Tok Pisin: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tok Pisin
Spoken in Papua New Guinea
Total speakers 5-6 million; approx. 1 million native speakers
Language family Creole language
Official status
Official language in Papua New Guinea
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 tpi
ISO 639-3 tpi

Tok Pisin (pronounced /ˌtɔːk ˈpɪzɪn/ in English, locally pronounced [ˌtokpiˈsin]) is a creole spoken throughout Papua New Guinea; in parts of Western, Gulf, Central, Oro Province and Milne Bay Provinces the use of Tok Pisin has a shorter history, and is less universal, especially among older people. It is an official language of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in that country.

Between 5 and 6 million people use Tok Pisin to some degree, although by no means all of these speak it well. Between 1 and 2 million are exposed to it as a first language, in particular the children of parents or grandparents originally speaking different vernaculars (say, a mother from Madang and a father from Rabaul). Urban families in particular, and those of police and defence force members, often communicate between themselves in Tok Pisin, either never gaining fluency in a vernacular ("tok ples"), or learning a vernacular as a second (or third) language, after Tok Pisin (and possibly English). Perhaps 1 million people now use Tok Pisin as a primary language.

Tok Pisin is also—perhaps more commonly in English—called New Guinea Pidgin and, largely in academic contexts, Melanesian Pidgin English or Neo-Melanesian. Given that Papua New Guinean anglophones almost invariably refer to Tok Pisin as Pidgin when speaking English (and note that the published court reports of Papua New Guinea refer to it as "Pidgin": see for example Schubert v The State [1979] PNGLR 66) it may be considered something of an affectation to call it Tok Pisin, much like referring to German and French as Deutsch and français in English. However, Tok Pisin is favoured by many professional linguists to avoid spreading the misconception that Tok Pisin is still a pidgin language; although it was originally a pidgin, Tok Pisin is now considered a distinct language in its own right because it is a first language for some people and not merely a lingua franca to facilitate communication with speakers of other languages.



Tok is derived from English "talk" but like many such words has a wider application, also meaning "word" or "speech" and even "language" - pisin is derived from English "pidgin".


The Tok Pisin language is a result of Pacific Islanders intermixing, when people speaking numerous different languages were sent to work on plantations in Queensland and various islands (see South Sea Islander and Blackbirding). The labourers began to develop a pidgin, drawing vocabulary primarily from English, but also from German, Malay, Portuguese and their own Austronesian languages (perhaps especially Kuanua, that of the Tolai people of East New Britain). This English-based pidgin evolved into Tok Pisin in German New Guinea (where the German-based creole Unserdeutsch was also spoken). It became a widely used lingua franca — and language of interaction between rulers and ruled, and among the ruled themselves who did not share a common vernacular; the closely-related Bislama in Vanuatu and Pijin in the Solomon Islands developed in parallel. The flourishing of the mainly English-based Tok Pisin in German New Guinea (despite the language of the metropolitan power being German) is to be contrasted with Hiri Motu, the lingua franca of Papua, which was derived not from English but from Motu, the vernacular of the indigenous people of the Port Moresby area.

Official status

Along with English and Hiri Motu, Tok Pisin is one of the three official languages of Papua New Guinea. It is frequently the language of debate in the national parliament. Most government documents are in English, but public information campaigns are often partially or entirely in Tok Pisin. While English is the main language in the education system, some schools use Tok Pisin in the first three years of elementary education to promote early literacy.

Regional variations

There are considerable variations in vocabulary and grammar in various parts of Papua New Guinea, with distinct dialects in the New Guinea Highlands, the north coast of Papua New Guinea (Pidgin speakers from Finschafen speak rather quickly and often have difficulty making themselves understood elsewhere) and the New Guinea Islands. The variant spoken on Bougainville and Buka is moderately distinct from that of New Ireland and East New Britain but is much closer to that than it is to the Pijin spoken in the rest of the Solomon Islands.


