Learn Tok Pisin

Tok Pisin literally means ‘Talk Pidgin’ and is one of three official languages of Papua New Guinea, a country of over 800 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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Number Of Speakers

4,000,000

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Language Family

Creole

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Fun facts about 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.

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