Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Australia’s Tok Pisin service

Mount Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Monday morning, I was up earlier than usual and caught Radio Australia’s Tok Pisin (Pacific Pidgin Language Service) on 9,475 kHz.

I doubt many English-speaking SWLing Post readers will understand Tok Pisin if you’re hearing it for the first time, but as with other Pidgin languages throughout the world, Tok Pisin is a mixture of several languages: English, German, Malay, Portuguese and Austronesian languages. It has a comparatively simple structure and you might be surprised what you can understand if the topic shifts to something familiar. I’ve certainly enjoyed listening to it in the background as I work on other projects.

I recorded a full 90 minutes of the Tok Pisin service; you can download it directly by clicking here, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

6 thoughts on “Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Australia’s Tok Pisin service

  1. This is very cool, where are you? I can translate any particular sections of the Tok Pisin broadcast for you sapos yu gat sampela interes long dispela (if you are interested in this). Probably not the whole thing though!

    • Hi, Jason,

      Thanks for the reply! This recording was made in North Carolina, USA on shortwave radio. Doesn’t sound to bad for a signal that traveled 15742 kilometers, eh?

      Thanks for the offer to translate, but that’s not really needed in this case. I’m simply happy that someone enjoyed listening. Are you in Australia or somewhere in the Pacific?


      • I am in Canberra, Australia. I can pick up the service easily on SW myself but the transmitter is right next door in Melbourne. Have you tried Radio Vanuatu?. It also broadcasts in Melanesian Pidgin (Bislama dialect — mutually intelligible, for the most part, with Tok Pisin). Allegedly broadcasts evenings on 3945 and 7260 Khz but I can’t pick it up where I am on my little RedSun RP2100. A capture of this would be especially useful for me as this station does not stream on the Internet at all. Maybe with your setup?

        • Looks like Radio Vanuatu broadcasts nearly all the time on 7260 kHz. 3945 would pose a true challenge for night time DX here–but possible. Will be even more difficult as conditions are noisy in the spring/summer here. I will try to focus on 7260 and see if I can record RV sometime.

          How long have you been speaking Tok Pisin? Do you travel there often? Thanks for the heads up on Radio Vanuatu. I’ve never heard them before.


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