Going on vacation in Curacao?

Although, Dutch is the official language, papiamentu (not papiamento as it is often said, papiamento is spoken in Aruba) is used most.
Even though most, if not all locals speak papiamentu, english, dutch and spanish. Many people enjoy it when others try to speak their language, they like people to make at least an effort.


A few words worth remembering are:


Bon dia - Good morning

Bon tardi - Good Afternoon

Bon nochi - Good Evening / Good Night

Kon ta bai? / Kombai? - How is it, how are things going with you.

Masha bon - Very good

Bon - Good

Malu - Bad (hardly ever stated though)

Mi ta buskando un baÑo(banyo) - I'm looking for a bathroom.

Tin un baÑo akinan? - Is there a bathroom here?

Mener / SeÑor - Mister / Sir

Jufrouw / SeÑora - Mis / Madam

ajo (ah - yo) - Goodbye


Places: 

Bandariba - the eastside of the island, east of Willemstad

Bandabou - the westside of the island, to the west of Willemstad

Otrobanda - westside of Willemstad, literally menaning "the other side"

Punda - eastside of Willemstad, the old citycentre. Punda means "point"

playa - beach

kunuku - the rural little developped area

mondi -  the bush, rural undevelopped area

botika - drugstore 


Some food and drinks: 

awa - water

pastechi - pastry filled with cheese (pastechi keshi), tuna, meat or vegetables

pan - bread 

funchi - local cornbread 

stóba -  stew

kabritu - goat 

múla - type of fish 

awa lamoenchi / limoenchi - lemonade made from limes, with "frozen" added it's a lime slush puppy. The most refreshing drink on the island

batido - a fruitbased smoothie, sold in little stalls across the island

dushi - sweet / sweetie. This is used in the sense of pan dushi, sweet bread; dushi Korsou: sweet Curacao, but also as common word between young friends when greeting one and other (eeeeey dushi; hi darling) or used by boys to express their interest in an unknown girl passing by. A dushi is always a female. 

swa - dude (eeeeey swa - hi dude)  slang used by younger people


And the most important:

Danki - Thank you

Masha danki - thank you very much

Di nada - Your welcome
Diskulpami / Sori (Sorry) - Excuse me / Sorry

The people of Curacao are very polite, so use these often. It will be appreciated.


A few extra things to know:

When bumping in to someone always say you are sorry (they are not going to start a fight or anything but..it's best.).
When going in to a public transport bus, the doctors office or a restaurant (not a luxurious one though) always greet everyone (this should be done with: Bondia/tardi/nochi).

If you are speaking papiamentu to someone and you get anything wrong or are trying to learn something the locals will most likelly help you, so don't hesitate to ask!

If you go out to dinner, dress nicely and look sharp, especially when invited over by Curacao people. If you are in company of Curacao people don't smoke at the dinner table, but go outside or to the bar.