The World of Info



Dutch Language MapDutch 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
Walburg Pers

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated June 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info