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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??????