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The Native Languages
The official language of Curacao is Dutch. However, the most commonly spoken language on the island is Papiamentu. Spanish and English are both spoken quite often and known by almost all of the natives.

To enlighten you a little more, given below are several resources, one being a brief description of the history and roots of Papaimentu and more importantly, or practical, are a couple of key phrases that may prove useful once on the island.

Papiamentu is a creole language spoken north of Venezuela on Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, islands of the leeward Netherland Antilles. The language is primarily based on Portuguese and Spanish, though there are Dutch and English influences as well. The origin dates back to 1634 when the Dutch seized Curaco and Boniare. As part of the Spanish Empire, many Dutch understood Spanish and Portuguese. Papiamentu stabilized as a creole on Curacao around 1700. Papiamentu derived about two-thirds of its words from Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician, a quarter from Dutch, and the rest from other languages including English, French, and various African languages.

Below is a list that may prove useful on your visit to the island. There are several small, but significant and key phrases that may impress some of the locals.

English Papiamentu Dutch Spanish
Good Morning Bon Dia (bun-dee-a), Morro (mow-row) Goede Morgen (Hu-De More-Hen) Buenos Dias (bu-when-os-dee-as)
Good Afternoon Bon Tardie (bun-tar-dee) Goede Middag (Hu-De Mee-Da-ch) Buenos Tardes (bu-when-os-tar-days)
Good Evening or Good Night Bon Noche(bun-no-che) Goede Avond (Hu-De A-Vont) Buenos Noches (bu-when-os-no-che's)
How are you? Konta Bi? (Con-ta-bye) Hoe Gaat Het Met U (Hu- Haat-Heet-met-uuu) Como Estas (Co-mow-e-stas)
Do you speak Papiamentu? Papia Papiamentu (pa-pie-a-pa-pue-men-tu) Spreekt U Papiaments (Spray-k-t Uuu Pap-ya-mants) Habla Usted Papiamentu? (A-Bla-U-sted-pap-ya-ment-uu)
Welcome Bon Bini (bun-bi-nee) Welkome (well-come) Hola (o-la)
Sweet or Dear person Dushi (Du-shee) Je Bent een Schat (ye-bent-un-sh-chat) Una Persona Querida (Uun-a-pair-son-a-ke-ree-da)

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