Proof the internet is the greatest thing ever happened to languages
Thread poster: Michael Jones

Michael Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:52
Member (2006)
Italian to English
+ ...
May 9, 2008

I posted a comment a few weeks ago about how great the internet is for language diversity.
Well today I just blew myself away.

I was looking for some information about a word in the Tetum language, which is one of the two official languages of East Timor, the other being Portuguese. The word was "tratamentu".

Ok, forget that, I actually discovered a language I had never heard of before, a fantastic amalagam of European, African and American sources called Papiamento (or Papiamentu), spoken in the Carribean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao (ABC, get it?).

Wow, I went through over 50 years of life without ever knowing about this.

Google it yourself, and enjoy.

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:52
English to Dutch
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Thanks Michael May 9, 2008

Funny, I've known about Papiamentu since I don't know when. Aruba et al being part of the Dutch colonies. At school, I was told to remember their names as the ABC-islands indeed.

But I never knew about Tetum! Thanks!

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Faruk Atabeyli  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:52
English to Turkish
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More languages May 9, 2008

Take a look at this interesting site.

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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
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Ethnologue May 9, 2008
This is another very good site, if you wanna know "all the languages ever around" (or almost...)
Here you are, for Tetun: - a language from Indonesia, Austronesian family; - Tetun Dili, language of East Timor, actually a Tetun-based Creole.

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Richenel Ansano  Identity Verified
Neth. Antilles
Local time: 14:52
Spanish to English
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Happy to see your post. Oct 13, 2009


I am a native speaker of Papiamentu and always enjoy it when people discover our language like this. There are a lot of similarities, especially in vocabulary, with all these other languages that were influenced by Portuguese and other Iberian languages. First time I heard of Tetum. Truly a wonderful way to know bits and pieces of the world!

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Ulrike H
Local time: 19:52
English to German
+ ...
the internet has a lot of advantages for people interested in languages... Oct 13, 2009

Oh, Papiamentu is a language I always wanted to learn (well since about ten years ago when I first learned about it), unfortunately so far I haven't had time or opportunity for that... About Tetum on the other hand I never had heard either.

But the internet is not only great for learning about the existence of languages, but also for learning and practicing languages...

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