Pidgin: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A pidgin (pronounced /ˈpɪdʒɪn/) language is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common, in situations such as trade, or where both groups speak languages different than the language of the country in which they reside (but there is no common language between the groups). A "pidgin" language is, fundamentally, a simplified means of linguistic communication, as is constructed impromptu, or by convention, between groups of people. A "pidgin" language is not the native language of any speech community, but is instead learned as a second language.[1][2] A "pidgin" language may be built from words, sounds, or body language from multiple other languages / cultures. "Pidgin" languages usually have low prestige with respect to other languages.[3]

Not all simplified or "broken" forms of a language (patois) are "pidgin". Each "pidgin" language has its own norms of usage which must be learned to speak the "pidgin" language well.[4]



The origin of the word pidgin is uncertain. The first time pidgin appeared in print was in 1850 and there are many sources from which the word may be derived. For example:


The word pidgin, formerly also spelled pigion,[6] originally used to describe Chinese Pidgin English, was later generalized to refer to any pidgin.[7] Pidgin may also be used as the specific name for local pidgins or creoles, in places where they are spoken. For example, the name of Tok Pisin derives from the English words talk pidgin, and its speakers usually refer to it simply as "pidgin" when speaking English.

The term jargon has also been used to describe pidgins, and is found in the names of some pidgins such as Chinook Jargon. In this context, linguists today use jargon to denote a particularly rudimentary type of pidgin;[8] however, this usage is rather rare, and the term jargon most often refers to the words particular to a given profession.

Pidgins may start out as or become trade languages, such as Tok Pisin; but trade languages are often full blown languages in their own right such as Swahili, Persian, or English. Trade languages tend to be "vehicular languages", while pidgins can evolve into the vernacular.

Common traits among pidgin languages

Since a "pidgin" language strives to be a simple and effective form of communication, the grammar and phonology are usually as simple as possible, and usually consist of:

Pidgin development

The creation of a pidgin usually requires:

  • Prolonged, regular contact between the different language communities
  • A need to communicate between them
  • An absence of (or absence of widespread proficiency in) a widespread, accessible interlanguage

Also, Keith Whinnom (in Hymes (1971)) suggests that pidgins need three languages to form, with one (the superstrate) being clearly dominant over the others.

It is often posited that pidgins become creole languages when a generation whose parents speak pidgin to each other teach it to their children as their first language. Creoles can then replace the existing mix of languages to become the native language of a community (such as Krio in Sierra Leone and Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea). However, not all pidgins become creole languages; a pidgin may die out before this phase would occur.

Other scholars, such as Salikoko Mufwene, argue that pidgins and creoles arise independently under different circumstances, and that a pidgin need not always precede a creole nor a creole evolve from a pidgin. Pidgins, according to Mufwene, emerged among trade colonies among "users who preserved their native vernaculars for their day-to-day interactions". Creoles, meanwhile, developed in settlement colonies in which speakers of a European language, often indentured servants whose language would be far from the standard in the first place, interacted heavily with non-European slaves, absorbing certain words and features from the slaves' non-European native languages, resulting in a heavily basilectalized version of the original language. These servants and slaves would come to use the creole as an everyday vernacular, rather than merely in situations in which contact with a speaker of the superstrate was necessary. [9]

See also


External links

Language Varieties Web Site

Pidgin-English-Only Discussion Forum


  • Bakker, Peter (1994), "Pidgins", in Jacques Arends; Pieter Muysken; Norval Smithh, Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction, John Benjamins, pp. 26–39  
  • Hymes,, Dell (1971), Pidginization and Creolization of Languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-07833-4  
  • McWhorter, John (2002), The Power of Babel: The Natural History of Language, Random House Group, ISBN 0-06-052085-X  
  • Sebba, Mark (1997), Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles, MacMillan, ISBN 0-333-63024-6  
  • Thomason, Sarah G.; Kaufman, Terrence (1988), Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-07893-4  
  • Todd, Loreto (1990), Pidgins and Creoles, Routledge, ISBN 0415053110  

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Tok Pisin phrasebook article)

From Wikitravel

Tok Pisin is spoken in Papua New Guinea, and is closely related to Pijin blong Solomon (Solomon Islands), Bislama (Vanuatu), and Ailan Tok (Torres Strait); these Bislamic languages are descended from a pidgin which formed around 1820 or 1860. The vocabulary is 5/6 Indo-European (mostly English, some German, Portuguese, and Latin), 1/7 Malayo-Polynesian, and the rest Trans-New-Guinea and other languages. The grammar is creolized and unlike those of the source languages.

