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I was intrigued by the Banaban language ever since reading about it for the first time (in Te Rii ni Banaba).

A book about pre-Christian Hawaii that I received today, inspired me
(being reminded about the changes done to the language when missionaries arrived to Hawaii) to do some very small research in today's spare time.

This is really just a brainstorming:

- karawa - eastern side
Could it come from Tarawa place name? As Tarawa is to the east of Banaba.

- kauriri - let us go !
One of the meanings of kauli in Hawaiian dictionary is:
To creep along, move with a hissing sound, as fire.

- kiroro - Far away
kilo on Hawaiian dictionary translates to Stargazer, reader of omens, seer, astrologer, necromancer; kind of looking glass (rare); to watch closely, spy, examine, look around, observe, forecast.

What I wrote is probably off-base, and it's a topic to be left to experienced educated linguist albeit so intriguing to a laymen like me.

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great story for the next banaban Generations

In addition to the pre-mixed language of Veisari, there was a teenage girl from Veisari who had very long thick hair and needed a comb....she asked my cousin there ''iai am comb ba e manunu irau"...lols...

Roba said:
Kabara te bure i kataia n reply nakon am comment iaon te language ao ngaia i aki ataia ma ti tebo ae i copy and paste ea bon roko te bairo....ngkane te taeka ae te bairo? is it a slang? kabotauakaki ma te taeka ae kabitaia- babanga?....anyways thanks moa n am comment...eang I call my page in memory of Dad so I probably assumed you know its me Nare..Roba te tetei lol ma eang koa tia n ongo aia taeka kain Veisari ae te bun ae marairai!!! Ia maninga bwa antai ae karikinna nakoiu ma ngkana eti te karaki aei ,tao e bo te botaki teuana iaon Veisari ao temanna te aomata ia maninga arana ma e kuka ao e kainanoa te bun ae ababaki kaina ke tauana so e aki tabara ma ana eeee ni Veisari..."taiaoka te bun ae marairai " bwa tao e na kaboboa ana kuka
E ang ara case ngkai kanga ti tebo ma kain Samoa ao Tuvalu/Tonga ma Tokelau!!! similarity in their words and can understand eaach other ao iaara riki tabo nte aonaba ma eang I nang tangiria bwa ena iai te boki like a translation book English-Kiribati-Banaba.If we can all contribute finding words and compile them into a book,it will benefit the future generation to come..the children of our children or grand and great grand children for some people.Maybe each day we should write and share 10-20 words each:

for example:

salt-taoro - te tari lol
te atama - te riburibu
nakonako - mamati
te mwenga- te bare-te auti
te baro- te ati- chest
te bare- te kabae-te ro

all mixture of Kiribati words,slangs and how some people of meang and maiaki create their own...
I appreciate the language very much and i want international language learners must join the educational programs of sprachaufenthalt to be quite skilled and communicate globally as well as exchange useful information to progress. They are really serving the world to come near and join for the sake of mankind and help to save our planet from global warming and other harmful envinromental issues.

It is fun reading comments with the differences involved. Long gone are days when we could have recollected and revived our Banaban language. We are left with only vocabs i should say. We hardly construct a sentence, no grammar, etc..... The good news is, we are still and will continue to be Banabans.


The words we are using today are well used in the Kiribati Bible. If we are mocked bcos we use the salt for "taari" instead of taoro, we hold the right and original word. Mataio 5:13, "Taarin te aba ngkami...", it doesn't read, "Taoron te aba ngkami...". Preachers today read it as it is, but, when emphasizing the verse, they use the word, taoro. Today, the Kiribati language has change with time I guess. They have modified some of the words found in the Kiribati Bible.


The word, "kaka" for grandparent is also used in Makin (far north). I was there and I heard kids in the place we stayed used the word "kaka" with the same meaning. "Taremwata" for under pants, is also used in Makin. Quite interesting, but, these are known to be old Kiribati I was told. I also had a good friend, in Abemama who used the word, "batika te iti" meaning motor bike. His wife was making fun of him for using the word but, he said that it was an old Kiribati word for motor bike. It was later called "te rebwerebwe" bcos of the cracking sound it made. Like today, they still call the chain saw "te tao te iti".


Let not your hearts be troubled, bcos we uphold the original language as it is in the Bible. Who knows, this might be our Banaban language modified through time and space through out the Kiribati islands???????


What needs to be said further, "lol"?????!!!!!!

I do not think it's fun!!! We are serious...



Just a food for thought...why cant a new research be made on the current language we are using today and it be compiled and intergrated with original banaban words that r still left n have a new language...a new Banaban language...because the language we use is in a way different to that of a i-kiribati one and if original words are introduced into the language we will be more different....well i myself m not an expert on these but we need to do something...i think we should have a foundation(organisation) for these things and we the banabans should or look for ways of funding it....because if israel can recover their language(hebrew) why cant we?????? it is time to act before it is too late......
Thats true but it needs a lot of people to be involved.especially the elderly ones..most of them have passed away.Students at RHS Rabi High School should get involve and do some research by visiting the elderly people and interview them somehow.Thats one of my opinion or some scholars complied a Banaban dictionary and I agree to some statement mention above that we hold old old kind of language.

is the so called Banaban language an I-Kiribati dialect? we are familiar with the  word KAU or its longer version KAURIRI which I was told by an elder that they are words comprising part of the Banaban language. Another phrase I also remember is 'MMAMMA BUKIN KANEATI' this was a phrase used to indicate an approaching ship which is also said to be part of the Banabana language however, the words are I-Kiribati but with different usage and/or application by the Banaban people hence the assumption that the Banaban language is but a Kiribati dialect ? to further probe the issue of a different language 'names' used by the Banabans can also be examined to  determine if there are any different/foreign elements within such names that might indicate different origins say for example Polynesian or Melanesian etc. which had always been part of the Banaban name structure indicative of origins...(and not obtained from intermarriages'.) Such could indicate authenticity of such origins  so much so that the notion of a different language and perhaps race will evidently exist to merit such an implication and assumption?  this can surely be an interesting issue for debate, provided it is treated without bias. A FOOD FOR THOUGHT...



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