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As being observed and noticed that some written vernacular on the banaban Voice are not gramatically right:It takes a inner passion and interest to learn and write the correct vernacular so to really prove that we are the trully BANABANS.
For instances,ngai-gai
Uara-wara
Na bon-nabon
And many more.................how can we improve this?
Any ideas!

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Home taught by their parents or grandparents first,its free & easy.
Bula Roba!
Yes you are really right that home lessons by the parents and grandparents is essential,however parents nowadys are too occupied with their own cords.Some likes to spend time with their Tanoa whole night and their freinds leaving no time with their children.Some parents likes to spend leissure time outside the house like the ladies playing Bingo etc......These are the common sickness on Rabi where parents have less time with their chidren but more time outside of the house esp with the Tanoa.Though the first place of learning is at home,some parents failed in their responsibilties thus leading to the increase of this so called Broken Vernacular(esp in wrting)
Vinaka
While I agree with this I would like to suggest that, it is not our parents fault. How can our parents educate us with such when they themselves have not the proper knowledge of the language since they in the first place know not the cords of this. I assume it is because it is a foreign language to them. While educators did their best to include this as part of the curriculum in the past on Rabi, this has again fallen aside what they think best as part of their CDU. Can't help it I guess
Yes only Education can help in this situation.At least the basics of vernacular is taught at the Primary level will do a big help esp on Rabi.The problem with us is not in speaking.WE are very fluent in speaking but only in wrting and reading.At least the basics is taught,the future young people will have no problem in constructing their sentences and when they read the vernacular
Vinaka;
Language change with time, surroundings, environmets, interactions, unfortunate circumstances, etc., etc. Let's take "English" for example: originally it is the official language of the English people, those from mainland England. There they have a lot of accents - Scotish, Irish, Wales etc, but still English. Today we hear a whole lot of different English language spoken by people of English/European origin from outside of England including differences in spellings - the English word 'plough' for instance is spelled 'plow' in American English for instance. And, there are lots of more examples. Maybe it's also part of Darwin's theory of Evolution.
We Banabans therefore, could be excussed for not being able to speak and write the Kiribati language perfectly for the above reasons and because we also lost our own Banaban language to the Kiribati language. Maybe fate has intended that we now make our own form of Kiribati language the way we speak and write it today and in the future...in Kiribati itself they called it "te taetae n Rabi"...
I totally agree with you Takaniko. Australian English and Aussie slang is so typical of the Australia we know today. Look at NZ and their very different way of pronouncing certain words. UK, USA all very different accents, spelling and pronouncing of words.

I know that some Banabans can be embarassed when they arrive in Kiribati for the first time and everyone comments on their accents and language... well that just goes to show that Rabians and the language are evolving in a different country with Fiji and English language having an influence.

In years to come the Banabans may revert back more to a unique accent and variation of Kiribati language especially as the rehab plans for Banaba start to happen and more and more Banabans will move back and forward between Banaba and Rabi.

Exciting times ahead where I'm sure your local language will evolve a lot more over the years to come.

Regards Stacey
The concerns raised by the author of this discussion is to be noted, however one needs to consider that the I-Kiribati language is not the Banabans natural lanuage.

What we Banabans have instead is termed as 'constructed language' of the 'posteriori' mode, where it posseses grammar and vocabulary derived from the I-Kiribati (natural) language.

I would argue (and agree with Takaniko) that "te taetae n Rabi" was unconsciously devised by us and evolved over the years to ease communication (especially when the Banabans found themsleves in a foreign land with a foreign language in 1945) and to keep up with the current times and influences.

I, too share Stacey's excitement of more evolvements in years to come of our local language only because this time around it would be in our best interest to hold onto this 'unique identity' rather than lose it to 'others'!
I might miss the point but, please, allow me to share my view.

I am a proud Banaban born in Fiji, yet, raised in Kiribati and only have a chance to study in Fiji and work in
Rabi for 4 years before returning back to Kiribati. I know this to be a problem but, I would encourage those of us living away from Kiribati not to concentrate on the Kiribati literacy. As long as you can converse with others through the Kiribati language, that is it! Only if you are planning to reside in Kiribati that you need to learn it proper.

