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Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta - Rotuman Language Week 2024

By Zoe

Noaʻia ʻe mḁuri gagaj ʻatakoa! Welcome to Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta | Rotuman Language Week 2024!

Image text: Fäeag Rotuạm ta everyday. Sustaining our language and culture. Rotuma language week  12-18 May

What is Rotuman Language Week?

Rotuman Language Week is the first in a series of Pasifika Language Weeks that are celebrated in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

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 eleven Pasifika language weeks this year, and it runs from the 12 – 18 May 2024.

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.

Here is a cool little video about Rotuma Day and the history of Rotuma by Tagata Pasifika.

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 it 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]:

Rotuman language card of common phrases. Noa'ia = Greetings Hello. Figalelei = Please. Turo' = Excuse me.

Here is an audio file so you can hear how to pronounce Noa'ia (Hello)

Find more words and phrases like the ones above in this language guide produced by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

Here is a really interesting interview from RNZ with Letila Mitchell, the artistic director of Rako, a Rotuman dance group from when they visited NZ in 2023.

If you want to participate in some of the events around the country, here is the Calendar of Events and the official Facebook Page.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples provides great resources and information about our Pasifika languages and cultural events. Visit the official website for more information about Rotuman Language Week 2024!