Published December 17, 2019
This video was recorded by Irena Dahl in Aruba. Papiamentu is a creole language spoken on the islands of Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba. "Papia" is a Papiamentu word meaning "to speak" and "-mentu" is a suffix meaning "the way of doing something"; "papiamentu" translated would mean "the way of speaking". The language developed originally among slave populations on Curaçao, eventually spreading to the other two islands. Papiamentu now has some 340,000 native speakers. It has widespread use on TV and in newspapers. It is the main language of communication for the vast majority of ABC-islanders and often legislators use Papiamento in Curaçao's Parliament. Papiamentu’s vibrancy is related to the creation in 1998 of the Fundashon pa Planifikashon di Idioma, a language institute that maintains an orthography. The education system is using it as the medium of primary school instruction more and more, though schools are still often dependent on Dutch print materials.