CIT offers Tok Pisin interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.

Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Tok Pisin language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Tok Pisin language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Tok Pisin language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Tok Pisin language, as well as of the culture and history of the Papua New Guinea people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

The Tok Pisin Language

Tok Pisin pidgin is English based and spoken by about 4 million people. The language is primarily spoken in Papua New Guinea. Of this amount, about 120,000 speak Tok Pisin as their first language. It is the most popular official language of Papua New Guinea. Other official languages of Papua New Guinea include English and Hiri Motu.

Tok Pisin came to be between the 1850s and 1900s. The language was popular on plantations among the laborers who were brought from Melanesia, Malaysia and China. “Tok” means word or speech and “pisin” means pidgin. A pidgin is a heavily simplified language between groups that donot have a shared language. Others translate Tok Pisin to mean “bird talk.” Tok Pisin is also known as New Guinea Pidgin, Melanesian Pidgin English or Neo-Melanesian. Although Tok Pisin was originally just a pidgin, it has now developed into a creole with a more intricate grammar system. Most of the words in the language are from English, although there are some words in other languages such as German, Portuguese, Tolai and Malay.

Melanesian languages have several grammatical similarities. Some include a transitive marker on a verb, plural distinction, inclusive and exclusive distinction and a numeral classification.

In New Guinea, Tok Pisin is used in some media and government. It is also the language used in schools for the first few years on instruction only. It is written using the Latin script. Originally, the literature in Tok Pisin was mainly to spread religion and to translate the Bible. It was only in 1970 that the language was used for other aspects, such as a newspaper.

Interesting Facts about Tok Pisin and Papua New Guinea

  • There are over 850 languages spoken in New Guinea
  • New Guinea is one of the biggest islands in the world
  • Papua New Guinea has very tropical climate as it is located just south of the equator
  • There are many different types of birds and animals that can be found in New Guinea. Several of them are close to animals found in Australia
  • The only poisonous bird in the world, the Hooded Pitohui, is a New Guinea bird
  • Many believe that humans landed on Papua New Guinea over 50,000 years ago