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Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin
Spoken in Broome, Western Australia
Total speakers 40 (Ethnologue)
Language family Malay-based pidgin.
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 crp
ISO 639-3 bpl

Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin is a pidgin that sprung up in Broome, Western Australia in the early 20th century to facilitate communication between the various groups working in the pearling industry there—Japanese, Malays, Torres Strait Islanders, Koepangers, Hakka Chinese, Filipinos, a small number of Koreans, and local Australian Aborigines, mainly of the Bardi tribe but also Nyulnyul, Jabirrjabirr, Jukun, Yawuru and Karajarri people. Its words come primarily from the Malay language (specifically Kupang Malay), but it also took some words and grammatical features from Japanese, English (through the Pidgin English of the Aborigines), and the local Australian Aboriginal languages.

For example, the following sentence contains a Malay verb and Japanese grammatical particles, with the remaining words coming from English:

Chirikurok -kaa hokurok -kaa peke kriki.
English: "three o'clock" Japanese: "or" English: "four o'clock" Japanese: "or" Malay: "go" English: "creek"
"We will enter the creek at three or four o'clock."

Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin is no longer in active use today, but some words and phrases that originated in the pidgin are still used by younger generations of Asian-Aboriginals as a marker of ethnic identity.


  • Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International.  
  • Hosokawa, Komei (1987). "Malay talk on boat: an account of Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin". in D. Laycock and W. Winter. A World of Language: Papers Presented to Professor S.A. Wurm on his 65th Birthday. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 287–296.  
  • McGregor, William (2004). The Languages of the Kimberley, Western Australia. London, New York: Taylor & Francis. pp. 69–71.  


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