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Kiribati (taetae ni Kiribati)

Kiribati is a Micronesian language spoken in Kiribati, Fiji, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu by about 70,000 people. The Republic of Kiribati was formerly called the Gilbert Islands and their languge was called Gilbertese. The islands were named after Captain Thomas Gilbert, who discovered the main island of the group in 1788. Kiribati [kiribas] is the local version of Gilbert. The original name of the islands was Tungaru.

The Kiribati language first appeared in writing in the middle of the 19th century. Rev. Hiram Bingham Jr. arrived in the Gilbert Islands in 1857 from a Protestant mission based in Hawaii. He devised a way of writing Kiribati using the Latin alphabet, and used it to produce a translation of the Bible. Other missionaries developed different spelling systems.

In the mid-1970s, the Kiribati Language Board was established to standardise the orthography and grammar of the Kiribati language, to compose and update a dictionary, and to work towards development of a Kiribati literature.

Kiribati alphabet and pronunciation

A a B b E e I i K k M m N n
ah bee eh ee kee mm nn
[a] [b] [e] [i] [k] [m] [n]
Ng ng O o R r T t U u W w  
ngg oh ree see oo wee  
[ŋ] [o] [r] [s] [u] [w]  

Sample text in Kiribati

I a butiiko ma kawiiremweko riki n taetae ao tai kaboonganai taeka aika a kaangaanga b'a I aonga ni waetata n rabakau.

Please speak slowly, and don't use difficult words, so that I can learn more quickly.

Information about Kiribati | Kiribati phrases | | Kiribati numbers | Tower of Babel in Kiribati


Information about Kiribatai

Online Kiribati language lessons

Kiribati dictionaries

Micronesian languages

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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