Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Spoken in:||Kiribati, Fiji, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tuvalu|
|Official language of:||Kiribati|
|Regulated by:||Kiribati Language Board|
Gilbertese or Kiribati (sometimes Kiribatese, a mixture of both) is a language from the Austronesian family, part of the Oceanian branch and of the Nuclear Micronesian subbranch. It is a verb object subject language.
About 105,000 people speak Gilbertese, 98,000 of whom live in Kiribati, about 97.2% of the entire population. The other are the inhabitants of Nui (Tuvalu), of Rabi (Fiji) and some other islands where Gilbertese have been relocated Solomon and Vanuatu or emigrated (New Zealand and Hawaii mainly).
Unlike many in the Pacific region, Gilbertese is far from extinct, and just about all speakers use it daily. Only 30% of Gilbertese speakers are fully bilingual with English, meaning that the language is in no current danger of being swallowed by English.
Gilbertese is written in the Latin alphabet, and has been since the 1840s, when Hiram Bingham Jr, a missionary, first translated the Bible into Gilbertese and required an alphabet in which to write it. One difficulty in translating the Bible was references to words such as "mountain", a geographical phenomenon unknown to the people of the islands of Kiribati at the time (only heard in the myths from Samoa). Bingham decided to use "hilly", which would be more easily understood.
Catholic missionaries would later arrive at the islands 1888 and translate the Bible independently of Bingham, resulting in differences (Bingham wrote Jesus as "Iesu", while the Catholics wrote "Ietu") that would only be resolved in the 20th century (No 's' in the Gilbertese alphabet). The best and translated into English Gilbertese Dictionary has been published by Father Ernest Sabatier in 1954: Dictionnaire Gilbertin-Franšais, 900p. (edited by South Pacific Commission in 1971).
- Hello - Mauri
- Hello - [singular] Ko na mauri
- Hello - [plural] Kam na mauri
- How are you? - Ko uara?
- How are you? - [to several people] Kam uara?
- Thank you. - Ko rabwa
- Goodbye - Ti a bo (we will see)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details