Tok Pisin, like many pidgins and creoles, has a far simpler phonology than the superstrate language. It has 16 consonants and 5 vowels. However, this varies with the local substrate languages and the level of education of the speaker. The following is the "core" phonemic inventory, common to virtually all varieties of Tok Pisin. More educated speakers, and/or those where the substrate language(s) have larger phoneme inventories, may have as many as 10 distinct vowels.

Nasal plus plosive offsets lose the plosive element in Tok Pisin e.g. English hand becomes Tok Pisin han. Furthermore, voiced plosives become voiceless at the ends of words, so that English pig is rendered as pik in Tok Pisin.



Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d k ɡ
Fricative v s h
Nasal m n ŋ
Lateral l
Approximant w j
Rhotic consonant r
  • Where symbols appear in pairs the one to the left represents a voiceless consonant.
  • /t/, /d/, and /l/ can be either dental or alveolar consonants, while /n/ is only alveolar.
  • In most Tok Pisin dialects, /r/ is a tap or flap.


Tok Pisin has five vowels, similar to the vowels of Spanish, Japanese, and many other five-vowel languages:

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a


The verb has one suffix, -im (from "him") to indicate transitivity (luk, look; lukim, see). But some verbs, such as kaikai "eat", can be transitive without it. Tense is indicated by the separate words bai (future) (from "by and by") and bin (past) (from "been"). The present progressive tense is indicated by the word stap - e.g. "eating" is kaikai stap (or this can be seen as having a "food stop").

The noun does not indicate number, though pronouns do.

Adjectives usually take the suffix -pela (from "fellow") when modifying nouns; an exception is liklik "little". Liklik can also be used as an adverb meaning "slightly", as in dispela bikpela liklik ston, "this slightly big stone". The suffix -pela in some places, such as Port Moresby, is sometimes pronounced -pla. Numbers often take the suffix also, e.g. wanpela or tupela for one and two.

Pronouns show person, number, and clusivity. The paradigm varies depending on the local languages; dual number is common, while the trial is less so. The largest Tok Pisin pronoun inventory is,

Singular Dual Trial Plural
1st exclusive mi
(he/she and I)
(both of them, and I)
(all of them, and I)
1st inclusive - yumitupela
(thou and I)
(both of you, and I)
yumipela or yumi
(all of you, and I)
2nd yu
(you two)
(you three)
(you four or more)
3rd em
(they two)
(they three)
(they four or more)

Reduplication is very common in Tok Pisin. Sometimes it is used as a method of derivation; sometimes words just have it. Some words are distinguished only by reduplication: sip "ship", sipsip "sheep".

There are only two proper prepositions: bilong (from "belong"), which means "of" or "for", and long (from "along"), which means everything else. (Note that longlong (i.e. long reduplicated) means 'crazy'). Some phrases are used as prepositions, such as long namel (bilong), "in the middle of".

Several of these features derive from the common grammatical norms of Austronesian languages - although usually in a simplified form. Other features, such as word order, are however closer to English.

Sentences which have a 3rd person subject often put the word i just before the verb. This may or may not be written separate from the verb, occasionally written as a prefix. It was once thought to be an abbreviation for "he" or "is", but now is thought to be a grammatical construction instead. E.g. "Kar i tambu long hia" is "car forbidden here", i.e. "no parking".

Development of Tok Pisin

Tok Pisin is a language that developed out of regional dialects of the languages of the local inhabitants and English, brought into the country when English speakers arrived. There were four phases in the development of Tok Pisin that were laid out by Loreto Todd.

