes=bis mester=mis-tir por=pohr ripite=ree-pee-tee

First aid Im (not) hurt. Stop the bleeding rst.

Mi (no) ta sinti dol. Para e sangramentu prom. Have you a rst aid kit? Sr./Sra tin un kaha di prom asistensha?
sinti=seen-tee dol=doh-loh para=pah-rah sangramentu =sahng-grah-min-too prom=proh-mi tin=teeng kaha= kah-hah asistensha=ah-see-stin-shah



Visiting the hospital What are the visiting hours? May I see (name)? What room is (name) in? How long must he stay in the hospital?

Kua ta e oranan di bishita? Mi por bishit ()? Den kua kamber () ta? Kuantu tempu e tin ku keda den hspital?

bishita=bee-shee-tah den=ding di=dee keda=ki-dah ku=koo kua=kwah oranan=oh-rah-nahng tempu=tim-poo

Catching up with a Sick Friend



Win: I heard that youve been sick. Not seriously, I hope. Mi a tende ku bo tabata malu. Mi ta spera ku no ta algu serio. Christie: I was pretty bad. I had that u thats going around. Mi tabata basta(nte) malu. Mi tabatin e grip ku ta reina. Win: How long were you sick? Kuantu tempu bo tabata malu? Christie: For two weeks. Dos siman.

Win: What were your symptoms? Kiko tabata e smtomanan? Christie: I was very sick. Headaches, muscle aches,sore throat and coughing. I was sick to my stomach. I had no energy. I still feel weak. Mi tabata sinti mi malu. Doli kabes, dol di mskulo, doli garganta i tosamentu. Mi stoma tabata malu. Mi no tabatin energia. Te ainda mi ta sinti mi suak. Win: Im sorry to hear that. Maybe next year you can get a u shot. Ta duel mi di tende esei. Por ta otro aa bo por tuma un angua kontra grip.


4. Troubles
Getting help Can you help me? May I use your phone? I need to call the: ambulance car rental hotel police Its very urgent. Sr./Sra. por yuda mi? Mi por usa sr./sra. su telefn? Mi tin ku yama: ambulans* hrd di outo hotl* polis* Ta hopi urgente.

seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah por=pohr yuda=yoo-dah mi=mee usa=oo-sah su=soo tin=teeng ku=koo yama=yah-ma ambulans=ahm-boo-lahns hrd=hur-doh (=cure) di=dee outo=ow-toh ta=tah hopi=hoh-pee urgente= oor-hin-ti

Carsneeding repairs Where is the nearest garage? My car is broken down. Will you tow it? My car is over heating. mas. The car will not start. When will it be ready? How much will the repairs cost?

Unda e garashi di mas serka ta? Mi outo a daa. Seor por tou e? Mi outo ta kenta di E outo no ke start. Ki dia e ta kla? Kuantu ta kosta pa drech? (= drecha + e)

unda=oon-dah garashi=gar-ah-shi mas=mahs serka=sir-kah a=ah daa=dah-nyah tou= tow (ou=rowdy) kenta= kin-tah ke=ki dia=dee-ah kosta=koh-stah dreche=dri-chi

Talking to the car rental My name is I rented a car from you. Ive locked the key in the car. Will you send someone to help? We are at

Mi yama Ma hr un outo di boso. Ma sera e yabi den outo. Sr./Sra por manda un hende pa yuda mi? Nos ta na

ma=mah hr=hur (=cure) boso=boh-soh sera=sirah yabi=yah-bee den=ding manda=mahn-dah hende=hin-di pa=pah nos=nohs na=nah


OH NO! *The English pronunciation is close enough.

Road accidents There has been an accident. Tatin un aksidente.

(Tatin=tabata tin)

The accident is at May I see your insurance?

E aksidente a tuma lug na Mi por wak sr./sra. su papelnan di seguro?

aksidente=ahk-see-din-ti e=i (it) a=ah tuma=too-mah lug=loo-gah na=nah mi=mee wak=wahk su=soo papelnan=pah-pil-nahng di=dee seguro= si-goo-roh

The number of your license plate is? What is your name and address? Wheres the police station? What is the number for the police?

Ki number sr./sra. su plachi tin? Kon sr./sra. su nmber i direkshon ta? Unda warda di polis* ta? Ki number polis* tin?

ki=kee plachi=plah-chee kon=kohng nmber= nom-ber (=got) direkshon=dee-rik-shohng warda=wahr-dah

Other accidents Fire! Look out! He is in the water. He cant swim. Help! Help me!

Kandela! Kuidou! E ta den awa. E no sa landa. Ousilio! Yudmi!(=yud + mi)

kandela=kahn-di-lah kuidou=kwi-dow den=ding awa=ah-wah sa=sah landa=lahn-dah ousilio=ow-seelyoh yudami=yu-dah-mee

TANTE MILDRED SAYS: If visitors are staying too long, turn a broom upside down to make them leave your house. Or throw a pinch of salt in the air.
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.




(Also see page 10 for a Getting to Know You dialogue.)

1. Who is this Person?

Getting people located They might ask you Where are you from? Where do you live? How long have you been living here? Do you live here all year? What hotel are you staying at? Where are you staying? Di unda sr./sra.ta? Unda sr./sra. ta biba? Kuantu tempu sr./sra. ta biba aki? Sr./sra. ta biba henter aa aki? Na kua hotl* sr./sra. ta keda? Unda sr./sra. ta keda?

di=dee unda=oon-dah seor=siy-nyohr seora=siynyoh-rah ta=tah biba=bee-bah kuantu=kwahn-too tempu=tim-poo aki=ah-kee tin=teeng aa=ah-nyah na=nah kua=kwah keda=ki-dah

Hows it going? Are all things good? Do you like Aruba? Bonaire, Curaao? Are you having a good time?