Notable features of Tok Pisin include the frequent suffix -pela, which is used to pluralize personal pronouns and mark that an adjective or number is modifying a noun, and the suffix -im, which usually indicates a transitive verb. Many words are reduplicated, which may make a completely different word (sip ship, sipsip sheep), form a derivative (tok word, talk, language, toktok conversation, phrase), or just be part of the word (pukpuk means crocodile, but there is no word puk).

like father
like set or name
like hit or machine
like squawk, fork, or home
like soup
like bed
like dog
like fun or a bilabial fricative; often interchangeable with "p"
like go
like help
like judge; only word-initial
like keep
like love
like mother
like nice
like pig; often interchangeable with "f"
trill or flap
like sue or zoo
like top
like five
like weigh
like yes
like time (taim), trying (traim), or offering (without the "r") (ofaim), depending on the word
like cow
Gude. (goo-DAY)
Hello. (informal
Hi. Hai. (HIGH)
How are you? 
Yu stap gut? (yoo stahp goot?)
Fine, thank you. 
Mi stap gut. (mee stahp goot)
What is your name? 
Husat nem bilong yu? (HOO-zaht naym bee-LONG yoo?)
My name is ______ . 
Nem bilong mi emi ______ . (naym bee-LONG mee em ee _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
Gutpela long bungim yu. (GOOT-peh-lah long BOONG-im YOO)
Plis. (plees)
Thank you. 
Tenkyu. (TENK-yoo)
You're welcome. 
Nogat samting. (NO-gaht sahm-ting)
Yes. (YESS)
Nogat. (noh-GAHT)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Skius. (skyooz)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Skius. (skyooz)
I'm [very] sorry. 
Mi sori [tumas]. (mee SOH-ree [too-MAHS])
Gutbai. (GOOT-bigh.)
Goodbye (informal
Lukim yu bihain. (LOO-keem yoo bee-HIGHN)
I can't speak tok Pisin [well]. 
Mi no save [gut] long Tok Pisin. (mee noh SAH-vay [goot] long tohk PIH-zin)
Do you speak English? 
Yu save long tok Inglis, a? (yoo SAH-veh long tohk ING-glis ah?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Husat i save long tok Inglis? (hoo-ZAHT ee SAH-veh long tohk ING-glis?)
Help! (HEHLP!)
Good morning. 
Moning/Moning tru/Moning nau (MOHN-ing/MOHN-ing troo/MOHN-ing now)
Good night. 
Gut nait. (guhd NIGHT)
Good night (to sleep
Gut nait. (good NIGHT)
I don't understand. 
Mi no harim tok bilong yu. (mee noh HAH-reem tawk bee-LONG yoo)
Enough of all this talking! 
Maski long planti toktok! (MAHS-kee long PLAHN-tee TOHK-tohk!)
Where is the toilet? 
Smolhaus i stap we? (SMOLL-hows ee stahp WEH?)
Leave me alone. 
Larim mi. (lah-rim mee)
Don't touch me! 
Noken holim mi! (no-kehn hole-im mee)
I'll call the police. 
Mi bai singautim polis. (mee buy sing-out-im pole-ees)
Polis! (Pole-ees!)
Stop! Thief! 
Holim! Raskol! (hole-im! rahs-kohl)
I need your help. 
Mi nidim halivim bilong yu. (mee nee-dim hah-lee-vim bee-long yoo)
It's an emergency. 
Dispela em wanpela imegensi. (dis-pela em one-pela ee-meh-jen-see)
I'm lost. 
Mi no inap painim rot bilong mi. (mee no ee-nahp phai-nim rote bee-long mee)
I lost my bag. 
Mi lusim bek/bilum bilong mi. (mee loo-sim bek/bee-loom bee-long mee)
I lost my wallet. 
Mi lusim hanpaus bilong mi. (mee loo-sim hahn-pows bee-long mee)
I'm sick. 
Mi pilim sik. (mee pheel-im seek)
I've been injured. 
Mi kisim birua/asua. (me kiss-im bee-roo-ah/ah-soo-ah)
I need a doctor. 
Mi nidim dokta. (me need-eem dohk-tah)
Can I use your phone? 
Inap mi yusim telefon bilong yu? (ee-nahp mee you-sim tele-fohn bee-long you?)


