Languages of Aruba


Languages of Aruba

On the Caribbean island of Aruba, there are many languages spoken. The official language is Dutch, and schools require students to learn both English and Spanish. French and, to a lesser extent, Portuguese are also present on the island. However, Arubans also speak a local creole language known as Papiamento, according to the Government of Aruba [ [http://aruba.com/pages/language.htm "Languages of Aruba" - Government of Aruba (official site) - 2005] ] an Afro-Portuguese Creole.

Dutch has been the official language of the island for years as the island is a partner of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but Aruba has recognized English as an international language, and has required that children learn English as early as the 4th grade. Aruba's location off the coast of South America has also made Spanish extremely important. Students begin learning this as early as 5th grade.

Papiamento is a creole language with roots mainly from Portuguese, and to a lesser extend, from Dutch and English, and originated in the 16th century as a a means of communication among slaves and slave drivers to communicate.

This native language was not considered important on Aruba until 1995 and was officially included in school curriculum in 1998 and 1999. Since, the island has embraced Papiamento, a Papiamento dictionary and fairy tales written in Papiamento are now available on the island.

Selected Aruban Papiamento Phrases

References

External links

* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=AW Ethnologue report for Aruba]


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