  1. Casual contact between English speakers and local people developed a marginal pisin
  2. Pisin English was used between the local people. The language expanded from the users' mother tongue
  3. As the interracial contact increased the vocabulary expanded according to the dominant language.
  4. In areas where English was the official language a depidginization occurred (Todd, 1990)

Tok Pisin is also known as a "mixed" language. This means that it consists of characteristics of different languages. Tok Pisin obtained most of its vocabulary from the English language: i.e. English is its lexifier. The origin of the syntax is a matter of debate. Hymes (Hymes 1971b: 5) claims that the syntax is from the substratum languages: i.e. the languages of the local peoples. (Hymes 1971b: 5). Derek Bickerton's analysis of creoles, on the other hand, claims that the syntax of creoles is imposed on the grammarless pidgin by its first native speakers: the children who grow up exposed to only a pidgin rather than a more developed language such as one of the local languages or English. In this analysis, the original syntax of creoles is in some sense the default grammar humans are born with.

Pidgins are less elaborated than non-Pidgin languages. Their typical characteristics found in Tok Pisin are:

  1. A smaller vocabulary which leads to metaphors to supply lexical units:
    • Smaller vocabulary:
      Tok Pisin: "vot"; English: "election" (n) and "vote" (v)
      Tok Pisin: "hevi"; English: "heavy" (adj) and "weight" (n)
    • Metaphors:
      Tok Pisin: "skru bilong han" (screw of the arm); English: "elbow" (This is almost always just "skru" - hardly ever distinguished as "skru bilong han" except in liturgical contexts, where "brukim skru" is "kneel").
      Tok Pisin: "gras bilong het" (grass of the head); English: "hair" (Hall, 1966: 90f)(Most commonly just "gras" -- see note on "skru bilong han" above).
  2. A reduced grammar: lack of copula, prepositions, determiners and conjunctions
  3. Less differentiated phonology: [p] and [f] are not distinguished in Tok Pisin (they are in free variation). The sibilants /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /tʃ/, and /dʒ/ are also not distinguished.
    "pis" in Tok Pisin could mean in English: "beads", "fish", "peach", "feast" or "peace".
    "sip" in Tok Pisin could mean in English: "ship", "jib", "jeep", "sieve" or "chief"

Tenses of Tok Pisin

Past Tense: Marked by "bin": Tok Pisin: "Na praim minista i bin tok olsem". English: "And the prime minister spoke thus". (Romaine 1991: 629)

Continuative Same Tense is expressed through: Verb + i stap. Tok Pisin: "Em i slip i stap". English: "He/ She is sleeping". (ibid.: 631)

Completive or perfective aspect expressed through the word "pinis" (from English: finish): Tok Pisin: "Em i lusim bot pinis". English: "He had got out of the boat". (Mühlhäusler 1984: 462).

Transitive words are expressed through "-im" (from English: him): Tok Pisin: "Yu pinisim stori nau." English: "Finish your story now!". (ibid.: 640).

Future is expressed through the word "bai" (from English: by and by): Tok Pisin: "Em bai ol i go long rum" English: "They will go to their rooms now. (Mühlhäusler 1991: 642).

The ending -pela is used as a plural marker and for adjectives and determiners. Tok Pisin: "Dispela boi" → English: "This bloke". Tok Pisin: "Mipela" → English: "We". Tok Pisin: "Yupela" → English: "You all". (ibid. 640f).

The Preposition "long" in Tok Pisin stands for "at, in, on, to, with, until" in English and "bilong" in Tok Pisin stands for "of, from, for" in English:

Tok Pisin: "Mipela i go long blekmaket". → English: "We went to the black market".

Tok Pisin: "Ki bilong yu" → English: "your key"

Tok Pisin: "Ol bilong Godons". → English: "They are from Gordon's". (ibid. 640f).


Tok Pisin can sound very colourful in its use of words, which are derived from English (with Australian influences), indigenous Melanesian languages and German (part of the country was under German rule until 1914).

