There are many languages spoken in Aruba, but the official languages on the Caribbean Island are Papiamento and Dutch. However, the government requires the schools to teach Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English. The mother tongue of most Arubans is an Afro-Portuguese Creole language referred to as Papiamento. The Afro-Portuguese Creole was made an official national langue of Aruba in May 2003. Papiamento was developed to help Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao to communicate. The language is a combination of five languages including Arawak Indian, Dutch, African, Portuguese, and Spanish. Over the last few decades, the language has borrowed from Spanish, Dutch, and English while possessing a unique meaning and rhythm.

As per the census of 2010; about 69.4% of the population, which represents the majority of the population, speak Papiamento fluently. About 13% of the population speaks Spanish while 7.1% use English fluently. About 6% of the population speaks their other national language which is Dutch. 1.5% of the population uses Chinese as a primary language.

Papiamento is one of the major languages used by the locals in Aruba. It has many words borrowed from English and Dutch. Some of the common Papiamento phrases include ‘’bon dia moro’’ which is commonly used in the morning to mean ‘’good morning’’. In the evening the phrase used in Papiamento is ‘’bon nochi’’ which means good evening and "bon tardi’’ which is the afternoon greeting. ‘’Bon bini’’ is a commonly used phrase in the island of Aruba which means "you're welcome".

Spanish has been steadily gaining popularity in Aruba over the years, mostly due to the fact that is taught in schools. Spanish started growing during the 16th century due to the links with the Spanish speaking nations in South America. Other languages spoken by the minority languages are Portuguese (the main contributor to the Aruban Creole language) and French. A smaller group of immigrants who came to the country to do business and ended up living there speak German and Chinese.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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