The forms ending in -pela are used when the number is followed by a noun other than a unit of measurement and is counting that noun, unless the number already has -pela in it. So tu kilok is a time of day, but tupela kilok is a pair of timepieces.

wan(pela) (WAN(-peh-lah))
tu(pela) (TOO(-peh-lah))
tri(pela) (TREE(-peh-lah))
foa, fopela (FOH-ah, FOH-peh-lah)
faiv, faipela (FIGHV, FIGH-peh-lah)
sikis(pela) (SIH-kiss(-peh-lah))
seven(pela) (SEH-ven(-peh-lah))
et(pela) (AYT(-peh-lah))
nain(pela) (NIGHN(-peh-lah))
ten(pela) (TEN(-peh-lah))
wanpela ten wan (...), eleven
wanpela ten tu (...), twelv
wanpela ten tri (...), tetin
wanpela ten foa (...), fotin
wanpela ten faiv (...), fiftin
wanpela ten sikis (...), sikistin
wanpela ten seven (...), seventin
wanpela ten et (...), etin
wanpela ten nain (...), naintin
tupela ten (...), twenti
tupela ten wan (...), twentiwan
tupela ten tu (...), twentitu
tupela ten tri (...), twentitri
tripela ten (...), teti
fopela ten (...), foti
faipela ten (...), fifti
sikispela ten (...), sikisti
sevenpela ten (...), seventi
etpela ten (...), eti
nainpela ten (...), nainti
wan handet (...)
tu handet (...)
tri handet (...)
tausen (...)
tu tausen (...)
wan milien (...)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
namba _____ (...)
hap (...)
ananit (...)
antap (...)
nau (now)
bihain (bee-HIGHN)
bipo (BEE-poh)
moning (MOH-neeng)
apinun (ah-pee-NOON)
nait (night)

Clock time

one o'clock PM 
wan kilok (long san) AM (...)
two o'clock PM 
tu kilok (long apinun) (...)
belo (...)
one o'clock AM 
wan kilok (long) biknait (...)
two o'clock AM 
tu kilok (long) biknait (...)
biknait (BIK-night)


_____ minute(s) 
_____ minit (MIH-nit)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ aua (OW-ah)
_____ day(s) 
_____ de (day)
_____ week(s) 
_____ wik (week)
_____ month(s) 
_____ mun (moon)
_____ year(s) 
_____ yia (YEE-ah)


tude (tu-deh)
asde (as-deh)
tumora (tu-mora)
this week 
dispela wik (...)
last week 
wik igo pinis (')
next week 
wik bihain (')
Sande (...)
Mande (...)
Tunde (...)
Trinde (...)
Fonde (...)
Fraide (...)
Sarere (sah-reh-reh)


Jenueri / Wan mun (JEN-oo-eh-ree)
Februeri / Tu mun (FEB-roo-eh-ree)
Mars / Tri mun (mahrs)
Epril / Foa mun (EPP-reel)
Mei / Faif mun (may)
Jun / Sikis mun (joon)
Julai / Sewen mun (joo-LIGH)
Ogas / Eit mun (AW-goose)
Septemba / Nain mun (sep-TEM-bah)
Oktoba / Ten mun (ock-TOH-bah)
Novemba / Ilewen mun (noh-VEM-bah)
Disemba / Twelf mun (dee-SEM-bah)

Writing Time and Date

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

blak(pela) (...)
wait(pela) (...)
gre(pela) (...)
ret(pela) (...)
blu(pela) (...)
yelo(pela) (...)
grin(pela) (...)
orange (...)
hap ret (...)
braun(pela) (...)



