Why don’t we write in English?

Much of our rich history and what’s currently happening on our island remains largely unknown to the world because we’ve failed to record any of them in English. Most of what’s written about us is in Papiamentu and Dutch. There are about 24 million people for whom Dutch is the first or second language. As for Papiamentu, there are about 400,000 people who read and understand it. A total of 1.5 billion people speak English even though the majority aren’t native English speakers. You do the math. It just makes more sense, many more people can be reached.

Our history and stories remain more or less unknown, not because they are unworthy, but since we choose to tell them to a minuscule fraction of the people. When I was Minister and Member of Parliament I personally translated relevant press releases in English which were often picked up by the English speaking countries around us. This blog receives views from 170+ countries in the world. So I have this friendly advice. Let’s stop limiting ourselves. Let’s open up to the world and let our stories be heard.


Alex David Rosaria (53) is a freelance consultant active in Asia & Pacific. He is a former Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and UN Implementation Officer in Africa and Central America. He’s from Curaçao and has a MBA from the University of Iowa. (USA).

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