How To Solomon Islands

Mitufala toktok Pijin

July 20, 2017

We lucked out on the language front here in Honiara. Although there are about 60 to 70 languages in the Solomons, the only ones we need to know in Honiara, are English and Pijin. Win!

5 step how for toktok pijin gud

  1. “I” is “Mi”
    Mi kam from niw seelan.
  2. Add “em” to the end of verbs:
    Mi lanem pijin. Mi ritem lo blog.
  3. Add “fala” to the end of numbers and adjectives.
    Diswan gudfala paenapo. Mi laekem wanfala paenapo plis.
  4. Use “blong” or “blo” to indicate things that are yours, someone’s, something’s.
    Hasban blong mi, hem go wokabaot. Hem takem busnaef blo mi.
  5. Add “long” or “lo” for “in”, “on”, “at”, “to”.
    Mitufala go baeleg lo market fo baem kokonat.

Chuck it all together with a thick accent and you’re basically halfway there. No wari about tenses bikos Pijin no garem tenses, and no wariwari about spelling bikos evritaem different.

Maggie, our Pijin teacher, is one of the most well-known Pijin teachers in Honiara. She teaches us the finer aspects of toktok and stori.

“Aaah” moments include when she explained that “Dadi, hem killem pikinini” means dad spanked the kid, not dad killed the kid. Crazy drunks on the street are “karange”: “Karange man, hem dringum tumas bia”. And she tellem mitufala stori just for fun, “Hem lukluk like woman, but hem no woman. Hem garem big balls!”

Moral of the story, this blog has no typos. Ever.

Maggie’s name is one a handful of names on this blog that is actually real. She can be contacted for Pijin, culture, and cooking lessons on 747 3631.

  1. Reply


    July 31, 2017

    Wow. That was a great lesson that its already much easier to understand what you’re saying. How is it that there’s so many lamguages?? Are they distinct languages or dialect?

    • Reply


      July 31, 2017

      A bit of both. Sometimes locals from one part can understand each other, and other times, locals from different parts can’t understand each other at all. The mind boggles how there are so many different languages in a relatively small space of land. Probably because there is heaps of diversity here though: Micronesian, Melanesian, and Polynesian. Even a language here that is very close to Māori. We know of a Māori cop who went there and can communicate with them to an extent in Māori. Interesting stuff.