Published November 27, 2019
This video was recorded by Kini Karo in the Philippine province of Metro Manila. Kini speaks three languages: his first is Kalo, his second is English, and his third is Tok Pisin. Kalo is a dialect of Keapara, belonging to the Sinagoro-Keapara grouping within the Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. Kalo is only spoken by people from the Kalo village, and numbers roughly 20,000 speakers. According to Kini, "the Keapara dialect group does not have a standard form or unifying variety, each village speaks its own dialect and the dialects are considered equally important." All the Keapara varieties bear strong influences from Papuan languages. Tok Pisin is considered a creole of English, meaning it began as an English-inspired contact pidgin for communication among English traders and local inhabitants of Papua New Guinea, then developed into a language with native speakers, complex grammar, and a rich lexicon. Although around five million people speak Tok Pisin to some degree, only around one million speak it as a primary language. Its influence on the island has led to the marginalization of other local languages. Tok Pisin is one of three official languages of Papua New Guinea alongside English and Hiri Motu.