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BISLAMA ( Bichelamar )

Lingua franca spoken by 5,000 people in Vanuatu.
Linguistic Lineage for Bislama

From samting ia, prea bilong yufala i mas olsem emia, se
'Papa bilong mifala,
yu yu stap antap long heven,
Mifala i wantem we nem bilong yu i tabu.
Mifala i wantem we kingdom bilong yu i kam,
Mo we olgeta man long wol oli wokem olgeta samting we yu yu wantem,
olsem olgeta long heven oli stap wokem.
Mifala i askem yu bilong tedei yu givem kakai long mifala,
i stret bilong tedei nomo.
Mifala i askem yu bilong yu fogivem mifala from ol samting nogud bilong mifala,
Olsem we mifala i stap fogivem ol man we oli stap mekem i nogud long mifala.
Mifala i askem yu bilong yu no tekem mifala i go long sam samting we bambae oli traem mifala tumas,
Mo bilong yu blokem Setan i no kam kasem mifala.'

Note: (") following a letter means there is a macron of that letter.

Source: "GUD NYUS BILONG JISAS KRAIS" The Four Gospels in New Hebrides Bislama/Les Quatre Evangiles en Bichelamar Neo Hebridais. (1971)
Contributed by Wolfgang Kuhl - E-mail WKuhl44238@aol.com

Another version

From samting ya, i stret yufala i prea olsem hemia:
Papa blong mifala we yu stap long heven,
nem blong yu i tabu.
Mifala i wantem we olgeta man oli ona long yu,
mo we yu yu kam king blong olgeta man,
mo we olgeta man long wol oli mekem olsem we yu yu wantem,
olsem we olgeta long heven oli stap mekem.
Plis yu givim kakae long mifala,
i naf blong tede.
Yu fogivim mifala from ol sin blong mifala,
olsem we mifala i stap fogivim ol man
we oli mekem i nogud long mifala.
Yu no letem ol samting oli kam traem mifala tumas,
yu blokem Setan i no kam spolem mifala.

Source: "NYUTESTEMAN LONG BISLAMA" Nyufala Promes Blong Jisas Kraes, Masta Blong Yumi. The New Testament in Vanuatu Bislama - Le Nouveau Testament en Bichelamar de Vanuatu (1980)
Contributed by Wolfgang Kuhl - E-mail WKuhl44238@aol.com

Bislama (also known as Bichelamar, Bichlamar, Beche-la-mer, Beach-la-mar and Pislama), which is the lingua franca of Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), emerged during the last century from diverse forms of pidginized English. One was Chinese Pidgin English, a trade jargon based on English words arranged in sentences after the Chinese grammar. It was first introduced to the New Hebrides by traders who came for trepang, an edible sea-slug much sought after by Chinese gourmets. Trepang is called in French beche-de-mer or biche-de-mer, from the Portuguese bicho de mar (sea worm), and it is believed that the name Bichelamar is a corruption of biche-de-mer or bicho de mar. This jargon, which depended for its diffusion only on the brief visits of trading ships, played at most a secondary role in the birth of Bichelamar, though it might well have prepared the way for it.

The major influence, however, most probably came from the pidginized forms of English used in Queensland by Europeans to communicate with their laborers, most of whom where recruited in the New Hebrides. For these New Hebrideans would resort to this pidginized English to communicate not only with their employers, but also between themselves, either out of sheer necessity (well over a hundred native languages are spoken in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) nowadays), or out of snobbery, believing as they did that it was the language of the white chiefs, so rich and powerful in their eyes.


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