Thursday, 27 June 2013

Alii!!! Palauan Language Lessons

After some miscommunications we finally had our first language lesson last night. Hehe pun intended! It was great to sit down with someone & ask them about the intricacies of the language. 

The Palauan language has only been written down in the last 50 years- since the US came in I guess! It is quite unique from neighbouring Micronesian countries & reportably difficult to master. Honestly if I can have a conversation by the end of our placement time I will be hugely impressed! 

I've never been great with language but I've also never lived in another country so we will see. I would really like to master at least the basics as it seems the locals switch between Palauan & English depending on who they are talking too. So although they speak English there is loads of discussion that happens around you in Palauan & I want to be able to participate in said conversations! 

To set some context the written language is made up of Latin characters but some characters make different sounds & I think you pronounce all the vowels. 

Characters with unique sounds
k= g
d = th
ch = ug (or a gap in the word) 
ng = sound comes from the tongue at the back of the mouth rather than the front 
r = is slightly rolled. 
ii = ee . 

To give you an idea I've written what I think would be a basic sentence.
Alii ungil tutau (Good morning). Keua ngerang (how are you?). Ak mesisiich (I am strong!). Ak kiei era Ngermid (I live at Ngermid). Ak oureor era ospitar (I work at the hospital). Ngak e Nutritionist (I'm a Nutritionist). Mechikung (goodbye). 

That's about all I know & my pronunciation is not great.  

No comments:

Post a Comment