Papiamentu: Curacao's native language

Papiamentu: Curacao's native language

Curacao is a beautiful Island with so much to discover. You will fall in love instantly with the food, culture, kindness, helpfulness and the people here. The history in Curacao is also very rich and beautiful. You can read more about our history in our article: Curacao: where history comes alive.

Something very unique you can find in Curacao is the language: Papiamentu (Means “Talking” when literally translated)

People in Curacao are fluent in different languages, mostly because Papiamentu itself is a blend of different languages like: African, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English and Arawak Indian.

Some common words you can say and will hear when you visit Curacao are:

  • Bon bini (pron: bon beenee), which means ‘Welcome’
  • Bon dia (pron: bon dee’ah’), which means ‘Good day/Good morning’
  • Bon tardi (pron: bon t’ah’rdee), which means ‘Good afternoon’
  • Bon nochi (pron: bon nochee), which means ‘Good night/Good evening’
  • Danki (pron: d’ah’nkee), which means ‘Thank you’
  • Di nada (pron: dee n’ah’d’ah’), which means ‘You’re welcome'

One word you will definitely hear that has many different meanings is the word ‘Dushi’ (pron: doo-shee).

You can use this word to express that something is delicious or tastes good, to express that someone is cute or beautiful or sexy, to say that you’re having a good time or to say that something or someone is sweet.

Gather some courage and go ahead and communicate with the locals during your activities using these tips.

The community on the Island is always ready to help, give some tips or even teach you some new words.

Curacao hopes to say 'Bon bini' to you soon!