Planning a trip to the Dutch Caribbean islands? You might want to learn a few Papiamento phrases. In this post, you’ll get key Papiamento phrases (123 word list) and get the resources you need to improve your skills.
How to Speak Papiamento: Word List / Resources
The first words you’ll probably hear when you arrive in Aruba are “Bon Bini!”
What Does Bon Bini Mean?
Bon Bini means “Welcome!”. You’ll hear this phrase used frequently by the friendly and accommodating Arubans.
The Aruban language, Papiamento, is only spoken on the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (the ABC islands), and Saint Eustatius.
What is Papiamento?
Papiamento contains elements of 5 languages: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, and Dutch. It was also influenced by Arawak Indian and African languages. Papiamento has evolved much over the years.
In Aruba, the people speak, write and read English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamento fluently. Many also speak French and German.
Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages of Aruba. All documents and government papers are in both languages and lessons at school are also given in Dutch and Papiamento.
Papiamento is only spoken on the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao).
While there are many languages spoken, you’ll have no problems if you happen to be a unilingual gringo.
Papiamento or Papiamentu?
There is some confusion about these two words. Are they distinct languages or just different spellings?
Papiamento is one language and it has 2 main dialects.
- Aruban Papiamento: Papiamento spoken in Aruba sounds like Spanish.
- Papiamentu: This is spoken in Curacao and Bonaire.
Key Differences in Papiamento vs Papiamentu
As the spelling of each dialect suggests, words in Aruba often end with “o” and the same words in Papiamentu often end with “u”. There is a similar difference in the “c” (Aruba) and “k” (Curacao and Bonaire).
The reason for these differences is based on the spelling method chosen by each region.
- Aruba uses an etymology-based spelling.
- Curacao and Bonaire chose a phonology-based spelling.
As a result, the words are pronounced and spelled differently, but generally, have identical meanings.
There are some small differences between the Papiamento dialect found in Curacao and Bonaire.
Build your vocabulary with the Vocabulary Builder! Learn Papiamento by EuroTalk Interactive.
123 Papiamento Words and Phrases
Learning how to speak Papiamento isn’t that difficult. Most words are pronounced exactly as spelled.
Helpful Papiamento phrases include:
14 Papiamento Greetings
- Have a good day: Pasa un bon dia
- Good Morning: Bon dia
- Goodbye: Ayo
- Good afternoon: Bon tardi
- Good evening: Bon nochi
- Please: Por fabor
- Thank you: Danki
- Thank you very much: Mashi Danki
- You are welcome: Di nada
- Welcome: Bon bini
- How are you?: Con ta bai (pronounced bye)
- Very Good!: Hopi bon
- I am fine: Mi ta bon
- See you later: Te aworo
17 Papiamento Dining Phrases
- I am hungry: mi tin hamber
- I want to eat: mi ke kome
- Food: cuminda
- Water: awa
- cuminda: Food
- Bread: pan
- Butter: manteca
- Cheese: keshi
- Fish: Pisca
- Cold cuts: beleg
- Milk: lechi
- Soda: refresco
- Sweets/candy: mangel
- An Aruban lollipop: chupa bebe
- Sugar: suku
- Salt: salo
- Pepper: pika
13 Papiamento Shopping Phrases
- kwanto esaki ta costa: How much does this cost
- Mi ta wak rond: Looking around, browsing
- Ban dal un trip: Lets go out on a trip
- Banco: The Bank
- Plaka: Money
- Ki pelicula ta hunga awe?: What movie is playing today
- keds: Sneakers
- sapato: Shoes
- den caya: In the town
- Mi tin sed: I’m thirsty
- Mi tin hamber: I’m hungry
- Ban kas: Lets go home
- Botica: Drugstore
11 Papiamento Words For a Loved One
- Un sunchi: A kiss
- Un braza: A hug
- Mi dushi: My sweetheart
- dushi ‘om: Delicious or great
- Ku tur mi amor: With all my love
- Ranka Lenga: To french kiss
- frei: A loved one
- Mi amor: My love
- ranka orea: To cheat on someone
- hole dushi: Smells good
- Hopi bon: Very good
17 More Papiamento Words and Phrases
- bin aki: Come here
- ban sali: Lets go out
- ban goza: Lets enjoy
- tur kos ta bon: Everything is going well
- ban sigi: Lets continue
- ban come: Lets eat
- awa: Water
- awacero: Rain
- lamper: Lightning
- strena: Thunder
- nubia: Cloud
- lama: The beach, also the ocean
- tera: Sand, also country
- kunuku: The country side
- den stad: In the city
- na waf: At the port
- brug: Bridge
26 Words for Papiamento Numbers
- 0 zero, nul, nada
- 1 unu prome(r), di prome(r)
- 2 dos di dos
- 3 tres di tres
- 4 kwater, cuater (and so on)
- 5 sinku, cincu
- 6 seis
- 7 shete, siete
- 8 ocho
