Known as Bislama, the local language of Vanuatu has been derived from a mix of Pidgin English that first spread over the Vanuatu archipelago at the turn of the 20th century.
Today nearly 95 percent of Bislama is based on English with a few French words and ‘island language’ mixed in. A general rule of thumb is throw in the words ‘long’ and ‘blong’ to your sentences every now and then and you can pretty much pull off Bislama.
Here are a few handy words/phrases that will help you out during your holiday (and after all, the locals do appreciate it when you give it a go)
How much is that? Hamas long hem?
How much is this? Hamas long hemia?
Do you know … ? Yu save (pronounced savvy)
I don’t know Mi no save
This is broken Samting ia hemi bugarup
The best Nambawan
How are you? Olsem wanem
I’m okay La oreat
Thank you Tankyu
Thank you very much Tankyu tumas
My name is … Nem blong mi