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Language

The local language Papiamento and Dutch are the official languages of Aruba, but most Arubans speak a minimum of four languages including English and Spanish. Although Papiamento was in use as the native language for 300 years, it was only declared as an official language, alongside Dutch, as of March 19, 2003.

Papiamento is a lyrical language that evolved from Spanish and Portuguese, Dutch, some French, English, and a smattering of African languages. To the ear papiamanto sounds a great deal like Spanish, and it's not surprising that Spanish-speaking visitors from Venezuela and other Latin American countries have little problem communicating on the island. The language is thought to have evolved in Curacao during the 16th century, when slaves and their Spanish owners developed common ground in which to communicate. Keeping in mind that spelling varies within the language, and among the islands that use it (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao).

Aruban Man

Papiamento Words and Phrases

Papiamento Dutch English
Bon bini Welkom Welcome
Bon dia Goedendag Good day
Morru Goedenmorgen Good morning
Bon tardi Goedenavond Good afternoon
Bon nochi Goedenacht Good night
Danki Dank u wel Thank you
Masha danki Vele dank Thank you very much
Di nada Graag gedaan You are welcome
Ayo Tot ziens Goodbye
Con ta bo nomber? Hoe heet je? What's your name?
Mi nomber ta ... Ik heet ... My name is ...
Con ta bay? Hoe gaat het met je? How are you?
Mi ta bon Met mij gaat het goed I am fine
Mi dushi Mijn liefje My love
Mi ta stima bo Ik hou van je I love you