Ej et aṃ mour? [How are you?] Elukkuun eṃṃan [I’m doing great.] As you can see, I really mastered all the basic phrases. The truth is, I’ve been repeating them day after day for the past couple of months, so I guess it’s not that big of an achievement. But even if it’s not, it means something – I have completed the first level, and I’m ready to take the next step, which is…grammar, baby! … More MARSHALLESE 4.0: GRAMMAR, BABY!
You are not a Pacific Islander nor a person of Pacific descent. You are a foreigner (palagi, haole, ribelle, I-matang, kai valagi, etc.), who I presume likes studying languages and is interested in the beautiful islands of Oceania. I’m just taking a wild guess here, but – please tell me – am I even remotely close? I think I am – you are visiting this site, after all. … More WHY LEARN PACIFIC LANGUAGES? (FOR FOREIGNERS)
So you are a Pacific Islander or a person of Pacific descent. You speak English or French. Or both. Or maybe even Spanish, German, or Japanese. But you don’t really speak the language of your ancestors. You know a few words, you can form a sentence or two, but you are not fluent. Does this description sound familiar to you? Are you this person? If the answer is “yes”, read on. … More WHY LEARN PACIFIC LANGUAGES? (FOR PACIFIC ISLANDERS)
Ilukkuun ṃōṇōṇō [I am very happy] that I’m (slowly) making (some) progress in Marshallese. Imeḷeḷe [I understand] more and more, which is something I’m extremely excited about. Obviously, I still can’t construct whole sentences, but I’m trying to use the vocabulary I already know whenever I can. And that is why today I will share with you some of the most beautiful and interesting Marshallese words I’ve come across so far. … More MARSHALLESE 3.0: MAY THE RAINBOW BE WITH YOU
Have you ever wondered exactly how many languages are spoken in the Pacific region? I had been pondering over this for quite some time before I finally decided to do some research. And although I had always been somewhat aware of the Oceania’s linguistic richness, I was shocked/amazed/surprised by what I discovered. … More HOW MANY LANGUAGES ARE THERE IN THE PACIFIC?
Iọkwe aolep! [Hello everyone!]
Eta in… [My name is…] (ok, that’s not really an important piece of information, so let’s just omit this part). Jilñoul juon aō iiō [I’m 31 years old.]. When it comes to introducing myself, that’s basically all I can say (or write, to be more precise) in Marshallese at this point. Two sentences. Not a lot; I’m well aware of that. But still, I’m proud as hell of myself! … More MARSHALLESE 2.0: THE ART OF PRONUNCIATION
When I say that I’m going to start learning Marshallese, I usually get the same reaction from people. First there’s the look individuals give you when you’ve just confused them. Then the daft questions start. They go something like this. … More MARSHALLESE 1.0: YOU’RE LEARNING WHAT?!?
Can you imagine a world where people speak the same language? Can you imagine yourself always understanding what foreigners say and being able to express your thoughts no matter where you are? Hold on a moment, I’m trying to form this picture in my mind… A world with one language. Convenient, that’s for sure. And scary as hell. Because what gives our little universe a distinctive flavor is a multitude of tongues. … More TOWER OF BABEL IN THE SOUTH SEAS