Dutch Language MapPhoto: Public domain
Although Dutch is the official language of Bonaire, Papiamento is the most widely spoken language. Papiamento originated from Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and a little African. The name Papiamento is derived from the word "papia" which means to talk. The basis of Papiamento is mainly of Spanish and Portuguese origin. With the arrival of the Dutch, Dutch was added. English and French descend from the occupiers of other Caribbean islands. The mixed language that developed from this has slowly but surely taken the place of a mother tongue. Bonaire even has an official Papiamento, which, however, differs from the spelling in Aruba. Most people on Bonaire often speak excellent Spanish and English in addition to Papiamento and Dutch.
In March 2007 Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao recognized Papiamento as an official language in addition to Dutch and English. It had taken ten years before a bill to this effect was finally passed.
Bakker, J. / Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen
Helm, R. van der / Reishandboek Bonaire
Encyclopedie van de Nederlandse Antillen
CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country Profiles
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