Tur kos ta bon? Sr./Sra. gusta Aruba? Boneiru, Krsou? Sr./Sra. ta pasando bon?

tur=tour kos=kohs bon=bohng gusta=goo-stah pasa=pah-sah

Compliments & queries What a beautiful baby! What a smart boy/girl! How old is he/she? Is (name) at school? Is (name) away at school? Who is that lady (man)? Is she your sister?

Esta un beibi* bunita! Esta un mucha sab! Kuantu aa e tin? (Name) a bai skol? (Name) ta studia af? Ta ken e seora (seor) ei ta? Ta seora su ruman?

esta=is-tah bunita=boo-nee-tah mucha=moo-chah sab=sah-bee e=i (it) a=ah bai=by skol=skohl ken=king ei=ey (they) su=soo ruman=roo-mahng


*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


2. Our Families
Parents and kids wife / husband / spouse mother father brother sister son daughter baby twins kas mama tata ruman, ruman hmber ruman, ruman muh yu (also spelled yiu) yu hmber/muh beibi* ohochi

kas=kah-sah yu=yoo hmber= hom-ber muh=moo-hi (it) ohochi=oh-ho-chee

The rest of the family grandmother grandfather granddaughter, grandson aunt uncle niece nephew cousin (female & male) mother (father)-in-law sister (brother)-in-law close adult friend of family (auntie)

wela, abuela, oma (D) welo, abuelo, opa (D) nietu tanchi, tanta, tia omo, tio subrina subrino prima primu suegra (suegro) ku (sua) tanchi

welo=wi-loh abuela=ah-bwi-lah tawela=tah-wi-lah nieta=nee-i-tah (it) tanta=tahn-tah tia=tee-ah omo=ohmoh subrina =soo-bree-nah primu=pree-moo suegro=swi-groh ku=koo-nyah sua=sooah tanchi=tahn-chee


THE COMMUNITY FAMILY On the islands children are often raised, totally or in part, by a family other than their birth family. These arrangements are not legally formalized, but are recognized by the community. The people in these relationships are described as: foster mother mama di kriansa foster father tata di kriansa foster child yu di kriansa
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


3. Shooting the Breeze

Making sure What? Really? Who said? You dont say! So they say. Since when? Never! Maybe. Kiko? Brdat? Ken di? No bisa mi! Nan di. Foi (= for + di) ki dia? Nunka! Por ta.

brdad=ber-daht ken=king di=dee bisa=bee-sah mi=mee for di =fohr dee (foi=fohee) ki=kee dia=deeah nunka= noon-kah por ta=pohr-tah

The feelings Ah, its good. Hey! Hi! Look! Oh, no! Terrible! I feel (I am): happy sad angry surprised disappointed

A, esta bon! Ey! Halo! Wak! Ai, n! Teribel! Mi ta sinti (Mi ta): kontentu tristu rabi sorprend desapunt

bon=bohng esta=is-tah ola=oh-lah wak=wahk ai=eye teribel=ti-ree-bul ta=tah sinti=seen-tee kontentu=kohn-tin-too tristu=trees-too rabi=rah-bya sorprend=sohr-prin-dee desapunt=di-sah-poon-tah (it)

Coming & going What are you doing? Lets go eat dance. to the movies.

Kiko sr./sra. ta hasi? Ban kome baila. sine.

kiko=kee-koh seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah hasi= hah-see ban=bahng kome=koh-mi (it) sine=see-ni (it)

BIRTHDAY CUSTOMS When you say Pabien! (congratulations) to the birthday boy or girl, be sure and congratulate the family also: Pabien di bo parti. (Congratulations on your part.) For formal address, replace bo with their name followed by su parti.



Come on, hurry up! Are you coming or not? Are you also coming? We are sorry that you can not come.

Ban mira, hasi lih. Sr./Sra. ta bini f n? Sr./Sra. tambe ta bini? Ta duel nos ku sr./sra. n por bini.

mira =mee-rah lih=lee-hi (it) bini=bee-nee f=of tambe =tahm-bi (it) duel=duil (quill) nos=nohs ku=koo por=pohr

Come on in. Sit down. Stay here. Get in the car. Get out of the car.

Drenta numa. Pasa. Sinta numa. Keda aki. Drenta outo. Baha foi outo. (= for + di)

drenta=drin-tah numa=noo-mah pasa=pah-sah sinta= seen-tah keda=ki-dah (it) aki=ah-kee outo=ow-toh baha=bah-hah

Celebrating Congratulations. Happy Birthday. Your health!

Pabien. (Masha) Pabien! Na sr./sra. sal.

pabien=pah-bying masha=mah-sha na=nah sal=sahloo

Putting ideas together and but so maybe

i pero pues/anto por ta


CELEBRATING the TOP of the HOUSE When you are building a new house, you celebrate when the top point of the roof is completed. Workers put up a white aga signal for beer and food. Called spantebier (D), its a party for the workers and for all your friends.



4. The Sorrows
Sympathy It is very sad. What (that is) a pity. May I do anything for you? May I help? In case you need me, take my number. I will stay. Ta hopi tristu. Esta pik. Esta yamer. (D) Mi por yuda sr./sra. ku algu? Mi por yuda? Den kaso sr./sra. mester di mi, ata mi number. Mi lo keda.

ta=tah hopi=hoh-pee tristu= trees-too esta=is-tah pik= pee-kah mi=mee por=pohr yuda=yoo-dah seor =si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah ku=koo algu=ahl-goo den= ding kaso=kah-soh mester=mis-tir di= dee ata=ah-tah lo=loh keda=ki-dah

Giving & receiving condolences. Condolences. Kondolensia. It is Gods will. Es ku Dios ke.
kondolensia=kohn-doh-lin-syah Dios=Dyohs es=is ke=ki (it)

IN TIMES OF SORROW When giving condolences, just say, kondolensia. (Do not say, Im sorry.) When receiving condolences, just say, Es ku Dios ke. (Do not say, Thank you.) Because of the strong religious roots of the islands, saying Im sorry that a loved one is in heaven is inappropriate, as is thanking someone for their sorrow.