  • as - bottom, cause, beginning (from "ass"/"arse"). "As ples bilong em" = "his birthplace"
  • bagarap(im) - broken, to break down (from "bugger up") - also used in Papua New Guinea English in contexts that would be considered vulgar in other countries.
  • bagarap olgeta - completely broken
  • balus - airplane or bird (from a Melanesian word for "bird")
  • belhat - angry (lit. "belly hot")
  • belo - lunch (from the bellow of horns used by businesses to indicate the lunch hour has begun)
  • bilong wanem? - why?
  • bubu - grandparent, any elderly relation - also grandchild. Possibly from Hiri Motu - where it is a familiar form of tubu, as in tubuna or tubugu.
  • diwai - tree, plant, stick etc.
  • gat bel - pregnant (lit. "has belly"; pasin bilong givim bel = fertility)
  • hamamas / amamas - happy
  • hap - a piece of, as in "hap diwai" = a piece of wood. (from "half")
  • haus - house
    • haus meri - female domestic servant
    • haus moni - bank
    • haus sik - hospital
    • haus dok sik - animal hospital (from "house dog sick")
    • haus karai - place of mourning
    • sit haus (rarely used) - toilet, also:
    • liklik haus - toilet
    • haus tambaran - traditional Sepik-region house with artifacts of ancestors or for honoring ancestors; tambaran means "ancestor spirit" or "ghost"
  • hevi - heavy, problem. "Em i gat bigpela hevi" = "he has a big problem".
  • hukim pis - to catch fish (from "hook")
  • kaikai - food, eat (a Polynesian loan)
  • kakaruk - chicken (probably onamatapoetic, from the crowing of the rooster)
  • kamap - arrive, become (from "come up")
  • kisim - get, take (from "catch them")
  • lotu - church, from Fijian, but sometimes sios is used for "church"
  • manki - small boy, by extension, young man (from Australian English jocular/affectionate usage "monkey", applied to mischievous small boys). Various ideas about the word being derived from German, or even from Flemish are possibly attempts to explain away a presumed (but non-existent) racist origin.
  • maski - it doesn't matter, don't worry about it (from German "macht nichts" = "it doesn't matter")
  • manmeri - people
  • maus gras - moustache (lit: mouth grass).
  • meri - woman (from the English name "Mary"). Also means female, e.g. "Bulmakau meri" (lit. "bull cow female") = cow.
  • olgeta - all (from "all together")
  • olsem wanem - how?
  • pikinini - child (from Pacific Pidgin English, but ultimately from Portuguese influenced Lingua franca, cf. pickaninny)
  • pisin - bird (from "pidgeon")
  • pasim - close, lock (from "fasten")
    • pasim maus - shut up, be quiet, i.e. "yu pasim maus" lit: "you close mouth" = "shut up!"
  • paul - chicken, confused, i.e. "em i paul" = "he is confused"
  • rausim - get out, throw out (from German "raus")
  • rokrok - frog (probably onomatopoetic)
  • sapos - if (from "suppose")
  • save - know, to do habitually (from Pacific Pidgin English, but ultimately from Portuguese influenced Lingua franca, cf. "savvy")
  • sit - remnant (from "shit")
  • solwara - ocean (from "salt water")
  • stap - be, live, stay (from "stop")
  • susa - sister, though nowadays almost universally supplanted by "sista". Incidently a woman's sister is her "barata"
  • susu - milk, breasts, from Malay
  • tambu - forbidden, from "taboo", but also means "in-laws" (mother-in-law, brother-in-law, etc.) and other relatives whom one is forbidden to speak to, or mention the name of, in some PNG customs.
  • tasol - but, only (from "that's all")

Example of Tok Pisin

The Lord's Prayer in Tok Pisin:

Papa bilong mipela
Yu stap long heven.
Nem bilong yu i mas i stap holi.
Kingdom bilong yu i mas i kam.
Strongim mipela long bihainim laik bilong yu long graun,
olsem ol i bihainim long heven.
Givim mipela kaikai inap long tude.
Pogivim rong bilong mipela,
olsem mipela i pogivim ol arapela i mekim rong long mipela.
Sambai long mipela long taim bilong traim.
Na rausim olgeta samting nogut long mipela.
Kingdom na strong na glori, em i bilong yu tasol oltaim oltaim.

