Bislama

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BISLAMA. A variety of Melanesian pidgin and the national language of VANUATU, sharing official status with English and French, which are the principal languages of education. Bislama, descended from BEACH LA MAR, is a LINGUA FRANCA for a population speaking some 100 distinct local languages, and is more or less evenly distributed throughout the country. It used to be learned mainly in adulthood by men, usually through work on plantations, in town, or on ships. Most adult males probably speak it, except in isolated parts of the islands. In towns today, most children speak their vernacular and Bislama. In the southern islands there has been an unbroken tradition of Bislama for almost 150 years. The constitution of Vanuatu states: Lanwis blong Ripablik blong Vanuatu, hemia Bislama. Trifala lanwis blong mekem ol wok blong kantri ya, i gat Bislama mo Inglis mo Franis ‘The language of the Republic of Vanuatu is Bislama. There are three languages for conducting the business of the country, Bislama, English, and French.’ See MELANESIAN PIDGIN ENGLISH.

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