Amalia: When is Key coming back from Curaao? He told me, but I forgot. Ki dia Ki ta bini bk for di Krsou? El a bisa mi, pero mi a lubid. Mac: Before he went away, I thought I heard him say April. Although Buchi said June. Prom ku el a bai, mi kier sa ku el a bisa aprel. Aunke Buchi a bisa yni. Amalia: Is Key shing over there? Ki ta piska aya? Mac: Pardon? Ablif?

Expecting a Friend

Amalia: Is he shing in Curaao? E ta piska na Krsou? Mac: I think so, but Im not sure. According to Roy, he expects Key any day now, and he talks as if he knows. Mi ta kere ku si, pero mi no ta sigur. Segun Roy, Ki por ta bk kualke dia, i e ta papia manera e sa.

Amalia: As soon as Buong and Roy nd out, Im sure they will tell us. In the meantime Ill buy my sh from them. Asina Buong i Roy haa sa, mi tin sigur ku nan lo bisa nos. Mintrastantu lo mi kumpra pisk serka nan.




5. Talking about Others

Describing people Do you know her/him? Sr./Sra. konos?
(= konos + )

a person named a man woman a child teenager

un hende ku yama un hmber muh un mucha tineidjer*

konos=koh-noh-si (it) hende=hin-di (it) ku=koo yama=yah-mah hmber=hom-ber muh=moo-hi (it) mucha=moo-cha

He/she has: ve kids a house in Rinkon long hair short hair

E tin: sinku yu un kas na Rinkon kabei largu kabei krtiku

e=i (it) tin=teeng sinku=seen-koo yu=yoo kas=kahs na=nah Rincon=Reen-kohn kabei=kah-bey largu=lahr-goo krtiku=kor-tee-koo

He/she is: E ta: big fat thin grandi gordo aku tall short haltu krtiku old young (also teenager) grandi hben light dark kla skur blond divorced blnt* divorsi married single kas soltero
grandi=grahn-dee gordo=gohr-doh aku=ah-koo haltu =hahl-too krtiku=kor-tee-koo hben=hoh-bin kla=klah skur=skoor kas=kah-sah soltero=sohl-ti-ro (it)

Their nationality They are: Nan ta: Antillean Curaaoan antiano kurasoleo Bonairean Aruban boneriano rubiano American Canadian merikano kanades Dutch English hulandes ingles
antiano=ahn-tee-ah-noh rubiano=roo-byah-noh boneriano=boh-ni-ryah-noh kurasoleo=koo-rah-soh-linyoh (it) merikano=mi-ree-kah-noh (it) kanades=kahnah-dis hulandes=hoo-lahn-dis ingles=een-glis *English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


Good words and bad drunk very, very drunk nice pretty nasty rude honest funny a liar a thief

fuma, burachi fuma fuma nchi bunita desagradabel brutu, nbeskp (h)onestu grasioso, prt (D) un gaad un ladron

fuma=foo-mah burachi=boo-rah-chee nchi=ne-chee (=get) bunita=boo-nee-tah desagradabel=di-sahgrah-dah-bul (it) brutu=broo-too nbeskp=on-bis-kop (h)onestu=(h)oh-nis-too grasioso=grah-syoh-soh prt=pret gaad= gah-nyah-do ladron= lah-drohng

a winner a loser smart interesting stupid boring smart hard worker lazy serious (about work, commitments)

un ganad prdd inteligente interesante bobo, kns laf sab trahad oho serio

prdd =per-de-doh (=get) inteligente=in-ti-lee-hin-ti (it) interesante=in-ti-ri-sahn-ti (it) bobo=boh-boh kns=kens laf=lahf trahad=trah-hah-doh oho=oh-hoh serio=siryoh (it)


SUPERSTITIONS Ladies, do not put your purse down on the oor, or you will never have money. If you go back into the house because you forgot something, you should sit down three times on a chair before you go back out.


6. The Weather
What a beautiful day! The sun is shining. Its (very) hot. Its (very) windy. Esta un bunita dia! Solo ta bria. Ta hasi (hopi) kalor Tin (hopi) bientu

esta=is-tah un=oong bunita=boo-nee-tah dia=dee-ah ta=tah bria=bree-ah hasi= hah-see hopi= hoh-pee kalor=kah-lohr tin=teeng bientu=byin-too

At home it is cold and snowing. In winter it is X below.

