Bislama is the national language of Vanuatu, an archipelago nation in the South Pacific. It is a pidgin language, derived from English, French and various Melanesian languages. Although English is the official language of Vanuatu, Bislama is widely spoken and is the lingua franca of the country. Bislama has its roots in the colonial history of Vanuatu. When the British and French began colonizing the islands in the 19th century, they brought with them their own languages. But with a large number of different languages spoken among the Melanesian population, communication between the two groups was difficult. To make communication easier, a pidgin language developed, which drew elements from both English and French. This pidgin language eventually developed into Bislama. Bislama has been described as a "creole without creoles", because it does not have a stable base language. It is constantly evolving, with new words and phrases being added all the time. This makes it a very dynamic and flexible language. Bislama is written with the Latin alphabet, and there is no standard way of spelling words. This can make it difficult for people who are not familiar with the language to read. However, the flexibility of the language means that it can be easily adapted to different situations and contexts. Bislama is spoken by about 200,000 people, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the Pacific region. It is the native language of about a quarter of the population of Vanuatu. Bislama is also spoken in other countries in the region, including Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Language group

Creoles and pidgins, English‑based

Language locales, regions and scripts

Bislama, Vanuatu, Latin
Bislama, Latin
Bislama, Vanuatu