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Papiamento Phrases – How to Speak Papiamento

Posted in: Language Learning

Bon Bini Sign in ArubaThe first words you’ll probably hear when you arrive in Aruba are “Bon Bini!”

Bon Bini means welcome, and you’ll hear this phrase used frequently by the friendly and accommodating Arubans.

The Aruban languange, Papiamento, is only spoken on the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (the ABC island) and Saint Eustatius.

What is Papiamento?

Papiamento is a combination of 5 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, African, Dutch and Arawak Indian and has evolved much over the years.

Looking to practice your Papiamento? Try Instant Immersion Papiamento and learn with goal-focused 10-minute sessions.

In Aruba, the people speak, write and read English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento fluently. Many also speak French and German.

Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages of Aruba. All documents and government papers are in both languages and lessons at school are also given in Dutch and Papiamento. Papiamento is only spoken on the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).

While there are many languages spoken, you’ll have no problems if you happen to be a uni-lingual gringo.

Build your vocabulary with the Vocabulary Builder! Learn Papiamento by EuroTalk Interactive.

How to Speak Papiamento

Most words are pronounced exactly as spelled. Helpful Papiamento phrases include:

Papiamento Greetings

  • Have a good day: Pasa un bon dia
  • Good Morning: Bon dia
  • Goodbye: Ayo
  • Good afternoon: Bon tardi
  • Good evening: Bon nochi
  • Please: Por fabor
  • Thank you: Danki (pronounced donkey)
  • Thank you very much: Mashi Danki
  • You are welcome: Di nada
  • How are you?: Con ta bai (pronounced bye)
  • Very Good!: Hopi bon
  • I am fine: Mi ta bon
  • See you later: Te aworo

Papiamento Dining Phrases

  • I am hungry: mi tin hamber
  • I want to eat: mi ke kome
  • Food: cuminda
  • Water: awa
  • cuminda: Food
  • Bread: pan
  • Butter: manteca
  • Cheese: keshi
  • Fish: Pisca
  • Cold cuts: beleg
  • Milk: lechi
  • Soda: refresco
  • Sweets/candy: mangel
  • An Aruban lollipop: chupa bebe
  • Sugar: suku
  • Salt: salo
  • Pepper: pika

Papiamento Shopping Phrases

  • kwanto esaki ta costa: How much does this cost
  • Mi ta wak rond: Looking around, browsing
  • Ban dal un trip: Lets go out on a trip
  • Banco: The Bank
  • Plaka: Money
  • Ki pelicula ta hunga awe?: What movie is playing today
  • keds: Sneakers
  • sapato: Shoes
  • den caya: In the town
  • Mi tin sed: I’m thirsty
  • Mi tin hamber: I’m hungry
  • Ban kas: Lets go home
  • Botica: Drugstore

Papiamento Words For a Loved One

  • Un sunchi: A kiss
  • Un braza: A hug
  • Mi dushi: My sweetheart
  • dushi ‘om: Delicious or great
  • Ku tur mi amor: With all my love
  • Ranka Lenga: To french kiss
  • frei: A loved one
  • Mi amor: My love
  • ranka orea: To cheat on someone
  • hole dushi: Smells good
  • Hopi bon: Very good

More Papiamento Words and Phrases

  • bin aki: Come here
  • ban sali: Lets go out
  • ban goza: Lets enjoy
  • tur kos ta bon: Everything is going well
  • ban sigi: Lets continue
  • ban come: Lets eat
  • awa: Water
  • awacero: Rain
  • lamper: Lightning
  • strena: Thunder
  • nubia: Cloud
  • lama: The beach, also the ocean
  • tera: Sand, also country
  • kunuku: The country side
  • den stad: In the city
  • na waf: At the port
  • brug: Bridge