Na kas ta hasi friu i sneu ta kai. Den wenter ta X grado bou di sero.

na=nah kas=kahs hasi=hah-see friu=free-u (fuse) sneu=snioh i=ee kai=kie (tie) den=ding invierno=eenvyir-noh grado=grah-doh bou=bow (rowdy) di=dee sero=si-roh (it)

In the Antilles, we have: Na Antia nos tin: the dry season tempu di sekura temporada di sekura RAIN As you can see from our thorn bush and cactus, rain is scarce but important on the islands. So we have many terms for rain. Three are: awa ta kai awaseru awa di shelu The verb, awa ta kai, roughly translates as: water is falling. The two nouns translate as: awaseru (water of the hills) and awa di shelu (water of the heavens). Our islands are small, but even so, rain often blesses one area but not another. So you are likely to hear people saying: Awa a kai aki? (Did it rain here?) Nos a haa un bon awaseru. (We got a good rain.)



tempu di awa/yobida temporada di awa/yobida a windy season tempu ku hopi bientu temporada di bientu the windy season is also called: (for) Lent kuaresma kite season tempu di i We have few storms Nos tin poko maltempu and have no hurricanes. i no tin orkan.
nos=nohs tempu=tim-poo yobida=yoh-bee-dah temporada= tim-poh-rah-dah seku=si-koo (it) sekura=si-koo-rah (it) awa=ah-wah ku=koo bientu=byin-too kuaresma =kwahris-mah i=ee poko=poh-koh maltempu=mahl-tim-poo orkan= ohr-kahng

the wet season

OUR ANCESTORS. OUR GHOSTS. A black buttery (moth) is a message that someone close to you is going to pass away. When opening a new bottle of liquor, let some drops fall to the ground, pa difuntu, for those that have passed on. The gathering after a funeral is called laba man -wash your hands (because at the funeral people throw handfuls of dirt on the cofn). The family usually receives people for chocolati pinda, a chocolate drink with peanut butter in it, and the men gather for a few stiff drinks. Catholics cross themselves before entering the sea, or when they pass a church or a cemetery. Most people stay away from cemeteries (and ghosts) at night.




1. Living Here
Money matters (and how) Id like to pay my bill. Mi ke paga mi kuenta. May I pay my bill? Mi por a paga mi kuenta? I want to withdraw... Mi ke lanta... deposit... deposit... How much money do I Kuantu sn mi have in my account? tin riba mi kuenta? Im waiting on money Mi ta sperando riba sn from the US. for di Merka. Im hoping** to receive Mi ta spera** di money from the US. risib sn for di Merka.
(**expecting) (**Mi ta frwagt[D]/ferwaktu)

mi=mee por=pohr a=ah paga=pah-gah kuenta=kwintah kuantu=kwahn-too sn=seng (=get) tin=teeng riba = ree-bah ta=tah spera=spi-rah (e=it) di=dee risib= ree-see-bee for di=fohr dee merka=mir-kah

Id like to transfer money Mi ke traspas sn from my savings for di mi kuenta di spar to my checking. pa mi kuenta koriente. How much is the rent? Kuantu e hr ta?
ke=ki (it) traspas=trahs-pah-sah spar=spahr pa=pah e=i (it) hr=hur (=lure)

Ontvanger (Dutch for Receiver, the payment ofce for government charges) tax impuesto, belasten (D) Id like Mi por a haa (Mi ke) stamp stampia di sn (to) pay this tax bill (pa) paga e kuenta di impuesto aki (to) pay road tax: (pa) paga pa impuesto di kaminda: for a year half a year pa un aa mitar aa for a truck for diesel pa un pikp pa disel*
belasten=buh-las-ting haa=hah-nyah stampia=stahmpee-ah un=oong impuesto =eem-pwis-toh aki=ah-kee traha=trah-hah outo=ow-toh aa=ah-nyah mitar=meetahr *English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


Permits Id like a: drivers licence work permit Id like to renew my: (our) residency.

Mi por a haa: un reibeweis un prmit di trabou Mi por renob mi (nos) prmit di estadia.

reibeweis=rey-be-weys renob=ri-noh-bah nos=nohs estadia=is-tah-dee-ah

Sorting out a Billing Problem

Customer: Greetings maam. My phone has been shut off. Bon dia Seora. Mi telefn ta ser. (Mi telefn a wrdu ser.) Phone Company Representative: Greetings. I need to check the account. Bon dia. Mi mester chk Seora su kuenta. You owe guilders. Seora debe orin. Customer: The account has been paid. E kuenta ta pag. Phone Company Representative: You have proof, a receipt? Seora tin prueba? Seora tin un resibu? Customer: Here are the receipts. Ata e resibunan ak.

Phone Company Representative: The phone will be reconnected tomorrow. Lo habri e lia maan.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE The stamps you buy from the Ontvanger are stamps that must be attached to ofcial documents. They represent, if you like, a small tax. They also represent an extra trip or two in any bureaucratic process because you must be told by the department you are dealing with what stamps to buy before you return to get the piece of paper needed.



2. The Cruising or Yachting Life

from hardware store to hardware store

On the Islands, services for those who arrive on yachts are run by people who speak English well. So you wont need Papiamentu unless you get lost in a remote area (hard to nd on our small islands), or if you want to make sure that a workman and you are understanding each other. You might also want to practice while banking and checking in. Hardware stores of the world Where is a store Unda tin un tienda that sells: ku ta bende: hardware hartwer* auto/boat supplies piesa di outo/boto
unda=oon-dah tin=teeng un=oong tienda= tyin-dah ku= koo ta=tah bende= bin-di (it) hartwer=hahrt-wer piesa= pyi-sah di=dee outo=ow-toh boto=boh-toh

Immigration might say Your passport. How long are you staying? Where are you staying? You may stay for x weeks, then you must renew.

Sr./Sra. su pasaporte. Kuantu tempu sr./sra. ta bai keda? Unda sr./sra. ta bai keda? Sr./Sra. por keda x siman, despues sr./sra. mester renob.
(= renob + )

seor=si-nyohr seora=si-nyoh-rah su=soo pasaporte =pah-sah-pohr-ti kuantu=kwan-too tempu=tim-poo por=pohr keda= ki-dah siman= see-mahng despues=dispwis mester= mis-tir renob=ri-noh-bah

Customs might say Your ships papers.

