An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pidgin 101

Been meaning to write this up for a while, now that I have almost got the hang of this tok pisin (pidgin) caper. So here is my take on a small guide to tok pisin words and phrases.

  • gutpela - good - "Here is that 70 Kina I owe you", "ahh gutpela".

  • tru - true - "I can buy 16 litres of ice cream for 38 Kina", "Tru!!".

  • maski - don't worry/it doesn't matter - "We can stay in that village but we will need to bring a some buai, dakka, lime, taro, sugar cane, a pig and some beer.", "Maski".

  • pinis - finish/already - "Mi gat pinis", when someone tries to sell you a carved wooden dolphin ... and this happens all the time.

  • orait - alright - "yu orait?", "mi orait", "ol orait" a typical conversation first thing in the morning.

  • hamas - how much - "hamas" while pointing to a nice looking paw paw.

  • wanem - what - "mitupelembaigoraunraunnalukimlongwanpelameri", "wanem?". Handy when they talk at a hundred miles an hour.

  • laikim - like - "mi laikim yu". Try out this line while dancing with a girl in a club.

  • tasol - that's all/only - "hamas yu laikim?", "one ice cream box, tasol".

  • bagarap - bugger up/broken - A bus has a grinding, grating noise coming from underneath and pulls over, the driver says "bas em i bagarap".

  • giaman - lie/liar - "I need 12 Kina to get my flat tyre changed.", "yu giaman".

  • yumi go - You, me go - What you say when a few burly looking Highlanders start following you around the main market.

  • dokta bilong tit - Dentist - What I had to use a few weeks ago. And there is nothing wrong with my chest area.

  • susu - milk/breast - Speaking of chest area. Another volunteer told me how she keeps money in her bra when going to a market, so that would be moni bilong susu.

And there are plenty (or planti) more other phrases and words. If you are keen have a look at this gutpela tok pisin dictionary site.