Bislama

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A language of Vanuatu

Alternate Names
Bichelamar
Population

10,000 in Vanuatu (2011), increasing. Ethnic population: 95% Melanesian. L2 users: Widely used by European and Asian expat residents, NGO’s and development agencies.

Location

Widespread.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Statutory language of national identity (1980, Constitution, Art 3(1)).Most in the country understand and use it as lingua franca and as a symbol of national identity.

Dialects

None known. Partially intelligible with Pijin [pis] (Solomon Islands) and Tok Pisin [tpi] (Papua New Guinea), but, unlike them, Bislama has some French loanwords.

Language Use

All ages, except elderly or youngest rural speakers. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], French [fra]. Used as L2 by Daakaka [bpa], Eton [etn], Lakon [lkn], Lamenu [lmu], Lelepa [lpa], Lewo [lww], Marino [mrb], Maskelynes [klv], Merei [lmb], North Tanna [tnn], Sakao [sku], South Efate [erk].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 35%. Literacy rate in L2: Low. Proposed vernacular education (2011). Widespread informal use in elementary schools. Used informally in classrooms in secondary schools. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1998.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian.

Also spoken in:

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