Do you have guns? You must check-in all guns/spearguns. **NOTE:Spearshing is illegal on Bonaire and Curaao.
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.

Sr./Sra. su papelnan di barku. Sr./Sra. tin arma? Sr./Sra. mester registr tur arma/harpun.**

If you have a speargun on your boat, you must leave it with Customs for the length of your stay.


papelnan=pah-pil-nang arma=ahr-mah registr=ri-geestrah kualke=kwahl-ki harpun=hahr-poong

You might say Here is my (our) passport. Ata mi (nos) pasaporte. One week. Un siman (two, three, four) (dos, tres, kuater) I (we) have no gun Mi (nos) no tin arma (no speargun). (no tin harpun).
ata=ah-tah mi=mee nos= nohs dos=dohs tres=tris kuater=kwah-ter

Boats motor boat pilot boat sail boat cruise ship

boto di motor, spitbot* boto di lots boto di bela barku di turista

boto=boh-toh lots=loats bela=bi-lah (it) turista=too-reestah

Mechanical terms** engine spring gas can gas gauge gears to join key boat key solder iron a welder spare parts

motor fer, sprin bleki di gas gechi di gas spit djin yabi yabi di boto (barku) slderbout lasd piesa di sper piesa kstra


Papiamentu has adopted many English words for its mechanical terms. For example, Islanders use:

bearings silinder (cylinder) disel (diesel) felter, ltro (lter) gasket gris (grease) tanki di gas (gas tank) me (mufer) piston rings pmp (pump) starter tappits slder wlder (to weld)
*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.


3. Getting Work Done

Finding the person I need a: Mi mester di un: baby sitter builder bebiseter* konstruktor carpenter contractor karpint kontratista cleaning lady hende pa limpia kas diesel mechanic mekniko di disel* electrician gardener elktrishn**hardinero painter plumber (pipetter) frfd paipfeter* upholsterer furad di stul
mi=mee mester= mis-tir di=dee un=oong konstruktor= kohn-strook-tohr karpint-kahr-peen-ti hardinero=hahr-dee-ni-roh hende pa limpia kas= hin-di pah leem-pyah kas mekniko = mi-kah-neekoh elktrishn=i-lek-tree-shen frfd=ferf-doh paipfeter=pipe tter furad di stul= foor-ah-doh dee stool

I need an expert for (in): Mi mester di un refrigeration eksperto pa frishidr air conditioning den rko (di rko) sail repair drecha bela
eksperto=ik-spir-toh frishidr=free-shee-der den=ding rko=er-ko (=get) drecha=dri-chah bela=bi-lah

Negotiating the rate How much do you Kuantu sr./sra. ta charge? kobra? for the job pa e trabou? by the hour by the day pa ora? pa dia? When will you come? Ki dia sr./sra. ta pasa? When will you Ki dia (Ki ora) sr./sra. be nished? ta kaba?
kuantu=kwahn-too kobra=koh-brah pa=pah e=i (it) trabou =trah-bow (rowdy) ora=oh-ra dia=dee-ah ta=tah pasa =pah-sah ki dia=kee dee-ah ki ora=kee oh-ra kaba=kah-bah

Instructions Do it now (rst). soon as possible. If you arent sure, ask me. First do then do

Hasi (= Hasi + e) prom. Hasi mas pronto posibel. Si (name) no ta sigur, puntra mi. Hasi ...prom, despues hasi...


*English (Dutch & French**) word with a Papiamentu spelling.


Finish this job, and then come see me.

Kaba e trabou ak, i despues bin serka mi.

hasi=ha-syi prom=proh-mi mas=mahs pronto=prohntoh posibel=poh-see-bil sigur=see-goor puntra=poontrah hasi=ha-see despues=dis-pwis kaba=kah-bah ak=ah-kee bin=beeng serka=sir-kah

Working verbs The verbs below are shown in the imperative form (as in requests or orders, such as Please clean the windows. Por fabor, limpia e bentananan.). If you are not giving an order, but are talking about activities in the past, present or future, add a time signal to the verb. See page 82. build chop clean cut le make (a thing) loosen mop nail (have) need need (of) put saw screw tighten sweep throw out wash work traha, konstru kap, chapi limpia kap, krta mula, sleip (D) traha (algu) ls mp* klaba (tin) mester, mester (di) buta, pone zag (D) skruf (D) tait* bari tira af laba traha
trah-hah, kohn-stroo-ee kahp, chah-pee leem-pyah kahp, kor-ta (=got) moo-lah, sleyp trah-hah los (=got) klah-bah (teeng) mi-stir mis-tir (dee) boo-tah, poh-ni (it) zahg skroof tight bah-ree tee-rah ah-foh lah-bah trah-hah


*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



Building tools awl axe block drill le hammer hoe ladder paintbrush pick putty knife sandpaper saw sawhorse screwdriver shovel square (T-square) tool toolbox wheelbarrow Building materials barrel board brick concrete glass glue gravel iron metal nail paint sand screw twine lumber

Hrmnt pa konstrukshon ls hacha blki drel* veil (D) martn chapi trapi kuashi pik, piki plamrms (D) papel di glas, skrpapir (D) zag kabai (di karpint) skrufdrai (D) skp (D) wenkelhak (D) hrmnt kaha di hermnt garetia/karetia(A), krenwa Material pa konstrukshon bar tabla klenku/blki betn (D) glas leim (D) pieda/piedra mul heru metal klabu frf (D) santu skruf (D) kabuya palu brutu

The house E kas bathroom bedroom bao kamber door fence porta trankera, trank oor ur, piso, suela foundation kitchen fundeshi kushina living room ofce roof room terrace wall window porch garden balcony sala osina dak kuartu terasa muraya bentana balkn kur balkon (D)



Cleaning clean dirty Wash the dishes clothes oor broom cleaning brush bucket mop rag soap vacuum cleaner

limpi shushi (sushi) Laba tay paa ur basora skeiru mber (D) mp* lapi habon stfziger (D)

House Cleaning

Barbara: Weve got to clean the house this morning. Nos mester limpia kas awe mainta. Don: What do you want (for) me to do? Kiko bo ke pa mi hasi? Barbara: Sweep the porch, the living room and the kitchen. Mop the kitchen. Bari e balkn, sala i kushina. Mp e kushina.