How much is a ticket to _____? 
Hamas long baim tiket igo long _____? (...)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Wanpela tiket long _____, plis. (...)
Where does this plane/bus go? 
Displa balus/bas em i go long we? (...)
Where is the plane/bus to _____? 
Balus/bas i go long _____ em we? (...)
Does this plane/bus stop in _____? 
Dispela balus/bas bai go tu long _____? (...)
When does the plane/bus for _____ leave? 
Wanem taim bas balus/bas i go? (...)
When will this plane/bus arrive in _____? 
Wanem taim bai dispela balus/bas kamap long _____? (...)


How do I get to _____ ? 
Bai mi go long _____ olsem wanem? (mee GO long _____ OLL-saym WAH-naym?)
...the bus station? 
ples bilong wetim bas? (PLAYS bee-long WAY-teem BUS)
...the airport? 
ples balus? (pleys BAH-loos)
Note: balus also means "pigeon".
namel long taun? (NAH-mel long TOWN?)
...the _____ hotel? 
... _____ hotel? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
I gat planti ... we? (WEH ee gaht PLAHN-tee ...) 
...hotel (...)
haus kaikai (hows KIGH-kigh?)
...bars (...)
...sites to see? 
...ol samting long lukim (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
Yu inap soim me rot long pepa map? (...)
rot (...)
Turn left. 
Tanim long lephan. (TAHN-ihm lehp)
Turn right. 
Tanim long raithan. (TAHN-ihm right)
lephan (lehp-hahn)
raithan (right-hahn)
straight ahead 
stret (strayt)
towards the _____ 
go long _____ (...)
past the _____ 
lusim _____ (...)
before the _____ 
bipo long _____ (...)
Watch for the _____. 
Lukaut long _____. (...)
intersection (...)
not (noht)
saut (sowt)
is (ees)
wes (wehs)
i go antap (...)
i go daun (...)


