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Cities in CURACAO

Jan thiel baai Piscadera bay Willemstad



Fank Martinus Arion, Curacao Fank Martinus Arion, CuracaoPhoto: We El CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Although Dutch is taught, Papiamento is the native language of most people. The name Papiamento probably originated from the Portuguese "papear" which means "talk". Papiamento is a typical mixed language with Portuguese and Spanish grammar and many words from English and Dutch. It probably originated in the seventeenth century to enable communication between slaves and masters and between slaves themselves. It is spoken by all social classes and has become part of their own identity. The founder of the first primary school where the language of instruction was Frank Martinus Arion, a well-known Curaçao writer. Most people in Curaçao speak fluent Spanish and English in addition to Dutch and Papiamento.

In March 2007, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao 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

Encarta Encyclopedie

Erven Dorens, P. van / Curaçao
Bos & Co

Helm, R. van der / De Curaçao reisgids

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
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