Ill clean the windows after I wash the dishes and clean the bathroom. Oh, Ive moved the mop. Mi ta limpia e bentananan despues ku mi kaba laba e taynan i limpia bao. Ai, mi a pone e mp otro kaminda.

Don: Pardon?


Barbara: The mop, bucket and cleaning supplies are by the washing machine. E mp, mber i artkulonan di limpiesa ta banda di wasmashin.

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



There are several theories as to Papiamentus origins. One suggests it comes from the Spanish spoken to Africans and Indians when Spaniards ruled the Antilles. Another more popular theory traces Papiamentus beginnings in the pidgin languages of the slave trade (were talking late 1400s to early 1500s here). During the early years of the slave trade in West Africa, the slave bosses developed a working language at their shipping centers that was a pidgin mixture of Portuguese and various African dialects. That language was exported to the Caribbean along with the slaves. On each island it blended with whatever language was already spoken there to form a distinctive local creole. A French-based patois developed on Haiti, and an English-based one on Jamaica. But things were different in the Dutch islands. The Spanish had not settled families on the islands (nor would the Dutch initially). They just sent in managers to operate them as government reserves. So, it is reasoned, slaves from Africa outnumbered the bosses; the children of the European managers were cared for by African nannies, played with slave children, and heard more Afro-Portuguese creole than Dutch. Linguists argue whether the grammar of todays Papiamentu evolved primarily from the Spanish, Portuguese or African. But none can argue that its vocabulary is a rich blend of all three with later adoptions from Dutch (especially household vocabulary, stul [chair]) and English (technical words, truck, pipewrench). Several of the Indian words still survive, most distinctively those with repetitive syllables like warawara (a large bird) or lembelembe (a non-biting gnatfrom lick lick).



Today Papiamentu is the language of the people of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaao (papia means talk; mentu means ing). Never a second class language of an enslaved minority, it has always been the mother tongue of the working majority on the islands. Spelling it. Papiamentu has long been a written language (earliest known document was dated 1775). But because Dutch was the ofcial language of the ABC islands, no one attempted to standardize Papiamentu spelling or grammar until the late 1980s. After countless committee hours, Curaao and Bonaire decided to adopt phonological spellingthat is, all words are spelled as they are pronounced, regardless of their language of origin. (These spellings are set down in The English/Papiamentu Bilingual Dictionary by Betty Ratzlaff, The TWR Dictionary Foundation, Bonaire, 1992). Aruba, on the other hand, chose an etimological spellingthat is, words imported from other languages retain their original spelling. For example, in Aruba visitors rent a truck (or pickup); on the other two islands, a trk (or pikp). On Curaao and Bonaire the letter c is spelled as either k or s depending on its sound. (Two examples: motorcycle=motosaikel, and scooter=skuter) Otherwise the letter c is used only in words with ch, mathematical or scientic terms, proper names or as a letter label to categorize or identify (as in an outline: A, B, C).




1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Plural Nouns Sentence Order Modiers Verb Tense Irregular Verbs 6. Pronouns 7. Negatives 8. Contractions 9. This, That & There is 10. Questions

1. Plural Nouns.

In Papiamentu, you add nan (not s) to make a noun plural. BUT when the sentence contains a word that tells you that the noun is plural, you dont add the nan ending. So, if you are talking about books, you say 15 buki NOT 15 bukinan.

2. Sentence Order.

When you look at a simple Papiamentu sentence, youll notice that the order of the subject, verb and object is the same as in English:
Subject Mi I Verb ta kumpra am buying Object e T-shirt. the T-shirt.

3. Modiers.

In Papiamentu most adjectives come after the word they modify.

blue sea cold water very pretty girl laman blou awa friu mucha muh masha bunita

But modiers that tell how much, or how little, usually come before the noun.
ten dollars little luck much luck dies dler poko suerte hopi suerte
(masha suerte;basta suerte)

Some adjectives can come either before or after the noun, but change their meaning with their position. These adjectives have a literal meaning if placed after the noun and a subjective meaning if placed before. Santu (holy), pober (poor, pitiful), mal(u) (sick, bad), and gran(di) (big in size, important) are such adjectives:
concrete: A holy man who is large, sick and poor would be: Un hmber santu, grandi, malu, i pober.



subjective: A bad man who is to be pitied would be: Un mal hmber. Un pober hmber. An important remedy, held to be holy, would be: Un gran remedi. Un santu remedi.

Famoso (famous) and enorme (enormous) can come before or after the noun without changing their meaning.
famous story enormous pig kuenta famoso, famoso kuenta enorme porko, porko enorme

Nouns are never used as adjectives. Never say gold necklace, say necklace of gold (kadena di oro). Never say plastic bowl, say bowl of plastic (kmchi di plstik*).

BAD LUCK. (Mala Suerte) When leaving a house, make sure that you leave through the door you entered. If not: Bad luck! A chuchubi (mockingbird) singing around midnight is Bad Luck! Dont go swimming on Good Friday. Dont toast with non-alcoholic drinks. GOOD HEALTH (Bon Sal) Youll keep illness away if you hang a tiny aloe plant upside down inside your front door. If you also hang a piece of bread, youll ensure food in your house.