Taxi! (...)
Take me to _____, please. 
Mi laik go long _____, plis. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Bai kostim hamas long go long _____? (...)
Take me there, please. 
Karim mi i go, plis. (...)
Do you have any rooms available? 
I gat sampela rum? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Rum long wanpela man/tupela man bai kostim hamas? (...)
Does the room come with... 
Rum igat... (...)
...bedsit? (...)
...a bathroom? 
...smolhaus? (...)
...a telephone? 
...telefon? (...)
...a TV? 
...TV? (...)
May I see the room first? 
Inap mi lukim rum pastaim? (...)
Do you have anything quieter? 
Igat wanpela rum i no gat planti nois? (...)
Igat wanpela rum i moa bikpela? (...)
Igat wanpela rum i moa klin? (...)
Igat wanpela rum we prais i go daun liklik? (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
Gutpela, mi laikim. (...)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Bai mi stap long _____ nait. (...)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Inap yu tokim mi long narapela gutpela hotel? (...)
Do you have a safe? 
Do you have a safe? (...)
...lockers? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Is breakfast/supper included? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
What time is breakfast/supper? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Inap yu klinim rum bilong mi? (...)
Can you wake me at _____? 
Bai yu kirapim mi long _____, a? (...)
I want to check out. 
I want to check out. (...)
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
yupla save kisim moni bilong America/Ostrelia/Keneda ? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Yupla save kisim moni bilong Inglan? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Yupla save kisim kredit kad? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Inap yu senisim moni bilong mi? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Bai mi inap senisim moni bilong mi long we? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Inap yu senisim dispela trevelas sek bilong mi? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Bai mi senisim trevelas sek we? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
What is the exchange rate? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
ATM i stap we? (...)
A table for one person/two people, please. 
Wanpela tebol bilong wanpela/tupela, plis. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Inap mi lukim menyu plis? (ee-NAHP mee LOOK-im MEHN-yoo plees)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Inap mi lukluk insait long kitsen (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is there a house specialty? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is there a local specialty? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Mi no kaikai mit. (mee noh KIGH-kigh meet)
I don't eat pork. 
Mi tambu long kaikai pik. (mee TAHM-boo long pik)
I don't eat beef. 
Mi tambu long kaikai bulmakau. (mee TAHM-boo long BOOL-mah-kow)
I only eat kosher food. 
I only eat kosher food. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Can you make it "lite", please? (...)
fixed-price meal 
fixed-price meal (...)
à la carte 
à la carte (...)
kaikai long moningtaim (KIGH-kigh lohng MOH-ning-tighm)
kaikai bilong belo (KIGH-kigh bee-lohng beh-LOH)
tea (meal
ti (...)
kaikai long nait (KIGH-kigh lohng night)
I want _____. 
Mi laikim _____. (...)
I want a dish containing _____. 
Mi laikim kaikai igat _____. (...)
kakaruk (KAH-kah-rook)
bulmakau (BOOL-mah-kow)
pis (pis)
sipsip (SEEP-seep)
lek bilong pik (lek bee-long PIK)
sosis (...)
susu (SOO-soo)
sis (seess)
kiau (kyow)
salad (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
(fresh) fruit 
(nupela) prut ((NOO-peh-lah) proot)
moli (MOLL-ee)
switmoli (SWEET-moll-ee)
painap (PIGH-nahp), ananas (ah-nah-NAHS)
bret (bret)
drai bisket (DRIGH-bis-ket)
nudal (NOO-dahl)
rais (righs)
bin (been)
May I have a glass of _____? 
Mi laikim wanpela glas _____? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
Mi laikim wanpela kap _____? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Mi laikim wanpela botol _____? (...)
kofi (...)
tea (drink
ti (...)
jus (...)
(bubbly) water 
mineral wara (...)
wara (WAH-rah)
bia (BEE-ah)
red/white wine 
retpela/waitpela wain (REHT-peh-lah/WIGHT-peh-lah wighn)
May I have some _____? 
Mi laikim sampela _____ (...)
sol (...)
black pepper 
Bilakpla pepa (...)
This also means betel ; butter : bata (BAH-tah)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Sori, weta? (SOH-ree, WEH-tah)
I'm finished. 
Mi kaikai pinis. (mee KIGH-kigh PIH-nis)
It was delicious. 
Kaikai em swit nogut tru (...)
Please clear the plates. 
Plis inap yu rausim ol pelet. (...)
The check, please. 
Mi laik baim bil blong kaikai bilong mi. (')
Do you serve alcohol? 
Yu save salim alkahol? (...)
Is there table service? 
Igat tabel sevis? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
Wanpla bia/tupla bia, plis. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Wanpla galas-ret wain plis. (...)
A pint, please. 
Wanpela pint bia, plis. (...)
A bottle, please. 
Wanpela botol, plis. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ na _____, plis. (...)
wiski (WIH-skee)
vodka (...)
rum (...)
wara (WAH-rah)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic wara (...)
orange juice 
orange juice (...)
Coke (soda
Coke, lolli wara (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (...)
One more, please. 
wanpela moa, plis. (...)
Another round, please. 
Wanpla raun ken/gen, plis. (...)
When is closing time? 
Wanem taim bai yupela pas? (...)
Do you have this in my size? 
Yu gat dispela long sais blong mi tu? (...)
How much is this? 
Hamas long dispela? (hah-MAHS lohng DIS-pe-lah)
That's too expensive. 
Prais i antap tumas. (pay ee ahn-TAHP too-MAHS)
Would you take _____? 
Inap mi baim long _____? (...)
dia tumas (DEE-yah too-MAHS)
daun (down)
I can't afford it. 
moni bilong mi no nap. (...)
I don't want it. 
Mi les long dispela. (...)
You're cheating me. 
Yu wok long giamanim mi!. (...)
I'm not interested. 
Mi no laikim tumas. (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
Koan, bai mi kisim. (koh-ahn, bigh mee KEE-sim)
Can I have a bag? 
Can I have a bag? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Yu save salim (ovasis)? (...)
I need... 
Mi laikim... (mee LIGH-keem)
...sop bilong tit. (sohp bi-LOHNG teet)
...a toothbrush. 
...bras bilong tit. (brahs bi-LOHNG teet)
...ol tampon. (...)
...sop. (sohp)
...sop blong garas. (sohp blhong gah-rahs)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...marasin long rausim pen. (...)
...cold medicine. 
...marasin bilong kus. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...marasin bilong bel i pen. (...)
...a razor. 
...resa. (RAY-sah) umbrella. 
...umbarela. (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (...)
...a postcard. 
...poskat. (POHS-kaht)
...postage stamps. 
...stem. (stehm)
...betri. (...)
...writing paper. 
...pepa. (peh-pah)
...a pen. 
...pen. (pehn)
...English-language books. 
...buk long tok Inglis. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...magasin long tok Inglis. (...) English-language newspaper. 
...niuspepa long tok Inglis. (...) English-English dictionary. 
...dikseneri long tok Inglis. (...)
I want to rent a car. 
Mi laik rentim kar. (...)
Can I get insurance? 
Inap mi kisim insurens? (...)
stop (on a street sign
stop (...)
one way 
one way (...)
give way (...)
no parking 
no parking (...)
speed limit 
speed limit (...)
service (petrol, gas) station 
sevis steisen (...)
bensin (BEHN-seen)
diesel (...)
I haven't done anything wrong. 
Mi no wokim wanpela samting i rong. (...)
It was a misunderstanding. 
mipela faul olgeta (...)
Where are you taking me? 
Yu kisim mi go long we? (...)
Am I under arrest? 
Am I under arrest? (...)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Mi manmeri bilong Amerika/Ostrelia/Briten/Kanada. (...)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Mi mas toktok wantaim American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Mi laik toktok long wanpela loia. (...)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Inap mi baim fain nau tasol? (...)
I'm not a paedophile. 
Mi no wok long holim ol pikinini. (...)

