(also Beach-la-mar or Bêche-de-mer)
An English-based pidgin language used as the national language of Vanuatu, where it shares official status with English and French.
- Even in cases where a Creole has status as a national or official language, as Bislama, for instance, does in Vanuatu, or Haitian Creole French does in Haiti, this does not guarantee the use of Creoles in wider society.
- Alongside Bislama, English and French are recognized as ‘official languages.’
- With hundreds of traditional languages, literacy levels are low, including in the third official language, Bislama, a form of pidgin English.
Alteration of Portuguese bicho do mar 'sea cucumber' (traded as a commodity, the word later being applied to the language of trade).
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