In Vanuatu there is more than 120 spoken local languages and often two neighboring villages will not be able to understand each other. Most locals speak 4-5 different local languages as well as English and then of course the official language of Vanuatu, Bislama. Bislama was apparently the language spoken between the Vanuatu migrant workers and is a form of pidgin English also spoken in the Solomon Islands. It sounds like children talking and is a constant source of entertainment when you learn new words. It consists of only 2500 words which makes it easy to learn but the drawback is of course that some common English words have to be elaborated with a few more words in Bislama.
Below is a quick compilation of some of the most entertaining words we have found.. and this is not a joke. People actually understand this although most of the time they know the English words and use this instead. It may look like gibberish, but speak it out loud and it makes sense.
Do you speak English? - Yu tok tok Engglis?
I don't understand - Mi no save
I like it - Mi laikem
My name is Tue - Nam blong me Tue
Mask - Glass blong daeve
Fins - Fit blong dakdak
Snorkel - Paep blong pullem wind
Double bed - Bid blong marred
Condom - Ruba blong fakfak
To hit - Killem
To hit something and kill it - Killem ded finis
To teach - Tijim
Sunrise - Taim sun i kam up
And our personal favorites. If you can't figure out the meaning and are getting desperate, you may email us for the answers on: email@example.com
Wan tingting i gat tith, i go, i kam, i go, i kam, taim i go kam bak i kakae wud (hint: it's a tool)
Wan bigfala bokis, i gat tith. Sam i waet, sam i blak. Taim yu killem i singaot (hint: instrument)
Wan smal sista blong bigfala bokis. Taim yu scratchem belli i kri (hint: another instrument)
Muskat blong solwata