Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti | Fijian Language Week 2023


… and welcome to Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti | Fijian Language Week 2023! Fiji is a tropical paradise located in the South Pacific Ocean, known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforests. The friendly people of Fiji welcome visitors with open arms, and their culture is rich and vibrant.

Fijian Language Week runs from Sunday 8 – Saturday 14 October. Our theme this year is:

Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa vakaviti | Nurture, preserve, and sustain the Fijian language

If you’re just starting to learn about Fiji, here are some quick iwiliwili vakasakiti — some fascinating numbers — to get you started:

  • Humans have been living in Fiji for over 3,000 years!
  • There are more than 330 Fijian islands, but you’ll only find people living on about 110 of them.
  • Fiji started forming around 150 million years ago, caused by volcanic activity under the sea!
  • The largest island — Viti Levu — makes up 57% of Fiji’s total land area, and holds three quarters of the whole population.

Let’s celebrate Fijian Language Week by exploring the culture of Fiji, visiting your local library for fantastic resources, and embracing the theme of nurturing, preserving and sustaining the Fijian language.

Kai | Kakana

A plant with green, heart-shaped leaves.

Yaqona, also known as the kava plant. Image: Piper methysticum (leaves) by Forest & Kim Starr on Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 DEED.

As in many Pasifika nations, traditional Fijian foods leans on local resources like fish, coconut, kumara, and taro.

Yaqona — a pepper plant found across many Pacific islands — can be made into a beverage called kava, which adults in Fiji drink at celebrations and ceremonies.

Lovo is a meal cooked underground, much like our hāngī in Aotearoa. It requires a lot of preparation and a variety of ingredients, so it’s usually only made for big events like weddings or festivals. Here’s a rough idea of how it’s laid out:

Image: supplied by author.

Useful Words | Vosa Veivukei

Let’s encourage everyone to learn the Fijian language by using simple words and phrases in your everyday conversations. Here are some examples of everyday words you might use:

Ni sa bula vinaka | Greetings/Hello
Ni sa bula vinaka kece sara | Greetings Everyone
Ni sa moce | Goodbye
Kerekere | Please
Vinaka vakalevu | Thank you
Drau sa vakacava tiko? | How are you?
Au daumaka tiko, vinaka | I am fine, thank you
O cei na yacamu? | What is your name?
Na yacaqu ko | My name is ______
Lutu na niu, lutu ki vuna | The coconut falls close to its roots

Language is a wonderful way to connect with others and celebrate diversity. You can learn even more phrases by using the Fijian Language Cards from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples!

Discover Fiji through books!

Look for books about Fiji’s culture, history, and of course, the Fijian language. You can find some more books in the Fijian language on our catalogue here.

Vunimaqo and me : mango tree collections / Kamali, Daren

“A collection of poems, coupled with images that deepen the words, channelling the many voices and the stories of those who found connections and shelter by the mango tree. The author was born and raised in Suva, Fiji, but is now based in New Zealand. In English with some Fijian words, includes a glossary.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Fijian reference grammar / Schütz, Albert J.
“This book is based on over fifty years of research on the Fijian language–both the standard language and its many dialects. It does not attempt to follow any particular linguistic theory, but in contrast, focuses heavily on describing the language in context. The data that it is based on include material written and spoken by Fijians–ranging from the advice offered by the author’s colleagues in the Fijian (monolingual) Dictionary Project to Fijian-language newspapers and textbooks, to recordings of loanwords and casual conversations, and–most recently–the text and DVD of a recent Fijian play, Lakovi. ” (adapted from Catalogue)

My ocean home Fiji / Casey, Penelope
“My Ocean Home Fiji is a beautiful children’s book that tells the story of Tui and his Fijian friends, who explore the magical world under the sea.” (Catalogue)

Fijian for kids / Jahri Jah Jah
“Learn to speak words and phrases in Fijian. This book packs in many common words and phrases., including greetings, colours, numbers, body parts, animals and farewells. It is a great resource for anybody wanting to learn some basic words in Fijian. Suitable for ages 1+” (Catalogue)

Counting in Fijian / Jahri Jah Jah
“Simple illustrations and text introduce the numbers from 1 to 15 in the Fijian language. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

Fiji / Sorovi-Vunidilo, Tarisi
“The islands of Fiji are full of rich history and culture. Describes the history, customs, geography, and culture of the people who live there, and provides authentic vocabulary words for an immersive experience. Includes a glossary, index, and bibliography for further reading.” (Catalogue)

Let’s come together to make a difference, one word at a time. Vinaka vakalevu (thank you very much) for joining us in this exciting celebration of Fijian Language Week!

Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti: Fijian Language Week 2022


Fiji is a southwestern Pacific island nation located about 800 kilometres southwest of Samoa and 1,800 kilometres North of New Zealand. It is an archipelago (a group of islands) made up of several hundred islands.  There are around 20,000 Fijian people living in Aotearoa!

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Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Fijian Language Week is Sunday 2 October – Saturday 8 October 2022

This is a chance to celebrate the Fijian language and culture in New Zealand and around the world!  This year the theme is:

Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa vakaviti. | Nurture, preserve and sustain the Fijian language.

Celebrate Fijian Language week with workshops at Newlands Community Centre!

Wellington Fijian Language class invite children of primary and intermediate age to celebrate Fijian language with a free workshop of language, games, food and art! Learn some simple Fijian phrases, play some traditional games, learn how to do some Fijian weaving. There will be a lunch at 1pm, you are welcome to bring a plate to contribute. Parents and carers welcome. Please contact the centre to register – ph 04 4773724 or email

Click the image to find out about more events here in Te Upoko-o-te-ika-a-Māui Wellington Region! PLW-Email-Signature-Fijian

Here are some simple phrases to get you started speaking Fijian:

Ni sa bula vinaka – Greetings/Hello
Ni sa moce – vei kemuni na gole – Goodbye – to those who are leaving
Ni sa moce – vei kemuni na tiko – Goodbye – to those who are staying
Kerekere – Please
Vinaka vakalevu  – Thank you

Special phrases to use in the library:

Au tiko ena vale ni vola
I am at the library

Au wili vola tiko
I am reading a book

You can learn some more simple Fijian phrases on the Ministry of Pacific Peoples Website here

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Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta: Rotuman Language Week 2022

Noaʻia ʻe mḁuri gagaj ʻatakoa! Welcome to Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta | Rotuman Language Week 2022.

Poster courtesy of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

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!

Focus On: Fijian Language

Bula! Hello!

Recently is was Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti- Fijian Language Week. So we thought we would highlight some cool facts and books about the beautiful Fijian Language! Wellington City Libraries would love to journey with you as you learn more about the language, the culture and the people of Fiji.

Here are some handy things to say:

Au tiko ena vale ni vola.
I am at the library.

Au wili vola tiko
I am reading a book

Ko kila e dua na vosa vakaviti?
Do you know any Fijian language?


If you would like to learn some Fijian, you could choose to borrow these books from ena vale (the library):

Fijian for kids by Jahri Jah Jah


Matanivola vaka viti = Fijian alphabets by T. Vunidilo




Would you like to find out more about Fiji – the people and the place? Try these books:


Go Fiji, Go! by David Riley

The inspiring story behind Fiji’s first Olympic gold medal … and the incredible joy it brought to the nation. Wananavu (awesome) for ages 7 – 10.




Billy’s Weekend by Jill MacGregor

Billy, who lives on the island of Ovalau in Fiji, describes some of the things he does on the weekend. Includes some Fijian words, and a glossary. Wananavu (awesome) for ages 3 – 6.


Vinaka vakalevu! – Thankyou very much!