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Tok Pisin: World’s most beautiful language

| Nesia Daily

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea is considered the most linguistically diverse place on earth and according to a published study its national language takes the crown as the most beautiful.

Surpassing famed love languages like Italian and Spanish, the research published in the Journal of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences showed Tok Pisin was the highest-rated.

Researchers collected more than 2,000 recordings of 228 languages from 43 language families and asked 820 native speakers of English, Chinese or Semitic languages to indicate their favourites.

While all languages in the study ranged closely, Tok Pisin rated the "highest pleasantness score on average", according to researchers from Lund University in Sweden and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

On a scale ranging from 1 to 100, the top languages placed somewhere around 42-43, while those less favoured ranked around 37-38.

Sakarepe Kamene, a linguist from the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, said Tok Pisin made a lot of "very interesting expressions because it borrows from many of the existing languages".

The Pacific is home to more than 10% of the world's languages and, as PNG's most widely used language, Tok Pisin has approximately four million speakers.

"When the planters came to Papua New Guinea they started coconut plantations. So they recruited Vanuatu people, Solomon Islands people, Papua New Guineans.... When they got together they couldn't find a common language to speak," Mr Kamene said.

"They began simplifying each other's language to be able to make sense and communicate.

"That's how Pidgin in the Pacific, and especially Tok Pisin, developed."

Most words have English roots, but the language also incorporates German and language from the Tolai people.

“The thing about Tok Pisin is we don't control it," Mr Kamene said.

"We don't try to standardise it. It has its own spellings, it has its own way of saying things, you can say anything with it.

“Tok Pisin is demonstrating to us the creative power of language. Where language can create anything you've never heard because we don't control it like we do with English.

"We say with English you have to spell it correctly, you have to write grammar. But with Tok Pisin, there's no restriction.

"Maybe it can also discover new things, express new things, and that makes Tok Pisin a fascinating language."

More languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea than in any other country in the world.

Hailing from the Moge tribe of Western Highlands province, Hilda Wayne believes the true beauty of Tok Pisin as a language is how it united millions of Papua New Guineans who didn't initially speak each other's languages.

“It’s just great to know that Tok Pisin is really appreciated in this way ... that’s fantastic,” she told Nesia Daily. 

"Papua New Guinea has over 800 different languages that we don't know, from one place to another, province to another or tribe to another.

"So Tok Pisin is a language in Papua New Guinea that united the entire country ... Not only in Papua New Guinea but the Melanesian Pacific as well.

"We also have our different way of speaking our Tok Pisin. Like Solomon Islands have their Solomon Pijin and Vanuatu have their Bislama, and we understand each other when we speak our own versions of Tok Pisin.

"So it's also a unifying language in the Melanesian Pacific as well."


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Ed Brumby

More confirmation - as if we needed it, that beauty is, indeed, in the eyes of the beholder. Aren't ALL languages beautiful - in their own ways?

Baka Bina

Mipela ibin tok - Tok Pisin em kaksi tokples stret bipo na nogat mahn i bilip.

Em nau, ol mahn bilong glassim toktok nambaut ya long dispela stori nau ol tok na tokaut stret.


Weh hap stret long 'world' bai yu gat koble blo baim wasabuai o weh hap long 'world' bai yu askim laik taim yu gris bata wantaim narapela.

Kain Tok Pisin tasol mekim na mipela save kalarim toktok ya.

John Grimmer

Me laikim tru dispela tok. Namba wan tru.
Stap gud olgeta. Lukim yu. 🙋‍♂️🇵🇬

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