Norfolk Island - The Website
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Language

English is the common language on Norfolk Island, but between themselves the Islanders use their own patois - a mixture of platt Deutsch, 18th Century English and Tahitian, brought to the island by the Pitcairners.

This local language is not usually written and there are not formal rules regarding spelling. In 1986 Beryl Nobbs, and Islander, published the first dictionary of Norfolk words and usages.

Some examples of the Norfolk patois and their English equivalents are given here to acquaint you with the language.


Norfolk English
Whutta-waye? How are you?
All yorlye gwen? How are you all?
Come yorlye look orn. Come and have a look, everyone.
I gut ar hillie. I'm in a lazy mood.
He arta orn hissel. He admires himself too much.
Car do far dorg et. Not good enough even for a dog's meal.
Es stolle. It's a lie.
I car foot. I don't know.
hui-hui appallingly dirty and smelly
tye-tye tasteless, unappetising
daffy here
deffy there

~

The Norfolk Island Phonecard (Foenkaad) is an interesting exercise in English to Norfolk translation. The instructions read:

Norfolk Telecom Foenkaad
Dieh kaad es uni f'dem kaad foen orn Norfuk - kaa yuuset enisaid aels. Dem punch hoel shoe baut hau mach mani laef in. Dieh kaad uni el yuuset f'ring weih from Norfuk.

Norfolk Telecom Phonecard
This card is for Card Phones on Norfolk Island only. Punched holes show approximate credit remaining. For international calls only.


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