The countries with the most indigenous languages include Papua New Guinea (850+), Indonesia (700+), Nigeria (500+), and India (450+)—Vanuatu, with 138 indigenous languages, doesn’t come close. But whereas Indonesia, Nigeria, and India are also some of the most populous countries in the world, Vanuatu is home to only around 307,000 people, giving it the highest linguistic density in the world. To unite all the residents of this Pacific Island country, a lingua franca is essential—and that’s where Bislama comes in.
Bislama has only around 10,000 native speakers—mostly urban Ni-Vanuatu who live in the country’s biggest cities, Port Vila and Luganville—with around 200,000 second-language speakers. The official languages of Vanuatu are Bislama, English, and French, although 63% of the country speaks an indigenous language natively, learning Bislama to communicate with people from other parts of the country. Around 62% of Ni-Vanuatu also speak English, and an additional 31% knows basic French. In such a multilingual society, Bislama serves an essential role as a communication tool, but unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of translation services for the language. So, we at TranslationServices.com have set up our own Bislama translation team.
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What is Bislama like as a language?
Bislama isn’t your typical Oceanic language—in fact, it’s an English-based creole language. Heavily resembling Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea and Pijin in the Solomon Islands, Bislama developed through contact with Europeans and other Pacific Islanders, resulting in a creole language with more than 95% of vocabulary derived from English roots but almost all the grammatical structures Oceanic in nature. Bislama is usually written in the Latin alphabet, although speakers on the island of Pentecost sometimes use the indigenous avoiuli script.
Like many other Austronesian languages, Bislama features a pronoun system with different versions of “we” depending on whether the listener is included. Pronouns also come in four numbers—singular, dual, trial, and plural. Transitive verbs in Bislama (i.e., those that take a direct object) generally take the suffix -im, -em, or -um, although there are a few exceptions, such as kakae (to eat) or trink (to drink). Bislama verbs do not conjugate—to express tense, aspect, and mood, Bislama uses particles. The precise position of a verbal particle in a sentence depends on the particle.
We’re here to serve all your Bislama translation needs.
Our Bislama translators are well versed with their unique language and know precisely how to translate between Bislama and English, so despite the complexities, you don’t have to worry. It doesn’t even matter whether you’re seeking translation from Bislama to English or from English to Bislama because our translators are trained to provide high-quality translation in both directions. Our translators can even handle translation to or from Bislama in the avoiuli script! So, whether you want us to translate historical documents and traditional stories from Bislama, helping spread the culture and history of Vanuatu around the world, or whether you’re looking for the translation of educational materials or books, games, websites, apps, and more into Bislama to boost content in the language, our team is eager to help you.
Don’t wait to get started with Bislama translation services! You can send us a message with the details whenever you’re ready.