Papiamento Numbers

  • 0 zero, nul, nada
  • 1 unu prome(r), di prome(r)
  • 2 dos di dos
  • 3 tres di tres
  • 4 kwater, cuater (and so on)
  • 5 sinku, cincu
  • 6 seis
  • 7 shete, siete
  • 8 ocho
  • 9 nuebe
  • 10 dies
  • 11 diesun
  • 12 diesdos
  • 13 diestres
  • 14 diescuater
  • 15 diescincu
  • 20 binti
  • 30 trinta
  • 40 cuarenta
  • 50 cincuenta
  • 60 sesenta
  • 70 setenta
  • 80 ochenta
  • 90 nobenta
  • 100 cien
  • 1000 mil

Papiamento Days of the Week

  • Sunday: dia domingu
  • Monday: dia luna
  • Tuesday: dia mars
  • Wednesday: dia rason
  • Thursday: diaweps
  • Friday: diabièrne
  • Saturday: dia sabra

Papiamento Months

  • January: Januari
  • February: Feruari
  • March: Maart
  • April: April
  • May: Mei
  • June: Juni
  • July: Juli
  • August: Augustus
  • September September
  • October Ooctober
  • November November
  • December December

Papiamento Action Verbs

  • to give: duna
  • to buy: kumpra
  • to sell: bende
  • to drink: bebe
  • to sleep: drumi
  • to sit: sinta

Resources for Learning to Speak Papiamento

EuroTalk Talk Now! Learn Papiamento

  • speak papiamentoThe latest edition of EuroTalk’s best-selling language software for beginners starts you off talking straight away
  • 9 different topics, with essential vocabulary you’ll actually use
  • Learn through addictive games and activities to reinforce everything you’ve learned
  • Record yourself to practice pronunciation and compare it to both female and male native speakers
  • Learn from any language, not just English

Price: $29.99

Check it out:

EuroTalk Interactive: Papiamento Vocabulary Builder

  • Papiamento Vocabulary BuilderRecord your own cartoons and play them back in your own “cinema”
  • Nine games of varying difficulty, with points awarded for correct answers
  • More than 100 words, including colors, numbers, actions and simple sentences
  • Teaches children a new language with interactive help in 49 different languages
  • The only language learning CD-Rom series designed for children that’s guaranteed to get them speaking a new language – fast

Price: $24.57

Check it out: |

Fodor’s In Focus Aruba (Full-color Travel Guide)

speak papiamento in arubaWhat better way to learn to speak Papiamento than to have your feet on the ground?

Travelers flock to Aruba for the sunny climate, perfect waters, and excellent beaches. Aruba presents more choices than nearly any other Caribbean island, from world-class oceanfront resorts equipped with gourmet restaurants and high-dollar casinos to intimate neighborhood motels and diners not far off the beach. Fodor’s has it all covered in an easy-to-carry, full-color guide filled with everything you need to know to plan the perfect vacation.

Price: $11.41 (Kindle) or $9.23 (Paperback)

Check it out: | |

Plan your next trip to Aruba with Fodor’s in Focus: Aruba.

Before you leave this beautiful island, I guarantee you’ll be saying Mi stima Aruba! (I love Aruba!)


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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

7 comments… add one
  • tiara thomas Sep 11, 2017, 1:30 pm

    this is awesome in a few month i speak this Papiamento Danki!!!

  • Maryrose Pleau Jan 30, 2016, 8:13 am

    It’s good option to teach the Papiamento at least.. that is how we all learn

  • sharma May 4, 2015, 10:58 pm

    It’s good option to teach the Papiamento at least

  • Shaneil Jan 7, 2015, 5:44 am

    It helps me to build my papiamentu more… And mi stima Curacao….
    Masha Danki

  • pawan Nov 12, 2014, 9:35 pm

    very good idea learn to papiyamento
    i like this site.
    mas danki

  • Greg Jul 13, 2014, 10:51 am

    Aren’t Wednesday and Thursday reversed? Wednesday is dia weps and Thursday is dia rason, or so I thought.

    • Ettel Mar 29, 2017, 2:56 pm

      No, wednesday is diaranson and thursday is diahuebs

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