- 9 nuebe
- 10 dies
- 11 diesun
- 12 diesdos
- 13 diestres
- 14 diescuater
- 15 diescincu
- 20 binti
- 30 trinta
- 40 cuarenta
- 50 cincuenta
- 60 sesenta
- 70 setenta
- 80 ochenta
- 90 nobenta
- 100 cien
- 1000 mil
7 Papiamento Days of the Week
- Sunday: dia domingu
- Monday: dia luna
- Tuesday: dia mars
- Wednesday: dia rason
- Thursday: diaweps
- Friday: diabièrne
- Saturday: dia sabra
12 Papiamento Months
- January: Januari
- February: Feruari
- March: Maart
- April: April
- May: Mei
- June: Juni
- July: Juli
- August: Augustus
- September September
- October Ooctober
- November November
- December December
6 Papiamento Action Verbs
- to give: duna
- to buy: kumpra
- to sell: bende
- to drink: bebe
- to sleep: drumi
- to sit: sinta
Resources for Learning to Speak Papiamento
EuroTalk Talk Now! Learn Papiamento
- The latest edition of EuroTalk’s best-selling language software for beginners starts you off talking straight away
- 9 different topics, with essential vocabulary you’ll actually use
- Learn through addictive games and activities to reinforce everything you’ve learned
- Record yourself to practice pronunciation and compare it to both female and male native speakers
- Learn from any language, not just English
Check it out on Amazon
EuroTalk Interactive: Papiamento Vocabulary Builder
- Record your own cartoons and play them back in your own “cinema”
- Nine games of varying difficulty, with points awarded for correct answers
- More than 100 words, including colors, numbers, actions and simple sentences
- Teaches children a new language with interactive help in 49 different languages
- The only language learning CD-Rom series designed for children that are guaranteed to get them speaking a new language – fast
Check it out on Amazon
Fodor’s In Focus Aruba (Full-color Travel Guide)
What better way to learn to speak Papiamento than to have your feet on the ground?
Travelers flock to Aruba for the sunny climate, perfect waters, and excellent beaches. Aruba presents more choices than nearly any other Caribbean island, from world-class oceanfront resorts equipped with gourmet restaurants and high-dollar casinos to intimate neighborhood motels and diners not far off the beach.
Fodor’s has it all covered in an easy-to-carry, full-color guide filled with everything you need to know to plan the perfect vacation.
Check it out on Amazon
Before you leave this beautiful island, I guarantee you’ll be saying Mi stima Aruba! (I love Aruba!)
Aruba is a Travelers Paradise
Aruba is a one of our favorite destinations. Why? Well, I guess it’s just one of those places where you can just forget yourself and relax. No challenges with language, safety or culture. Just pure relaxation. Everyone needs a week of that now and then. . .
Great beaches, warm water, amazing resorts, and restaurants, and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet are a recipe for your best vacation ever.
The benefits of Aruba aren’t just about what it offers. What it doesn’t offer will benefit you as well. When you are in Aruba, you’ll notice the absence of hurricanes, tropical storms, crime, and bad drinking water. Travelers often comment that the whole island “feels like a resort”.
Exceptionally family-friendly, Aruba also offers great attractions for singles and for couples. No wonder Aruba has the highest repeat-visitor rate in the Caribbean and the highest hotel occupancy rate.
Bon bini (Welcome) to Aruba!
- About the Author
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Hi, I’m Bryan Haines. And I’m a co-founder of Storyteller.Travel. I’m a traveler and photographer.
I also blog about photography on Storyteller Tech.
Friday 10th of February 2023
Excellent blog! I used the live in Aruba for 4 years...! Regards from Venezuela!
Curaçao Episódio 1 | Dicas de viagem LTS
Wednesday 1st of September 2021
[…] coisa legal neste episodio pessoal, bora comigo? — Links: Aprenda papiamento: https://storyteller.travel/papiamento-phrases-how-to-speak-papiamento […]
Curaçao Episódio 1 | Dicas de viagem LTS - Tá Contratado - Notícias e Novidades
Thursday 26th of August 2021
[…] 122 Papiamento Phrases: How to Speak Papiamento (Word List and Resources) […]
Monday 17th of May 2021
Papamiento doesn't just have "African influences", it is officially considered an AFRO-Portuguese Creole. Meaning the main basis of the language is Portuguese combined with various African languages. Spanish, Dutch, Native American languages, French, and English are the ones that are "influences".
Wednesday 13th of May 2020
Venezuela us currently in ruins. But thee has always been a Symbiotic relation between the islands and their close mainland. Vivan esas islas Bellas