Papiamento (Papiamentu)

Papiamento is a Creole language containing elements of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, as well as Arawakan and African languages. It is spoken by about 330,000 people in Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba, which were formerly known as the Netherlands Antilles. There are also Papiamento speakers in the Netherlands and Sint Maarten. In Curaçao and Bonaire the language is known as Papiamentu, and it is known as Papiamento in Aruba.

Papiamentu, Dutch and English are the official languages of Curaçao; Papiamentu and Dutch are the official languages in Bonaire, and in Aruba the official languages are Papiamento and Dutch.

Papiamento has been in literature since the 1930s in newspapers, magazines, novels and other materials. There was also some writing in Papiamento in the 19th century, and the oldest piece of writing dates back to 1837. There are official standard written forms for Papiamento and for Papiamentu which have been developed since the 1970s.

Papiamento is a tonal language with a low-high tone and a high-low tone. There are not indicated in writing. Word stress falls on the on the stem (main) syllable; departures from which are marked with an accent.

Papiamento has been used in literature since the 1930s, and the first elementary school with Papiamento as the medium of instruction was established in August 1987.

Papiamento alphabet and pronunciation

Papiamento alphabet and pronunciation


Sample texts in Papiamentu

Ai, mi dushi
Ai, mi amor
Aunke ku bo no ta ku'mi mas
Mi ta bai kòrdábo algun kos
Ku kisas bo a lubidá

E promé biaha ku mi a mirabo ta't'e dia
Ku mi a sera konosí ku bo
Bo tabatin sonrisa dushi den bo kara
Mi tabatin gan'i tenebo den mi gara

Promé biaha ku a mi a mirabo ta't'e dia
Ku mi a sera konosí ku bo
Bo tabatin sonrisa dushi den bo kara
Bo tabata tratami nèchi, hopi dushi
Tur esakinan'a dunami un speransa imenso
Y m'a kumisá ta stimabo

Part of a song called "Pegá na mi kurason" by Magic Sound from Bonaire

Tur ser humano ta nace liber y igual den dignidad y den derecho. Nan ta dota cu rason y cu consenshi y nan mester comporta nan den spirito di fraternidad pa cu otro.
(Declaracion Universal di Derecho Humano, Articulo 1)


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Papiamento compiled by Wolfram Siegel, with corrections and additions by Richenel Ansano

Some phrases in Papiamento:

Information about Papiamento | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Papiamento

Papiamento lessons

Papiamento phrases

Papiamento dictionaries

Papiamento newspapers

Papiamento radio

Creole languages

Betawi, Bislama, Cape Verdean Creole, Chavacano, Chinook Jargon, Dominican Creole French, Fanagalo, French Guianese Creole, Guadeloupean Creole, Guinea-Bissau Creole, Haitian Creole, Jamaican, Kituba, Manado Malay, Mauritian Creole, Nagamese, Ndyuka, Norfuk, Nubi, Palenquero, Papiamento, Pijin, Réunion Creole, Sango, Saramaccan, Seychelles Creole, Sierra Leonean Creole, Singlish, Sranan, Saint Lucian Creole, Tok Pisin, Torres-Strait Creole

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 25.07.23


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