Another year of my Marshallese adventure is coming to an end. I will be very honest now, by this time I should have known more. After three years of learning I should probably be able to write this post entirely in kajin Ṃajeḷ – with lots of mistakes, yes – but it ought to be written in the language I am trying to master. Unfortunately, this is still beyond my abilities. Nevertheless, I have managed to learn something. Here’s the proof.

Iọkwe aolep! [Hello everyone!]

Eṃṃan mour? [How are you?]

Elukkuun eṃṃan rainin. [I’m doing great today.]

Ipiọ kōnke eṃōḷo rainin. [I’m cold because it’s cold today.]

Inaaj ba ñan kwe ke: [I will tell you that:]

Ij katak ruo kajin – kajin Ṃajeḷ im kajin Hawaii. [I’m learning two languages – Marshallese and Hawaiian.]

Jilu re iiō in aō katak kajin Ṃajeḷ. [I’ve been learning Marshallese for three years.]

Ij aikuj in katak jipeel ilo Ṃajeḷ. [I have to learn Marshallese spelling.]

Ij aikuj in kiili elōñ naan ko. [I have to memorize a lot of words.]

Ij katak naan kāāl juon katten. [I learn new words every month.]

Elukkuun lōñ naan ijjab keememej. [There are too many words I can’t remember.]

I dike aō jab jeḷā kajin Ṃajeḷ. [I hate not being able to speak Marshallese.]

Ij katak kajin bwe in maroñ keroro ñan bar jet armej. [I learn languages so that I can speak with other people.]

Eṃṃan ñe armej rekatak bar jet kajin. [It’s good for people to learn other languages.]

Ijab kōṇaan kōnono in pālle, ikōṇaan kōnono in Ṃajeḷ. [I don’t wanna talk in English, I want to talk in Marshallese.]

Eṃṃan keroro ñan armej ippa bōtab inaaj jook in kajin Ṃajeḷ. [I like talking to people but I will be too shy to speak Marshallese.]

Ij tōmak inaaj jeḷā kajin Ṃajeḷ ilju im jokḷaj. [I believe I will speak Marshallese in the future.]

Inaaj kwaḷọk ñan koṃ ke imaroñ kōṃṃane. [I will show you I can do it.]

Ij aikuj jipañ ilo aō katak kajin Ṃajeḷ. [I need help with my Marshallese.]

Ejjab lōñ bok in kajin Ṃajeḷ. [There aren’t many books on the Marshallese language.]

Jilu wōt aō bok in kajin Ṃajeḷ. [I have only three books on the Marshallese language.]

Ejab pidodo katak ruo kajin. Kwōj ḷōmṇak epidodo, ak ejab pidodo. [It’s not easy to learn two languages. You think it’s easy, but it’s not.]

Ij kajjiōn katak aolep raan. [I try to learn every day.] (No, actually I learn five times a week.)

Edik aō iien ñan katak. [I have little time to study.]

Lale bwe kwōn katak aolep raan. [Make sure you learn every day.]

Kajin Ṃajeḷ im kajin Hawaii rejjab āinwōt juon, bōtab jet ien eḷap an pen. [Marshallese and Hawaiian aren’t similar, but still, sometimes it’s really hard.]

Jet kajin reepidodoḷọk jān bar jet. [Some languages are easier than others.]

Iiō in laḷ, inaaj katak kajin Ṃajeḷ, kajin Hawaii, im kajin Kilbōt. Imaroñ bwebwe. [Next year I will be learning Marshallese, Hawaiian, and Gilbertese. I may be crazy.]

So, ej et kajin Ṃajeḷ e aō? [How is my Marshallese?] It’s not awfully bad, right? I am aware of the fact that many of you will think it could be better, and I agree with that – you can always be better at everything; that’s why I always say that you never stop learning in life. I am, however, truly happy that I have accomplished at least this much.

Of course, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t know all this, I wouldn’t be able to make all these sentences if it wasn’t for Tina, who has been helping me (very patiently) since the very beginning. All I can say is koṃṃooltata! I am extremely grateful, I really am. It’s so nice to know that there are people willing to devote their free time to help you without expecting anything in return. Your teachers, your tutors, your friends, even the authors of the textbooks you are using – they are the key to your success. Maybe one day I will be competent enough to help someone too? Now, that would be something! But in the meantime, let me get back to learning.

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