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Languages > Papiamento
All Papiamento language product types

Language Information

Papiamento is the native, though unofficial, language of the southern islands of the Netherlands Antilles—Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire. A creole language with Spanish as its base, it contains numerous words from Dutch, English, Portuguese, French, and many other languages. There are about 200,000 speakers.

Papiamento is spoken/used in Netherlands Antilles

Language Family
Family: Pidgin and Creole

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


After the Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda left Curaçao bound for Santo Domingo, he discovered on August 15, 1499 a cape which he called San Román. On the 24th of the same month he found himself in a port and huge lake, to which he gave the name of San Bartolomeo. This name was later changed to Maracaibo, in honor of a rich Indian chief living near the lake. It is most probable that en route Ojeda touched Aruba: it is fairly certain that he is the island's discoverer.
A period of Spanish rule followed the discovery of the island, and after 1634 it came under the dominion of the Dutch. But Aruba never had much of a "history." Its distance from Curaçao, the strong current between the Venezuelan coast and the island, its constant exposure to the relentless trade winds, the seas roundabout infested with pirates all made rapid and regular communication very difficult for sailing vessels.

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