Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Bislama, also spelled Bichelama and Beach-la-Mar, is a pidgin spoken in Vanuatu. It is closely related to Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea; Pijin of the Solomon Islands; and Broken of the Torres Strait, Queensland, Australia.

"Yumi, Yumi, Yumi", the Vanuatu national anthem, is in Bislama.

Table of contents
1 History
2 External links


Thousands of Ni-Vanuatu were recruited to work mainly on Queensland, Australia, as well as Fiji plantations in the 1870s and 1880s. With multiple languages being spoken in these plantations, a pidgin was formed.

Over the past century or so, this language has evolved to what is currently spoken.


The name of Bislama comes from the nineteenth-century word Beach-la-Mar, which itself derives from the French biche de mer sea cucumber. In the mid-1800s, sea cucumbers were also harvested and dried at the same time that sandalwood was gathered. The name came to be associated with the kind of pidgin that came to be used by the local laborers between themselves, as well as their English-speaking overseers.

External links

A bibliography of Bislama: