I pinched this info from one of the information booklets that you get get on arrival here in PNG and added a bit of my own :). Here is a selection of words and phrases in tok pisin (pidgin english). To be honest though, I just guess when I am trying to talk in tok pisin and generally I think I’m doing ok. A few months ago I said to a guy driving his car with a flat tyre “tyre em no gut wind” – the guys at work cracked up, they said I should have just said “tyre flat”…. hahaha. so much for trying….
You will notice a lot of slang prevalent, especially in Pot Mosbi, or Mosbi as it is commonly called. Bilong is shortened to blong, blo, or long – with the “b” being very short. There is also a slang “goodbye” – catch, as in “catch you later”.
Using slang or even short pidgin, gives you instant street cred :). And even better, a look of surprise….
NOTE: mi is pronounced with an eee sound. Mosbi therefore isn’t mozbeye it is mozbee
What is your name? Wanem nem bilong yu?
Who are you? Yu whosait?
My name is (Aaron) Nem bilong mi Aaron
Thank you very much tenk yu tru
No thank you sori nogut
How are you?yu orait. (you alright) or orait eh
I’m fine mi orait tasol
How much is that? em hamas?
How much is this? dispela em hamas?
I’d like one please mi laikim wanpela plis or slang wanpla plis
I would like to go to (Crowne Plaza) mi laik go long Crowne plaza
Can you come with me? inap yu kam wantaim mi?
No, I don’t want to/this/that sori nogut, mi less
Please, can you help me with this? plis, inap ya halivim mi wantaim dispela samting?
What is that? em wanem?
That is/was very good em i gutpela stret!
That is/was bad! em no gut
Where are you from? yu bilong wanem hap?
I’m from (England) (New Zealand)mi mangi (inglan) (nu seelan)
I’d like lots please mi laikim planti plis
I need a rest mi lait malolo liklik
Happy Birthday Aaron hapi mama karem day Aaron or hapi bon day Aaron
catch see you later
em nau yes/that’s right
Haus meri housekeeper
pikinini meri nanny (house girl that cleans and looks after children)
liklik pikinini meri little girl
sista/brata sister/brother (can also denote cousins or friends)
bubu grand person / Older family
Aunty/uncle respectful term for other adults/wantoks
raus/rausim remove/throw out
sindaun sit down
sanap stand up
dring drink/drinking. (roll R)
kaibar place to buy food
Laikim like/ would like
wantaim together, with
noken do not
no i nap not enough, I can’t
inap enough, can
pulap full up/full
em him / her / it / that
blong, bilong, long belong
planti plenty, lots
Love your blog – lived on Bougainville Island for two years from 1983 to 1985 and loved every minute of the experience. My mother (then 63) came over a couple of times and was revered by the locals and an expat running a local video shop in Arawa. He wrote a piece of poetry about my mother and I need translation of a couple of words/”expressions” used which I can’t remember. Can you please email me?
What is you welcome
we say welcome in tok pisin as “Noken wari/Noken Bisi.. it comes with a bit of expression and attitude as we say it.. it goes like this;
Ahhh…Noken wari, em liklik samtin ya
Ahhh…Noken bisi (it can also be said as NOX BISI), em liklik samtin ya.
the common response to a Thank you in PNG would be ‘liklik samtin’ (meaning Small things or not a problem).
Here is a Tok Pisin Phasebook: https://www.tokpisin.info/tok-pisin-phrasebook/. Hope it helps!
Tenk yu tru
Come from png and my bubu (It mean like your older family) all ways talks to me in png
Hi – I’m looking for someone to teach TOK PISIN language to a couple of new expats (one in PtM, one in Lae), starting in Jan/Feb 2018. Can someone please email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you have contacts that can help.