What is Papiamento and who can translate it
Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao are three islands known as the ABC islands. They are a part of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. The language spoken in these islands is Papiamento. ‘Papia’ in Papiamento means ‘to speak, ’ and ‘mento’ means ‘the manner of doing something’. So, in English it means ‘the way of speaking’. Clever, isn’t it?
How did Papiamento evolved?
Papiamento language evolved gradually on these islands as people from different countries started coming and settling here. Arawak Indians were original inhabitants of these islands. The Spanish and the Dutch arrived sometime in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. They made slaves of the Indians and also brought some African slaves. After some decades Jews from Brazil also entered the islands. These people of different lands spoke different languages. The Dutch spoke Dutch among themselves but used Spanish and Portuguese for communicating with the slaves. The African slaves spoke Portuguese. As a result, there evolved a mixture of languages, a Creole language. Papiamento is also one such creole language. It has elements of English and French, it has some African and Arawakan, and it has Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese too.
The language was first used in literature in the 1930’s. There are books and magazines in this language that are read and enjoyed by people on the Caribbean ABC islands. Some local newspapers are also published in Papiamento.
Papiamento was used for official work and for schooling. There are a number of official documents of Curacao that date back to 18th century. Later in the 19th century, the School books and hymns for the Church sessions were written in this language.
Today, the language is losing its hold as the locals are becoming multilingual and speak many languages. The speakers of the Papiamento can speak Dutch, Spanish, and English and prefer to switch between languages for their communication needs.
If you need translation services for just about every language, ask for a free quote whenever you want!