*English word with a Papiamentu spelling.



4. Verb Tense.

In Papiamentu the verb itself doesnt change (as it does in English) to show the time (think of: walk & walked). Instead you use a time word in front of the verb to show the past (a or tabata); present (ta); or future (ta bai or lo).
Subject [time signal + verb]

Object e T-shirt. e T-shirt. e T-shirt. e T-shirt. e T-shirt.

I bought I was buying


Mi [a + kumpra] Mi [tabata + kumpra]

I am buying (buy) Mi [ta + kumpra]


I am going to buy Mi [ta bai + kumpra] later on Ill buy Mi [*lo +kumpra]

Most verbs have two past forms: the time signal, a, is used for an action of the moment (the simple pastI bought), and the time signal, tabata, for actions of longer than a moment (the progressive pastI was buying). *One of the future tenses is formed by the word lo. Lo comes from the Portuguese word logo (later on). The position of lo can vary in the sentence, depending upon the subject pronoun. Some experts put lo in front of the subject if the subject is mi, bo, & e lo mi, lo bo, lo e. Others say that the placement of lo is optional and put lo behind any subject. (Mi lo kumpra.)

5. Irregular Verbs.

Verbs are irregular if they dont use all of the time signals that indicate the past, present and future. In total there are 18, but for everyday purposes, you only need to know seven irregular verbs. They are:
ta (to be)** tin (to have) ke (to want) por (to be able) sa (to know a thing or skill) konos (to know a person or place) mester (must)

**Obviously when we say, he is, e ta is sufcient. We dont say, e ta ta.



In the present tense, these seven verbs are always used without the time signal, ta.
He is a doctor who has an ofce in Curaao. If you want an appointment, you have to phone. I know his number and I can give you it. E ta un dokter ken tin un osina na Krsou. Si bo ke un sita, bo mester yama. Mi sa su number i mi por duna be.

In the past tense, Ta & Tin have only one form, tabata and tabatin.
to be to have I was You had Mi tabata Bo tabatin

Other irregular verbs: In the present, eight** verbs may be used with or without the time signal, ta (without their meaning changing). They are:
bal (to cost) debe (to owe) gusta (to like) stima (to love) kosta (to cost) depend (to depend) meres (to deserve, merit ) parse (to resemble, look like)

**Papiamentu grammar books also list mag (to permit) and di (to say) as irregular verbs used without ta, but you wont nd these verbs in this phrase book or in Ratzlaffs Papiamentu-English dictionary.

In the present, two verbs change their meaning depending on whether they are used with or without the time signal, ta. They are falta and yama. Yama is used without ta to name someone or something. With the ta, yama means, to call, say, give. Falta is used without ta to mean a lack of respect, or non-attendance (e.g. at school). Otherwise falta means to fault, lack, miss.




6. Pronouns.

In Papiamentu, pronouns are easy (with one exception). Where English uses three words: I, me and my, Papiamentu uses one: mi. The other easy Papiamentu pronouns are: bo (you, your); nos (we, us, our); boso (all of you, your); nan (they, them, their). For possessives, add di (mine = di mi; yours = di bo; ours = di nos; theirs = di nan). Theres only one pronoun thats complicated, e (he/she/it). The possessive of e is su (his/hers/its). If you want to say: to him/her/it say ne (na + e). To say: of him/her/it, say dje (di + e). If the subject, e, comes before a it becomes el so that it sounds more uent (El a kore = He drove). If we put these personal pronouns into our sentence chart, we get:
Subjects mi bo* e nos boso nan [present time signal + verb] [ta + verb] [ta + verb] [ta + verb] [ta + verb] [ta + verb] [ta + verb] Objects mi bo* e / dje / ne nos boso nan

*The bad news about bo (you)you shouldnt use bo unless invited to do so by your companion. (Use the persons name or a title of respect instead--see page 11.)

7. Negatives.

If you want to say no or not, put the word no in front of the verbs time signal (no a , no ta , no tabata , no ta bai , no lo ). Double negatives are used in Papiamentu just as they are Spanish.

8. Contractions.

Spoken Papiamentu uses contractions for uency. Four examples of the contractions youve seen in this booklet are:
mir (mira ) karni porko (karni di porko) yerbi hole (yerba di hole) dje (di e) pg. 19 pg. 35 pg. 37 pg. 41



9. Ever Useful: this, that & there.

When you use this and that as stand-alone pronouns (as in: I want this; you take that.), say: esaki (this), esei (that), and esaya (that over there). When you use this and that before a specic noun, (as in: I want this book; you take that book.) esaki, esei and esaya become two-part words. Put the rst half of the word before the noun and the second half after it. this & these (things) that & those (things) that & those (things far way) e (kosnan) aki. e (kosnan) ei e (kosnan) aya.

There is... and Have you? One of the most


useful words in Papiamentu is Tin. Tin means have but it also means: There is/are... and Is/Are there? There was/were There is/are Tabatin Tin There will be Lo tin

10. Questions.

In English we use the words did, do, and does to signal a question. (Did Mary walk home? Do you want more?) The equivalent of did, do, and does isnt used in Papiamentu. Instead, a question is the same as a statement. (Mary walked home? You want more?) When speaking, raise your voice at the end of the sentence to signal that you are asking a question. In Papiamentu when the question begins with an interrogative (what - kiko; how - kon; where - unda; why - pakko; who - ken; whose - di ken), the question can follow the same sentence order as English, or it can end with a verb. 1. What do you want? 2. How is your family? 3. How much money have you? 4. Where is the toilet? 5. Who gave you the owers? 6. Whose book is it? Kiko seora kir/ke? Kon ta bai ku bo (sr./sra. su) famia? Kuantu plaka bo (sr./sra.) tin? Unda e bao ta? Ken a duna bo (sr./sra.) e ornan? Di ken e buki ta?




