Kiribati (Fall 2014)

Me and my language

Central Kiribati Dialect

Southern Dialect (Beru and Nikunau)

Te taetae ni Kiribati (Kiribati language) is a language from the Austronesian family, part of the Oceanian branch and has a basic verb-object-subject word. The Kiribati language has three main dialects: the Northern, Central and the Southern dialects. The main differences between them are in the pronunciation. Nikunau and Beru are the only two islands that have a unique and funny dialect among the 33 islands of Kiribati (refer to audio recordings above; Central dialect v Nikunau and Beru dialect.  It mostly similar to the standard Kiribati in vocabulary but very differ in pronunciation. The main issue is that when people from these two islands visit other Kiribati islands, their dialect can disappear very easily. The dominant dialect is the Central Kiribati islands dialect which is where the capital city is.

Name: Amota Ataneka
Preferred language name(s): Kiribati language
Alternative names: Gilbertese
Language classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ikiribati
Geographical areas where spoken: Micronesia, NZ, Tuvalu, Australia, Fiji, Nauru, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands
Approximate number of monolingual speakers: 63,000
Other languages spoken in the area/country:  English
Official language(s) in your country: English
Does your language have a widely accepted writing system? Yes
If yes, what materials are written? News papers, bible and books

Language Background
What have other sources said about your language?

Reported # of speakers                                                 Vitality Assessment        not listed                                100,000               1                                117,910               Not listed

at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa