Languages of Papua New Guinea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Languages of Papua New Guinea
Official languages Tok Pisin, English, Hiri Motu
Lingua franca Tok Pisin

The languages of Papua New Guinea today number over 850. These languages are spoken by the inhabitad tribal groups of papua new guiena [1] making it the most linguistically diverse place on earth. Its official languages are Tok Pisin, English and Hiri Motu. Tok Pisin, an English-based creole, is the most widely spoken, serving as the country's lingua franca.

Tok Pisin[edit]

Main article: Tok Pisin

Tok Pisin is a creole language spoken throughout Papua New Guinea. It is an official language of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in that country. In parts of Western, Gulf, Central, Oro Province and Milne Bay Provinces, however, the use of Tok Pisin has a shorter history, and is less universal, especially among older people.

English[edit]

Although it is an official language of Papua New Guinea, English is only spoken by 1–2% of the population.[2]

German[edit]

Unserdeutsch

Hiri Motu[edit]

Main article: Hiri Motu

Papuan languages[edit]

Main article: Papuan languages

The longest-established languages of Papua New Guinea are known as the Papuan languages.

Outside of Papua New Guinea, Papuan languages are also spoken in Indonesia, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands.

Austronesian languages[edit]

People speaking languages belonging to the Austronesian family arrived in New Guinea approximately 3,500 years ago.[citation needed]

The Austronesian languages are widely spread across the globe, as far west as Malagasy in Madagascar, as far east as Rapa Nui on Easter Island, and as far as north as the Formosan languages of Taiwan. Austronesian has several primary branches, all but one of which are found exclusively on Taiwan.

Literacy[edit]

57.3% of the population of Papua New Guinea over 15 years of age are literate.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ethnologue: Languages of Papua New Guinea. In 2006, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare stated that "Papua New Guinea has 832 living languages (languages, not dialects)" (Statement at the World Leaders Forum, Columbia University, September 21, 2006; website of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea).
  2. ^ a b CIA World Factbook: Papua New Guinea

References[edit]

  • Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Fifteenth edition ed.). Dallas, Tex.: SIL International.