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Learning Papiamento

The main reason to learn Papiamento is to make life easier on Curacao. By this we mean that speaking Papiamento is respectful to the people and you therefore often get things done faster. For daily dealings, arranging bureaucratic matters and order you in Dutch and English fine feet.

On holiday?

On holiday it’s fun to learn a few Papiamentu words and phrases to impress your familiy at home, but to get through your stay on the island, it is not necessary.

We won’t recommend not finish any course and it’s always good to expand your language skills!


Perhaps you’ve decided to do an internship in Curacao as the official language is Dutch, and this makes some things a biot easier.

We recommend you to learn small courtesies like “Bon dia” (Good day), to learn and to use “Bon siman” (Have a fine week) and “Masha danki” (Thank you). It is a world of difference to the local population if you – as an intern – say “Bon tardi”.

Live and work?

Have you decided to emigrate to Curacao and take a job here? Then the decision to learn the local language is mostly about the type of job and your personal motivation how important it is to master the local language.

In businesses where you work with local people the one Papiamento sentence you speak could really mean the difference to closing the contract or upcoming cooperation.

However, do you work in tourism or hospitality? It is primarily important to speak English and preferably Spanish. Papiamento ensures that you can communicate with your local colleagues which makes your work experience just a bit more fun.


In the Netherlands and of course on Curacao multiple companies and people are able to teaach you Papiamento. You can choose to follow a school course, be thaught at home or at work, or join some facebook group to learn Papiamento. Obviously it is also possible to just get out there and practice and learn on the street and gradually expand your vocabulary.

To get you started, we however recommend you to start with the video course below. It is of high quality and will teach you most important phrases in day to day life. 

Learn Papiamento – Lesson 1 – Introducing yourself

Learn Papiamento – Lesson 2 – Counting 1 to 10

Learning Papiamento – #3 – Counting 11 to 19

Learning Papiamento – #4 – Counting 20 to 100 

Learning Papiamento – #5 – Personal pronouns

Learning Papiamento – #6 – Possessive pronouns

Learning Papiamento – #7 – Useful words and Greetings

Learning Papiamento – #8 – Colors

Learning Papiamento – #9 – Useful phrases

Learning Papiamento – Lesson 10 – Days and months

Learning Papiamento – Lesson 11 – Valentine’s day

Learning Papiamento – Lesson 12 – Travelling by plane

Learning Papiamento – Lesson 13 – At the hotel

Learning Papiamento – Lesson 14 – Directions

Learning Papiamento – Lesson 15 – At the restaurant

Learning Papiamento – Lesson 16 – Reading time

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