Noaʻia ʻe mḁuri gagaj ʻatakoa! Welcome to Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta | Rotuman Language Week 2022.
What is Rotuman Language Week?
New Zealand is the only country in the world where the languages and culture of our Pasifika cousins are celebrated. Fäeag Rotuạm, the Rotuman language, is the first of nine Pasifika language weeks this year, and it runs from the 8th May – 14th May 2022. Rotuma Day itself was on the 6th of May.
Where is Rotuma you ask? The main island of Rotuma is about 13km by 4km and is about 580km from Fiji’s capital, Suva. Rotuma is a dependency of Fiji, so Rotumans will usually speak Fijian and English too! There are about 2000 Rotumans living on the island, and 10,000 living in mainland Fiji and globally.
More information about Rotuma Day and the history of Routma can be heard in this article from Radio NZ.
This year’s theme for Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta is:
Vetḁkia ‘os Fäega ma Ag fak hanua – Sustaining our Language and Culture.
In these times, when it sometimes feels like things are just moving too fast, we think this is a wonderful idea to reflect on.
So how do you speak Rotuman?
Well, Rotumans roll their ‘R’s and pronounce ‘G’ with a smooth ‘ing’ sound, similar to how ‘ng’ is pronounced in te reo Māori.
Here are some key phrases in Rotuman [Row-too-man]:
• Noa’ia [Noah-e-yah]= Hello, greetings.
• Ka ‘äe tapen? [Car eh tar-pen] = How are you?
• Gou lelei fḁiåksia [Ngou leh-lay for-yak-see-yah] = I am well thank you.
• Figalelei [Fee-nga-leh-lay] = Please
• Fḁiåksia [Foyak-see-yah] = Thank you
• Hanis ma röt’åk [Hah-niece mah röt-ack] = Sorry
• La’ ma ḁlalum [Lah mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those leaving)
• Fu’ ma ḁlalum [Foo mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those staying)
Find more words and phrases in this language guide produced by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples provides great resources and information about our Pasifika languages and cultural events. Visit the official NZ Rotuman Language Week Facebook page, and the official website, for more information about Rotuman Language Week 2022!