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The Papiamento translation agency

Papiamento is spoken by about 330,000 people across the former Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) We have expert translators working for us to help you deal with anything in the language. If you would like to know more about our translation services then please get in touch with us, with no obligation, and ask for a free quotation.

Papiamento is one of the three official languages of the Netherlands Antilles, the others being Dutch and English. Dutch is the most important written language, while Papiamento is the most widely spoken language (with the exception of Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Dutch Sint Maarten, where English is the most widely-spoken language). There is no standard form of writing or speaking Papiamento, and the differences between the islands can also be highly notable. If you would like a closer relationship with your business partners in the Netherlands Antilles, or even with the large Papiamento-speaking community in the Netherlands, we can help you with the translation of your documents. You can find more information below about doing business in the Caribbean. Get in touch with one of our project managers for more information or ask now for a no-obligation quotation.

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About Papiamento

Papiamento, or Papiamentu, is a Creole which is related to Cape Verdean and Guinea-Bissau Creoles. It contains Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French Arawak (the indigenous language), and various African languages. The diverse mix of languages can be traced back to the occupation of the islands by various colonisers including the Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch, who brought African slaves to the Caribbean. In order to encourage communication, the colonisers learnt Creole, to which they added their own words. The first evidence of writing in Papiamento dates back to the name of a Jewish ship, Awa pasa Harina, in 1769. There is also mention of Papiamento in notes in Dutch in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. By the end of the eighteenth century, by which time many missionaries had gone to the islands, the sermons were also held in Papiamento. The languages was properly set down in writing for the publication of the Bible at the start of the nineteenth century. The language has been used in literature since 1930 but it was only in 2005 that primary schools on Curacao and Bonaire began to teach in it exclusively.