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Language of Curacao: Papiamento for tourists

View Knip Beach Curacao

What language do they speak in Curacao? It’s a question that many tourists ask.
Are you planning a vacation to Curacao? Then follow our mini course: Papiamento for tourists!

Curacao is a mix of cultures and that also brings a mix of languages, the following languages are spoken on this Caribbean island:

Papiamento: a mix of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, a bit of French and English (official language).
Dutch: local people also speak Dutch, a language that is spoken in the Netherlands (official language).
English: most of the people can speak English as well.
Spanish: Because of its proximity to South America a lot of people speak Spanish as well.

The people in Curacao think it’s important to greet everyone throughout the day. So remember the following sentences if you’re in Curacao, the locals will appreciate it:

Good Morning = Bon dia
Good afternoon = Bon tardi
Good evening = Bon nochi

A word that is famous throughout the island is ‘dushi’. It has different meanings, the original meaning is sweet and tasty. People use it when their food is delicious, but ‘dushi’ is also used to call people ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’.

Mi dushi = my love
Dushi = Good, nice, delicious

How to start a conversation? Use the following sentences when you want to chat with the locals:

How are you? = Kon ta bai?
I’m fine = Mi ta bon
My name is = Mi nòmber ta...
What’s your name? = Kon ta bo nòmber?
Thank you = Danki
Thank you very much = Masha danki
You’re welcome = Di nada
Bye Bye = Ayo

When you already speak Spanish or Portuguese, it’s easier to understand this language. Nevertheless everyone can learn Papiamento, just start with these simple words. Good luck!