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Marshallese language

Marshallese language

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The Marshallese language (Marshallese: , or in older orthography , pronounced k) is a Malayo-Polynesian language
Malayo-Polynesian languages
The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages, with approximately 385.5 million speakers. These are widely dispersed throughout the island nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, with a smaller number in continental Asia...

 of the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

, and the principal language of the country. There are two major dialects: Rālik
Ralik Chain
The Ralik Chain is a chain of islands within the island nation of the Marshall Islands. Ralik means "sunset". It lies just to the west of the country's other island chain, the Ratak Chain...

 (western) and Ratak
Ratak Chain
The Ratak Chain is a chain of islands within the island nation of the Marshall Islands. Ratak means "sunrise". It lies just to the east of the country's other main island chain, the Ralik Chain...

 (eastern).

Vocabulary


Some samples of Marshallese vocabulary.
  • : ha.
"Yes
Yes and no
Yes and no are two words for expressing affirmatives and negatives respectively in English . Early Middle English had a four-form system, but Modern English has reduced this to a two-form system consisting of 'yes' and 'no'. Some languages do not answer yes-no questions with single words meaning...

."
  • : ha.
Atoll
Atoll
An atoll is a coral island that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.- Usage :The word atoll comes from the Dhivehi word atholhu OED...

 or island, and is the Marshallese word for land in general.
  • : ha.
The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Former administrator of the Marshall Islands through the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was a United Nations trust territory in Micronesia administered by the United States from 1947 to 1986.-History:...

.
  • : ye.
"How are you?" Literally "how is your life doing?"
  • : ye.
"(It) is good."
  • : ye.
"(It) is bad."
  • ; ; : (y).
Means hello
Hello
Hello is a salutation or greeting in the English language. It is attested in writing as early as the 1830s.-First use:Hello, with that spelling, was used in publications as early as 1833. These include an 1833 American book called The Sketches and Eccentricities of Col...

, goodbye
Parting phrase
Parting phrases are elements of parting traditions, phrases used to acknowledge the parting of individuals or groups of people from each other....

 and love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

, similarly to Hawaiian
Hawaiian language
The Hawaiian language is a Polynesian language that takes its name from Hawaii, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the state of Hawaii...

 aloha
Aloha
Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion and mercy. Since the middle of the 19th century, it also has come to be used as an English greeting to say goodbye and hello...

. Also an expression of sympathy. Its literal (though outdated) meaning is "You are a rainbow."
  • : yu.
Iroij, the various paramount chieftain
Paramount chieftain
The ancient Norse rulers of Greenland were called paramount chieftains.Among the island nation's chieftains were:*Erik the Red, or Eirikr Thorvaldsson, the nation's first chieftain and its first settler, began rule in 985....

s of Marshallese culture
Marshallese culture
Under Marshallese culture land is a focal point for social organization in this island nation.All Marshallese have land rights as part of a clan, or jowi, that owes allegiance to an Iroij , is supervised by the Alap , and supported by the Rijerbal...

.
  • : j.
"No
Yes and no
Yes and no are two words for expressing affirmatives and negatives respectively in English . Early Middle English had a four-form system, but Modern English has reduced this to a two-form system consisting of 'yes' and 'no'. Some languages do not answer yes-no questions with single words meaning...

."
  • : j.
"Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

." Former colonial power in the Marshall Islands, administered as part of German New Guinea
German New Guinea
German New Guinea was the first part of the German colonial empire. It was a protectorate from 1884 until 1914 when it fell to Australia following the outbreak of the First World War. It consisted of the northeastern part of New Guinea and several nearby island groups...

.
  • : j. Also : n.
"Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

." Former colonial power in the Marshall Islands. Many Marshallese people today have Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 ancestry from Japanese settlement in Micronesia
Japanese settlement in Micronesia
Large-scale Japanese settlement in Micronesia occurred in the first half of the 20th century when Japan colonised much of Micronesia. Modern-day Micronesian countries and territories including the Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands were once part of the...

 during the South Pacific Mandate
South Pacific Mandate
The was the Japanese League of Nations mandate consisting of several groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean which came under the administration of Japan after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I.-Early history:Under the terms of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, after the start of World...

.
  • : j.
"Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

." Former colonial power in the Marshall Islands, administered as part of the Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

, themselves administered as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
  • : kw.
"Thank you very much." alone means "thank you".
  • : k.
"You're welcome." Literally "for kindness".
  • : k
"Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

." The majority religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 of the Marshall Islands.

Cardinal numbers


This includes the cardinal numbers one through ten in the Rālik dialect. Where Ratak forms differ, they are listed in parentheses.

Modern orthography


Here is the Hail Mary
Hail Mary
The Angelic Salutation, Hail Mary, or Ave Maria is a traditional biblical Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Hail Mary is used within the Catholic Church, and it forms the basis of the Rosary...

 in standard Marshallese orthography. Compare with this scanned image to see how it should look with all the diacritics in place.

Older orthography


Here is the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, it appears in two forms: in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the discourse on ostentation in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the Gospel of Luke, which records Jesus being approached by "one of his...

 as given in the 1982 Marshallese Bible, which uses the older orthography (most commonly used today).

External links


Further reading

  • Pagotto, L. (1987). Verb subcategorization and verb derivation in Marshallese: a lexicase analysis.