Tok Pisin

Tok Pisin

Students completing courses in Tok Pisin will be uniquely placed to engage with this important partner and adjacent areas through trade, diplomacy and cultural collaboration.

Tok Pisin is an official language of Papua New Guinea, with approximately 4 million speakers. ANU is the only Australian university to offer Tok Pisin, which comprises four courses taught entirely online.

An English-based creole language, Tok Pisin is one of the prime vehicles of communication in the Pacific. By learning Tok Pisin, students will gain a deeper understanding of the rich cultures, histories and societies of the people of Papua New Guinea and surrounding areas of the Pacific.

Program Aims

By the end of the Tok Pisin courses, students will be able to understand, use and translate a broad range of sentence structures in extended texts on a range of non-technical topics such as the history and society of Papua New Guinea, regional politics, health education and development policies.

They will be able to communicate in speaking and debate relevant issues with spontaneity and confidence. They can demonstrate an understanding of cultural issues and current affairs in Papua New Guinea and the extended areas.

Courses on Offer

Below is a list of Tok Pisin courses offered by ANU:

TOKP1002      Tok Pisin 1

TOKP1003      Tok Pisin 2

TOKP2001      Tok Pisin 3

TOK2002        Tok Pisin 4

Global Learning Options

Students can study in the Pacific during the Summer session by taking the in-country course PASI3005: Pacific Islands Field School. The course focuses on understanding the complex relationships between development, tangible and intangible heritage and cultural production. It is run as a topics course with options for offerings in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Hawai’i, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea.

Every student travelling on an ANU College of Asia and the Pacific approved overseas study program is guaranteed funding under the EngageAsia Travel Guarantee. Please contact the College Student Centre for more information.

Study Online

The four Tok Pisin language courses are not offered on campus, but are instead available 100% online. Tok Pisin can be studied as part of an ANU degree or as a non-award subject, and is taught through Open Universities Australia.

Interested in learning more about the program or how to enrol? We would love to hear from you! Get in touch using our languages enquiry form.

"Many Papua New Guineans are trilingual: we have our own vernacular, English and Tok Pisin. I grew up speaking the three languages side by side.

Tok Pisin is a bridge between all the different cultures, tribes and clans in PNG. For people who want to have an association with the Pacific particularly through work, Tok Pisin is a window to expanding their knowledge of the society. 

I started teaching Tok Pisin in 2002 with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I also taught New Zealand diplomats as well as journalists and other federal government officials. I keep in touch with many of my past students. They tell me about how they are using the language and how much they enjoy working in PNG.

It’s always daunting for anyone who wants to learn a new language. Tok Pisin is actually about 80 to 85 percent English. It also has influences from German and the Tolai language. People say it’s an ‘easy’ language to learn because many English speakers pick it up quite quickly. 

It’s also an interesting language to learn because it’s evolving all the time and hasn’t been standardised, which allows it to reflect the different ways Tok Pisin is developing in different provinces."

Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team