Tok Pisin


July 5, 2022

Tok Pisin is a creole language spoken in the northern part of Papua New Guinea, the metropolitan district and the New Guinean Islands. It is one of the official languages ​​of Papua New Guinea and also the most widely spoken language in that country. About 4 million people speak Tok Pisin as a second language and more than a hundred thousand people speak it as a mother tongue. Tok Pisin is derived from the English phrase talk pidgin and has been the official name of the language since 1981. Tok in the language itself means 'word' or 'speech' and pisin means 'pidgin language'. The language is characterized by grammatical rules based on different Papuan languages, but the words are borrowed from English. The latter is a result of the fact that Papua New Guinea has been (partly) under British and Australian rule for a while.


Tok Pisin originated from a mix of languages ​​spoken by inhabitants of various islands in the Pacific when they were put to work on plantations in Queensland and on a number of other islands. The workers began to develop a pidgin language based mainly on English. The language also contains vocabulary from German, Portuguese and various Austronesian languages. This language evolved into Tok Pisin, the language quickly became the lingua franca in the area and was used by the rulers and those who were dominated. Also, the language was used among the workers as they had no common language at all.

Official status

Tok Pisin has some degree of use in media and governmental issues, yet English is most often used in these contexts. Tok Pisin is the language of instruction in some primary schools during the first three school years.

The Lord's Prayer in Tok Pisin

daddy bilong mipela Yu step long lifting. Nem bilong yu i mas i step holi. Kingdom bilong yu i mas i kam. Strongim mipela long bihainim laik bilong yu long graun, olsem ol i bihainim long heven. Givim mipela kaikai inap long tude. Pogivim rong bilong mipela, olsem mipela i pogivim ol arapela i mekim rong long mipela. Sambai long mipela long taim bilong traim. Na rausim olgeta samting nogut long mipela. Kingdom na strong na glori, em i bilong yu tasol oltaim oltaim. Tru.

External link

A spoken example of Tok Pisin on the Lowlands-L site