In a land where as many as 800 different languages still exist, sometimes changing from valley to valley, a common form of communication became essential as proselitysing, travel and economic activity between the island inhabitants
and Europeans increased.
Tok Pisin, as it is officially known is "now considered a distinct language in its own right because it is a first language for some people and not merely a lingua franca to facilitate communication with speakers of other languages."
Sometimes Tok Pisin will make you smile. We brought this hotel door hanger back from our trip to the highlands Goroka Show several years ago.
(The next time you can manage to be anywhere near PNG in September, take your best camera gear and attend the Goroka Show. It's one of the things you really want to see in life. The next Goroka Show is 17 – 19 September, 2010.)
"You no can come inside." Tok Pisin is a language even I could learn.
And while we're here, proving that there's just about everything somewhere on the internets, check out this really fine hotel door hangers collection as shared by Michael Liebowitz. He writes that his grandfather "had been in the foreign service and he had filled a whole wall of his
study with hotel door hangers from all his travels throughout the
world. They're really beautiful, in aggregate, and I wanted to share.