Learn Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinea Pidgin)

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About Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinea Pidgin)

Tok Pisin literally means ‘Talk Pidgin’ and is one of three official languages of Papua New Guinea, a country of over 850 languages. In this multi-lingual environment, Tok Pisin developed as a lingua franca used for trade. It has since become a distinct language with native speakers of its own and is now technically classified as a creole language. The majority of its vocabulary is based on English, but it also has influences from German and indigenous local languages.

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Where is it spoken?

Papua New Guinea

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Fun facts — Tok Pisin

  • The word for 'house' is 'haus' and plenty of words can be derived from it: haus kaikai or 'restaurant', literally 'food house', haus moni or 'bank', 'money house', haus sik or 'hospital', 'sick house', and haus dok sik or 'vet', 'sick dog house'.
  • 'Toothpaste' is sop bilong tit - 'soap belong teeth' - and 'shampoo' is sop bilong gras - 'soap belong grass'. Yes, 'grass' means both 'grass' and 'hair'!
  • In a country of over 850 languages, it is the most widely spoken and one of only three official languages, the others being English and Hiri Motu.
  • The language is also known as Papua New Guinean pidgin.

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