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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
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.