Known as Bislama, the local language of Vanuatu has been derived from a mix of Pidgin English that first spread over the Vanuatu archipelago at the turn of the 20th century.

Today nearly 95 percent of Bislama is based on English with a few French words and ‘island language’ mixed in. A general rule of thumb is throw in the words ‘long’ and ‘blong’ to your sentences every now and then and you can pretty much pull off Bislama.

Here are a few handy words/phrases that will help you out during your holiday (and after all, the locals do appreciate it when you give it a go)

How much is that?  Hamas long hem?

How much is this?  Hamas long hemia?

Do you know … ?  Yu save (pronounced savvy)

I don’t know  Mi no save

This is broken  Samting ia hemi bugarup

The best  Nambawan

How are you?  Olsem wanem

I’m okay  La oreat

Thank you  Tankyu

Thank you very much  Tankyu tumas

My name is …  Nem blong mi

Kate Webster is a travel journalist – travel writer and photographer who travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the places she visits. Born out of a life-long love of travel and fascination with the world around her, is Kate’s inspiration behind her writing and photography. A passion of the ocean has lead Kate to be a part of Global Surf Sounds, as she continues to mix her love of travel and writing to now include surfing. When she’s not bouncing around the world on ramshackle buses, overcrowded trains, or on the back of a rickshaw, you can find her based in Sydney or the Gold Coast, Australia eagerly planning her next adventure.

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