Bislama Vocab: Part 1

Bislama is a pidgin language that is the most universally spoken language of the over 100 languages spoken in Vanuatu.

We've been taking intensive language classes as part of our pre-service training.  Luckily for us, it's very close to English. There have been some hilarious phrases we've learned from the over simplification of complex English words. Every day I discover new favorite words (or phrases, rather). I'll start posting them here when I gather a large enough chunk of them.

The third goal of the Peace Corps is "To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans," so I am here to share with you some key words in the local language.

This is part one of Bislama vocab.

English Word - Bislama Word - Literal translation into English
  • refrigerator OR ice box OR freezer - aes box - ice box
  • tornado - wael wind - wild wind
  • diarrhea - sit sit wota - shitting water
  • to hit/assault - kilim - kill
  • to kill - kilim ded - kill dead
  • good witchcraft and bad witchcraft OR good sorcery/bad sorcery OR good magic/bad magic  - gud posen/bad posen - good poison/bad poison
  • brave - no gat fraed - doesn't have fear
  • young people - yungfala - young fellas
  • mutual oral sex - makem sikstinaen - make 69
  • any non-Ni-Vanuatu (regardless of race or nationality) - waetman - white man
  • menstrual period - sikmun - sick moon
  • archaeologist - ol man we i stap stadi ol long el stadi ol long ol ston bifo - man who studies all of the old stones
  • to release/let go of - lego - let go
  • diabetes - switblad - sweet blood
  • medical supplies - ol ting blong haospetal - all things that belong to the hospital
  • breast - titi - titty
More to come.


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