See also

Wikibooks:English / Tok Pisin dictionary

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PIDGIN [or PIGEON] ENGLISH, the lingua franca of the seaports of China, the Straits Settlements in the Far East, consisting in a jargon of corrupted English words with some intermixture of Portuguese and Malay, following Chinese idiomatic usage. It is employed as a means of communication between foreigners and the native Chinese. The word "pidgin" is the Chinese corruption of "business."

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From pigeon English, from a Chinese attempt to pronounce the English word business during trades in the Far East.





pidgin (plural pidgins)

  1. (linguistics) an amalgamation of two disparate languages, used by two populations having no common language as a lingua franca to communicate with each other, lacking formalized grammar and having a small, utilitarian vocabulary and no native speakers.
    Middle English likely began as a pidgin between the Norman invaders and the Anglo-Saxon-speaking (Old English) occupants of Britain. Otherwise, how could they have gotten any business done?


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Simple English

The birds are spelled pigeon The instant messaging client is here.

A pidgin is a simplified language. Pidgins usually develop because two groups of people need to talk to each other but do not speak the same language.[1][2] Pidgins are not usually as complicated as many other languages.[3]

Not all simple or "broken" forms of language are pidgins. Pidgins have rules which a person must learn to speak the pidgin well.[4] Countries that use pidgin languages as their official languages include Papua New Guinea,Jamaica and some other Caribbean and Central American countries.


  • Bakker, Peter (1994), "Pidgins", in Jacques Arends, Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction, John Benjamins
  • Hymes,, Dell (1971), Pidginization and Creolization of Languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-07833-4
  • McWhorter, John (2002). The Power of Babel: The Natural History of Language. Random House Group. ISBN 0-06-052085-X. 
  • Sebba, Mark (1997). Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles. MacMillan. ISBN 0-333-63024-6. 
  • Kaufman, Terrence (1988), Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics (first ed.), Berkely: University of California Press
  • Todd, Loreto (1990), Pidgins and Creoles, Routledge, ISBN 0415053110



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