Bislama

From Academic Kids

Bislama is a Melanesian creole language, one of the official languages of Vanuatu. It is the first language of many of the "Urban ni-Vanuatu" (those who live in Port Vila and Luganville), and the second language of the rest of the country's residents.

Bislama is a mixture of words from English, French, and various North, Central, and South Vanuatu languages, with a syntax most resembling a Vanuatu language.

Bislama is closely related to Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea, Pijin of the Solomon Islands, and Broken of the Torres Strait in Australia.

"Yumi, Yumi, Yumi", the Vanuatu national anthem, is in Bislama.

History

Thousands of Ni-Vanuatu were recruited to work mainly on Queensland, Australia, as well as Fiji plantations in the 1870s and 1880s. With several languages being spoken in these plantations, a pidgin was formed. The word has no connection with Islam.

Over the past century or so, Bislama has evolved to what is currently spoken.

Related languages are Pijin of the Solomon Islands, Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea, and the Torres Strait Creole.

Name

The name of Bislama (previously also spellted "Bichelama") comes via the 19th century word "Beach-la-Mar" from the French "bche de mer" sea cucumber. In the mid-1800s, sea cucumbers were also harvested and dried at the same time that sandalwood was gathered. The name came to be associated with the kind of pidgin that came to be used by the local laborers between themselves, as well as their English-speaking overseers.

External links

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