June 8th • 2 min read

Why learning Tok Pisin is essential for expats living in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a country that is rich in culture and diversity. Life in PNG can also be challenging, particularly if you are working as an expat, you may struggle to communicate with the locals due to the different languages spoken in the country. This is where learning Tok Pisin can make a significant difference. Tok Pisin will open up so many opportunities such as building relationships with locals or communicating efficiently in your professional environment.
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1. Tok Pisin is the most widely spoken language in PNG

While there are over 800 indigenous languages spoken in Papua New Guinea, Tok Pisin also known as Pidgin is the most widely spoken language in the country and became the official language along with English and Hiri Motu. It is a creole language that it’s based on English, but also includes words from German, Portuguese and other indigenous languages like Melanesian Pidgin or Motu. It is the language of business, government, and the media, and is used to facilitate communication between people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Its cultural heritage makes it a unique and interesting language to learn. 


2. Tok Pisin can help expats navigate everyday life in PNG


Learning Tok Pisin, therefore, opens the door to communicating with a much larger portion of the population, including in many rural areas where it is the primary language spoken.
Tok Pisin is used in shops, markets, and public transportation, and knowing even just a few key phrases can make all the difference in getting around and communicating with the locals. This can also help you as an expat to feel more connected to the local community and make their experience in PNG much more enjoyable.


3. Tok Pisin can lead to stronger relationships


Language is a crucial component of building relationships, and in PNG, this is particularly true. By learning Tok Pisin, as an expat you can demonstrate your respect for the local culture and show your willingness to engage with the locals on a deeper level. This can help to build trust and create stronger relationships, which can be beneficial both in personal and professional settings.


Tok Pisin is an essential part of Papua New Guinean culture


Learning Tok Pisin is an essential part of immersing oneself in Papua New Guinean culture. It can help you to better understand the local customs, traditions, and way of life, which can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling experience in the country. 


One great way for expats in Papua New Guinea to learn Tok Pisin is by taking a course. A course can provide a structured and supportive learning environment, and can help you learn the language more quickly and effectively. At Easy Skill, we offer a comprehensive online training course that provides an introduction to the Tok Pisin language and Papua New Guinea culture. It is specifically designed for expats without prior knowledge of Tok Pisin, and can help you feel more confident and prepared as you navigate life in Papua New Guinea.


So make time to learn this fascinating language and culture. It will be an incredibly rewarding journey.



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Lauriane Pellaud

Marketing Coordinator and creative pro. She enjoys simplifying complex topics into simple narratives to engage audiences and communities. Food lover and seamstress in her spare time.

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