Vanuatu - Languages



More than 100 languages and dialects are spoken in Vanuatu. Melanesian, the principal language, is related to Fijian and New Caledonian speech. Pidgin English, known as Bislama or Bichelama, is recognized by the constitution as the lingua franca, although English and French are also official languages. The national anthem is in Bislama, which is also used in parliamentary debate, with the proceedings reported in English and French as well. Children often speak as many as four languages and every aspect of public life—including education, law, and the media—is complicated by language problems.

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