Tok Pisin

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

Phrases

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

Words

catch see you later
plis please
sori sorry
wanem what
Dispela this
nogut no
em nau yes/that’s right
bagarup broken
meri woman/girl
Haus meri housekeeper
pikinini meri nanny (house girl that cleans and looks after children)
liklik pikinini meri little girl
Man/mangi man/boy
sista/brata sister/brother (can also denote cousins or friends)
mama/papa mother/father
bubu grand person / Older family
Aunty/uncle respectful term for other adults/wantoks
Pikinini child/children
malolo rest/sleep/holiday
silip sleep
Haus house
raus/rausim remove/throw out
itambu forbidden
sindaun sit down
sanap stand up
dring drink/drinking. (roll R)
kaikai food
kaibar place to buy food
Laikim like/ would like
wantaim together, with
halivim help
noken do not
no i nap not enough, I can’t
inap enough, can
risit receipt
pulap full up/full
yu you
mi me
em him / her / it / that
blong, bilong, long belong
liklik little
bikpela big
planti plenty, lots
pinis finished

numbers

Wanpela/wanpla 1
Toopela/toopla 2
Tripela/tripla 3
Forpela/forpla 4

Etc

5 thoughts on “Tok Pisin

  1. 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?

    • 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.

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