Word for the Travel Wise (08/23/06)

Papua New Guinea FlagPapua New Guinea is a mysterious place to me. The name alone chimes of mysterious unspoken things man probably shouldn’t witness, but due to the nature of man, will do anything to do so. I imagine indigenous brown-skin tribes in loin cloth with darts filled with snake venom lurking in the wild. I see pale-skin explorers intruding and crossing boundaries to discover their secrets. Secrets that should be left alone and buried in the minds of the eldest and wisest member of the tribe. What do I really know? Considering that I’ve never thought to travel to Papua New Guinea I don’t know much at all, but if someone were to ask me what visions come to mind then those would be only a few. If I’m horribly wrong about the things in my head please feel free to put me in my place. I can handle it.

Today’s word is a Pidgin (Tok Pisin) word used in Papua New Guinea:

natnat – mosquito

As noted in Wikipedia the word ‘tok’ means word or speech and the word ‘pisin’ means pidgin and is a Creole language spoken by about 4 million people as a second language and over a hundred thousand as a first. It is spoken in the northern mainland of Papua New Guinea. If you scroll down further you’ll find a nice list of words and some pronunciation examples. As an added bonus you can learn even more words by venturing into the online Tok Pisin phrasebook, also provided by Wiki. They’ve actually got a great handful of links which I suggest going through them all if you’re really into learning this lang. One last site I’ll note here though is Robert Eklund’s Tok Pisin page. It had pictures of signs, people and some audio clips. Looks a winner to learning the very basics.