A abbreviations, 5, 84 oclock, 20 accidents, 58-59 activities, 52-53 adjectives/adverbs, 66-67, 80-81 amounts, 15, 33 apologies, 9 asking for the time, 12 a name or clarication, 13 a product or directions, 12 B banking, 17, 28, 70 bills, 71 bo, dont use, 11, 84 boats, 73 body parts, 55 breakfast snacks, 49 building materials, 76 buses, 26 buying questions, 12, 40 C cars permits, 25, 70 renting, 24, 58 repairing, 58 service station, 24-25 celebrating, 22, 63 churches, 27 cleaning, 34-35, 77 clothes, 38, 40 colors, 40 coming & going, 62-63 comparisons, 40 complaints, 50, 54, 71 compliments, 60 condolences, 64 conversations, 12-15, 60-69. also see: dialogs. cooking methods, 42 contractions, 20, 84 credit cards, 17, 51 cruisers, 72-73 customs ofcials, 72-73

D days, 22 dialogs, 10-11, 21, 31, 43, 51, 57, 65, 71, 77 dipthongs, 7 directions asking & giving, 12, 28-29 beside, behind, etc., 27 north, south, etc., 27 to places, churches & shops 26-27, 32, 38-39 drug store, at the, 56 E entertainments, 52-53 European format for numbers, 17 exchange rate, 17 F family, 61 feelings, 62 rst aid, 56 food buying, 32 37 restaurants, 41-43, 49 forgetting, 14 formal address, 11, 84 future time, 19 verb tense, 82-83 G going out together, 25, 62-63 goodbyes, 8 gossip, 66-67 grammar, 80-85 greetings, 8-9, 10-11, 32 H had, has, 44 hardware, 72, 76 health, 54, 56-57 hellos, 8, 10-11 help (asking for), 8, 54, 58-59 history of papiamentu, 78-79 hospital, 57 hot, 47 hotel, 50-51 house, 76 how, order of question, 85 how good/much, 15, 16



I ID, 16, 72-73 illness, 54, 56-57 immigration, 72-73 introductions, 10 instructions, 74-75 J, L job titles, 74 landmarks, 27 learning Papiamentu, 14-15 leaving, 8-9, 51 licenses, 25, 70 liking, 14-15 & disliking, 40 the island, 60 local dishes, 49 losing, 14 M making sure, 14, 62 mechanical terms, 73 medicines, 56 misunderstanding, 9, 15 money, 16-17, 70 banking, 17, 70 paying bills, 16-17, 71 negotiating a rate, 74 months, 22 N names, exchanging, 10-11, 13 negatives, 84 negotiating a price, 74 no (& yes), 14 numbers, 18 O oclock, 20-21 ofcialdom, 70, 72-73 Ontvanger, 70 opinions, 14, 67 ordinal numbers, 18 P papiamentu history, 78-79 learning, 14-15 past time, 19 verb tense, 82-83

paying, 16-17, 43, 51 for a job, 74 permits, 25, 70-71 photos & copies, 39 plural nouns, 80 politeness, 8-9, 11 putting ideas together, 45-46, 63 prepositions, 45-48 present time, 19 verb tense, 82-83 product names, 38-39 pronunciation rules, 6-7 pronouns, 44, 84-85 Q, R questions, common, 12-13 shopping alternatives, 40 sentence order for, 85 religious festivals, 22 renting vehicles, 24, 58 repairing, 39, 58 requests, 12-13 residents, 70-71 restaurants, 41-43, 49 right correct, 14 direction, 29 road signs, 23 S seasons, 68-69 sentence order, 80-81, 85 service station, 24 shopping, 32-40 sick friend, 57 sight-seeing, 52 signature, 16, 51 sorry, 9 spelling, 79 sports, 52 store names, 28, 32 syllable stress, 6 sympathy, 64 T taxis, 26, 51 telephone, 30-31, 71 thank you, 9


this, that & there is, 85 time questions, 12-13 talking about, 19-21 tools, 76 travelers checks, 12, 17 U, V understanding (or not), 9, 1213, 14-15 vegetarian, 42 vehicles, 24-25 verbs beginner verbs, 45 helper verbs, 44

grammar, 82-84 working verbs, 75 W, X,Y,Z washroom, 28 weather, 68-69 welcome, 9 what, when, where, why 1213, 85 when (three forms), 24 where from, 10-11, 60 work & workers, 67, 74-77 wrong, 14 yes (& no), 14 yesterday, 19


The Dovale family (for everything) with a special thanks to Laurie Dovale for proofreading and gathering folklore. George and Laura DeSalvo of the Bonaire Reporter. Michael Gaynor-Barefoot Critic. Max van Dortmondt of Bonaire Affair. Sue FelixHistorian. Gabrielle Nahr for fund raising. For advertising supportJack Chalk and Diana Sint Jago of BONHATA; Ronella Croes of TCB, Tourism Corporation Bonaire; and Orphaline Saleh of Maduro & Curiels Bank. Thanks also to Orphaline for wise advice. Hubert Vis-Director of SKAL (Museum, Art & Culture). Bi Antoin-Writer, Historian and Editor of Extra. Burney El Hage-Commissioner of Tourism. Don Ricks-Rewrite Editor. Greta Kooistra, Gwen Wildebor, and Nora van Neil-Translators. Jesse Armacost-Writer. Cargill Salt for their donation. Beth Christiansen for those important little words.

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