Languages of Aruba
There are many languages spoken on the Caribbean island of Aruba. The official language is Dutch and Papiamento, although schools require students to learn English, Spanish, French, and to a lesser extent, Portuguese which is also spoken on the island. According to the Government of Aruba the mother tongue and primary vernacular of almost all Arubans is a local language known as Papiamento, an Afro-Portuguese Creole language spoken since the 16th century. The language, however, was not widespread in Aruba till the 18th and 19th centuries when most materials on the island and even Roman Catholic schoolbooks were written in Papiamento.
Dutch has been the official language of the island for years as the island is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba has recognized English as an international language, and has required that children learn English as early as the 4th grade. Since May 2003 Papiamento has also been officially declared as the official language, alongside Dutch. Aruba's location off the coast of South America has also made Spanish extremely important. Students begin learning this as early as 5th grade.
Papiamento is a language with roots mainly from Portuguese, and to a lesser extent, from Dutch, Spanish and English. It originated in the 16th century as a means of communication among slaves and slave drivers.
Papiamento was not considered important on Aruba until 1995. It was officially included in school curriculum in 1998 and 1999. Since then, the island has embraced the native language of Papiamento. A Papiamento dictionary and fairy tales written in Papiamento are now readily available on the island.
Selected Aruban Papiamento phrases
|Bon dia||Buenos días||Bom dia||Goedemorgen||Good morning|
|Bon tardi||Buenas tardes||Boa tarde||Goedemiddag||Good afternoon|
|Bon nochi||Buenas noches||Boa noite||Goedenacht/Goedenavond||Good night|
|Bon bini||Bienvenido||Bem vindo||Welkom||Welcome|
|Danki||Gracias||Obrigado||Dank u/Dank je||Thank you|
|Pasa un bon dia||Que tenga un buen día||Passa/Tenha um bom dia||Fijne dag||Have a good day|
|Con cos ta?
Con ta bai?
|¿Cómo estás?/¿Cómo te va?||Como está/vai?||Hoe gaat het?||How are you?|
|Mi ta bon||(Yo) Estoy bien||(Eu) Estou bem||Met mij gaat het goed||I am fine|
|Cuant'or tin?||¿Qué hora es?/¿Qué horas son?||Que hora tem?/Que horas são?||Hoe laat is het?||What time is it?|
|Mi por papia Papiamento||(Yo) Puedo hablar papiamento||(Eu) Posso falar papiamento||Ik spreek Papiaments||I can speak Papiamento|
|Aruba ta bunita||Aruba es bonita||Aruba é bonita||Aruba is mooi||Aruba is beautiful|