Bislama, Beach-la-Mar (W3)"Bislama" is the dialect of Melanesian Pidgin spoken by over 120,000 people throughout Vanuatu. It has been declared the national language of the country.
Die Bezeichnung "Bislama" entstand im 19. Jh. aus "Beach-la-Mar", das seinerseits auf frz. "biche de mer" = "sea cucumber"= "Seegurke" zurückgeht. Es entstand unter den Arbeitern, die zum Ernten und Bearbeiten der Seegurken eingesetzt wurden.
written by Terry Crowley
This section includes information on:
- background (history, attitudes and use)
- Listen to Bislama.
The name of the language derives from the nineteenth-century word "Beach-la-Mar", which itself derives from the French "biche de mer" = "sea cucumber". Sea cucumbers were also harvested and dried at the same time that sandalwood was gathered in the mid-1800s, and this name came to be associated with the kind of pidgin that came to be used by the local labourers between themselves, as well as their English-speaking overseers.