The truth is, in this generation in Kiribati, the vocabulary has changed many folds in many years. Kiribati literature is only taught in high school but is not a serious subject. There is a word known in the Bible for prostitute. In the Kiribati Bible it is, "kabekau", this later changed to "kamea kaa", later changed to "ainen te korotaa", then to "korekorea" then to "aineni matawa"......

Another example is the north and south vocabulary. In the north, the word stick is "takai" and in the central to the south it's known as "tekai", which one to use and what is the right spelling? and many alike. What impacts the belief system impacts culture which affects literature and thus viable for change in time and space.

For me, to be able to speak it is better than to write it, because things will be evolved from one point to another and before long, we will find ourselves embracing the common language "english" as they call it.

To be honest, I receive letters from stake holders in english. It is a norm out here to communicate "black and white" in english. It is considered formal and a local language used maybe in a higher level, not so sure?

If this generation in Kiribati is careless about their vernacular then I believe, it is better to be able to speak it for understanding purpose rather than for something else. All in all, this is not our Banaban language.

sorry, Just an opinion??????
Other good examples for us in the Pacific islands for the development of a 'new language' is the Pigin English language spoken in the Solomons and Papua New Guinea, and the Bislamar spoken in Vanuatu. I always find it exciting to visit the Kiribati people now citizens of Solomon Isands - it's fun to sit around with them and listen as they converse with each other - not in Kiribati language but in Pigin, their Kiribati language is much worse than us..their pigin ofcause is fluent... Many of them don't even understand Kiribati language any more. Similarly, many of those living in Vanuatu. So why should we care if our structure, vocabs, and grammar are way out of the original. I like it the way it is and would like to see how it develops further...
...are e nako ni kangai... ...are e mati ni kangai...
...koa bwenauai naba... ...koa afuna na...
Sounds good eh....


terry atauea said:
I might miss the point but, please, allow me to share my view.

I am a proud Banaban born in Fiji, yet, raised in Kiribati and only have a chance to study in Fiji and work in
Rabi for 4 years before returning back to Kiribati. I know this to be a problem but, I would encourage those of us living away from Kiribati not to concentrate on the Kiribati literacy. As long as you can converse with others through the Kiribati language, that is it! Only if you are planning to reside in Kiribati that you need to learn it proper.

The truth is, in this generation in Kiribati, the vocabulary has changed many folds in many years. Kiribati literature is only taught in high school but is not a serious subject. There is a word known in the Bible for prostitute. In the Kiribati Bible it is, "kabekau", this later changed to "kamea kaa", later changed to "ainen te korotaa", then to "korekorea" then to "aineni matawa"......

Another example is the north and south vocabulary. In the north, the word stick is "takai" and in the central to the south it's known as "tekai", which one to use and what is the right spelling? and many alike. What impacts the belief system impacts culture which affects literature and thus viable for change in time and space.

For me, to be able to speak it is better than to write it, because things will be evolved from one point to another and before long, we will find ourselves embracing the common language "english" as they call it.

To be honest, I receive letters from stake holders in english. It is a norm out here to communicate "black and white" in english. It is considered formal and a local language used maybe in a higher level, not so sure?

If this generation in Kiribati is careless about their vernacular then I believe, it is better to be able to speak it for understanding purpose rather than for something else. All in all, this is not our Banaban language.

sorry, Just an opinion??????
I think too that we are adapting the Fijian language, grammer and its spelling. Do we have a "w" alphabet? so Uara in my opinion is right then using the word "wara"so just minor mistakes of how we spell the word! Of course the Fijians will spell the word gai then ngai cause I believe they dont have "ng" Only Ikiribati and TOngans and maybe other pacific Islanders uses ng word. how about words like ngkoe? ngkai? ngkoananoa ow would you assume they will spell it? koe? kai? koananoa?hahahaha funny!
There you go!! The consensus it seems is let the Banabans speak and write the only language they know the way they want (adaptations included). After all it is what makes us distinctively different from anyone else!!
yeah.. yeah!!! Marlie.

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