The Lord's Prayer in English:

Our father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever.

See also


  • Mihalic, Francis (1971). The Jacaranda Dictionary and Grammar of Melanesian Pidgin. Milton, Queensland: Jacaranda Press. ISBN 0701681128. OCLC 213236.  
  • Murphy, John Joseph (1985). The Book of Pidgin English (6th edition ed.). Bathurst, New South Wales: Robert Brown. ISBN 0404141609. OCLC 5354671.  
  • Smith, Geoff P. (2002). Growing Up With Tok Pisin: Contact, Creolization, and Change in Papua New Guinea's National Language. London: Battlebridge Publications. ISBN 1903292069. OCLC 49834526.  
  • Dutton, Thomas Edward; Thomas, Dicks (1985). A New Course in Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin). Canberra: Australian National University. ISBN 0858833417. OCLC 15812820.  
  • Wurm, S. A.; Mühlhäusler, P. (1985). Handbook of Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin). Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 0858833212. OCLC 12883165.  
  • (in Tok Pisin) Nupela Testamen bilong Bikpela Jisas Kraist. The Bible Society of Papua New Guinea. 1980. ISBN 0647036711. OCLC 12329661.  

External links

Tok Pisin edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



Tok Pisin, ultimately from English talk + pidgin or business


  • IPA: /tɔk pɪzɪn/,
  • SAMPA: /tOk pIzIn/

Proper noun

Tok Pisin


Tok Pisin

  1. A creole of Indo-European, Malayo-Polynesian and Trans-New-Guinean languages (principally English and Kuanua); one of the official languages of Papua New Guinea.


Related terms

See also

External links

Tok Pisin


English talk + pidgin (ultimately from business)

Proper noun

Tok Pisin

  1. Tok Pisin

Related terms


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection


About Tok Pisin

Wikipedia article about Tok Pisin

Tok Pisin Wikipedia

Tok Pisin Phrasebook (in progress) at Wikitravel

Phonology (sounds)

Basic vocabulary and its use

See also Dictionary


There are basically two types of verbs in Tok Pisin: transitive and intransitive.

  • In general, transitive verbs end in -im. Example: kisim (sampela samting), take, receive something
  • In general, intransitive verbs do not end in -im. Example: slip (long nait), sleep (at night)

More about verbs


Nouns are usually not marked for plural in Tok Pisin.

More about nouns


There are basically four types of adjectives in Tok Pisin:

  • Class 1 adjectives have the suffix -pela in attributive position, and also when they follow the copula. Example: bikpela, big. Bikpela haus, A big building, Haus i bikpela, The building is big.
  • Class 2 adjectives have the suffix -pela in attributive position, but they usually lose it when they follow the copula. Example: kolpela, cold. Kolpela wara, Cold water but Wara i kol, The water is cold.
  • Class 3 adjectives do not have the suffix -pela. Example: liklik, small. Liklik haus, A small building, Haus i liklik, The building is small.
  • Class 4 adjectives do not have the suffix -pela either. Unlike other adjectives, they stand after the noun in attributive position. Example: nogut, bad. Tok nogut, bad words, insults.

More about adjectives


They are two basic prepositions in Tok Pisin: bilong and long.

  • bilong is used for attribution. Examples: haus bilong mi, My home; Han bilong diwai, Arm of a tree; branch.
  • long is used as an universal preposition for other meanings.

Nevertheless, there is one other self standing preposition: wantaim, with. There are also all kinds of compound preposition like ananit long, under; insait long, in; antap long, on, above, etc.

More about prepositions


More about adverbs



Personal pronouns

Interrogative pronouns

Basic Grammar

  • Common Phrases
  • How to build a sentence
  • Present, past and future
  • Aspects
  • Complex sentences

Getting started

Lessons and exercises


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