Languages of Papua New Guinea

Languages of Papua New Guinea

The languages of Papua New Guinea today number about 820, [Ethnologue: [ Languages of Papua New Guinea] .] making it the most linguistically diverse place on earth. Its official languages are Tok Pisin, English and Hiri Motu. Tok Pisin, an English-based creole, is the most widely spoken, serving as the country's lingua franca.

Tok Pisin


Although it is an official language of Papua New Guinea, English is only spoken by 1–2% of the population.CIA World Factbook: [ Papua New Guinea] ]

Hiri Motu

Papuan languages

The longest-established languages of Papua New Guinea are known as the Papuan languages.

Outside of Papua New Guinea, Papuan languages are also spoken in the Indonesia, East Timor, the Solomon Islands,

Austronesian languages

People speaking languages belonging to the Austronesian family arrived in New Guinea approximately 3,500 years ago.Fact|date=June 2007

The Austronesian languages are widely spread across the globe, as far west as Malagasy in Madagascar, as far east as Rapa Nui on Easter Island, and as far as north as the Formosan languages of Taiwan. Austronesian has several primary branches, all but one of which are found exclusively on Taiwan.


57.3% of the population of Papua New Guinea over 15 years of age are literate.



*cite book |author=Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) |year=2005 |title=Ethnologue: Languages of the World |edition=Fifteenth edition |location=Dallas, Tex. |publisher=SIL International

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