Fijian pronunciation isn't difficult for the English speaker, since most of the sounds in English are the same as the
one in the Fijian language. The standard Fijian alphabet uses all the English letters, except (x). The letters (h) and (z)
occur only rarely, in borrowed words.
Vowels-As with all Pacific languages, the five Fijian vowels are pronounced much as they are in such languages as Spanish,
German, and Italian:
A as in father
E as in bet
I as in machine
O as in more
U as in zoo
when there are two vowels together, they simply retain their original pronunciation , so that mai is pronounced like
my., lei like lay, nau like now, and so on.
most consonants are pronounced as they are in English, but a small number of differences need to be learned. first the
b & d pronounced with preceding nasal consonant, so b sounds like "mb" and d like "nd.
as in English, but without the puff of breath that often follows them. the t sounds like "ch" when it occurs before the vowel
i, so that tiko is often pronounced as if it were "jiko".
r as in the r in English
v as in the v of English to verify
The following one are a bit more tricky
c pronounced as the "th" this
j as in ch of loch
q as in ng for sing
Fijian is often said to be a relatively easy language to learn, because there are no long lists of verbs conjugations,
noun declensions, irregular past tenses, and so on.
All sentences are made up of at least two basic elements: noun phrase and verb phrases. Although there are many possible
combinations , most sentences consist of either one verb phrase, two noun phrases, or both, a noun and a verb phrase. Often
the order of elements is different from English, with the verb phrase coming before the noun phrase.
(yes- io) (no-sega) (maybe -de dua) (not yet-se bera)
There are two major types of noun in Fijian known as common and proper noun. All the nouns remain unchanged from
singular to plural, so for instance, the word vale can mean (one), (house), or (several) houses.
Commons nouns are all nouns which are not names, that is, they are general words. They are usually preceded by
the article "na":
a/the house, houses na vale
a/the dog, dogs
As you can see, the one article" a" is both definite article "the" and an indefinite article "a, an", if a/an means specially
"one" not more "or" and unknown one use "e dua na:
one house/an (unknown) house e dua na vale
"na" is often "a" when its the first word in a sentence, so the question "what?" "na cava?" often becomes "a cava?
Proper nouns , which include names of people and places , and and also independent pronouns and the word for "who", are
usually preceded by the article "o" :
john (O jone)
fiji (o Fiji)
you (sg) ( O iko)
Who? (O cei?)
Always follow the noun
the large house- na vale levu
a beautifull house -na vale totoka
a dirty shirt -na vale duka
the red shirt- na sote danudamu
quite difficult because there are so many varieties, English has only singular and plural, Fijian as four number distinctions:
singular, dual , paucal, and plural.
it would be better for me to not show you all of them, but the main and the most important ones
(i-au) (he, she, it-o) (you, we they-e), note that "he/she/it ,e, is often omitted, especially before the particle sa:
(he/she has gone-Sa lako)
Possession is another area English speakers find difficult at first, because it is rather more complicated than English
. In English there is only one type of possession, for example there are only one word for "my" . In Fijian there
are four different ways of saying "my":(-qu), (noqu), (kequ), (mequ). fortunaly, the rules are pretty straightforward:
if the noun is a suffix-possessed" noun, which is usually the case with parts of the body, parts of things, and
relationship terms, the possessive noun is added on to the noun. To illustrate with "my" , "-qu" :
my stomach-na- kete-qu
my father- na tama-qu
A simple verb is one that is never used with a direct object and so never changes its form. ( with the next two verb
types you'll see what a direct object is, and how it works with a verb .)
Examples of simple verbs are "gade" "go for a walk", go on holiday etc" and "madua" ""be ashamed:
i am on holiday-au gade
he's ashamed- E madua
Active Transitive Verbs
an active transitive verb is similar to a simple verb, but a suffix consist of a consonant plus (-a)
is added when the verb has a direct object. A direct object is something that is directly affected by the verb.
iam drinking-au gunu
iam drinking it- au gunuva
iam drinking the tea- au gunuva na fi
Passive transited verbs
a passive transited verb is one which also has a suffix added when the verb has a direct object, but which has a passive
meaning, when the verb is used without the suffix. An example of a passive transitive verb is the word for "close" sogo-ta".
In these examples, the fist phrase has an active sense (o closed it) while the second phrase is passive as the verb
imply explains an existing state (its just sitting there, closed)
i closed the shop- au sogota na sitoa
the shop is closed- E sogo na sitoa
transitive only verbs
the first class of verbs is those which are only transitively, so always have a transitive suffix attached to them. An
example is the word for "remember" "nanuma":
i remember your face-- au nanuma na matamu
The final (-a) of the suffix of all transitive verbs changes to (-i) when followed by an object that is a proper
noun or indepedent pronoun
i remember you (sg)-au nanumi iko
do you remember chartlie?- o nanumi jale?
i am afraid of him/her- au rerevaki koya
note that of a transitive verb end in -a, the form before a proper noun or independent pronoun object is -ai:
do you know thje house?- o kila na vale?
do you know us?- o kilai keitou?
the verb in the present, past and future
the ways to express the present is that the pronoun acts as a verb, to say the past (a), and the future is (na):
i went-au a lako
i will go- au na lako
Particles sa and se: There is a kind of tense that has no direct equivalent to English, and its indicated by the particles
sa, and se. the particle sa is used when the event is a new development. a, a change from the previous state, whereas
its opposite se indicate that the event is not new, but continues a previous state.
my child is (now) at school- sa vuli na luvequ
we (group) have eaten - keitou sa kana
i am going( i am about to go)- au sa lako
Verb to Have
There is no direct equivalent of (to have)
the most common equivalent is to use (e) dua plus a possessive construction:
do you have a pen?- E dua nomu(ni) peni?
he/she has a house now- Sa dua nona vale
with certain more permanent and substantial possessions, simply prefix (vaka) to the noun and use it as a verb:
they all have houses- Era vakavale kece
i have a pen- au vakadakai
Note that (vaka) becomes (va) before a word beginning with, k, q, or g:
he has a beard- E vakumi
do you (family) have a dog?- Dou vakoli?
yes/no questions are marked by a rising intonation, other question words are:
how much/many- vica
when ( at what time)?- ina vica?
for why use the word baleta
the negative is formed by sega ni (often sounded like seni in rapid speech) it occurs after the subject pronoun
and tense particles , but before the other particles:
i don't know- au sega ni kila
they don't want to lie down- Era sega ni via davo
The imperative is, as in English, the simple form , of the verb. But remember that this is only for the singular- for
numbers than the singular, the appropriate subject `pronoun should be used :
go on!- lako!
shut up! ( the two of you)-drau tikolo!
can- the English "can is translated by rawa ni after the subject pronoun:
can we walk?- O(ni) rawa ni taubale?
for should and ought to , use dododonu me
it ought to be open- E dodonu me dola
May/might use the postverbial particle beka:
it may be open- E dola Beka
there's no single translation. when it means obliged to, use the conjunction me/mo:
you must be there at two- mo tiko kina ina rua
want to use the postverbial particle via:
do you want to dance?- O via danisi?
Often the meaning is already clear in the sentence, or the postverbial particle cake may be used
he/she/its better- E vinaka cake
superlative are formed by placing duadua after the adjective:
The largest kava bowl- na tanoa levu duadua
there are only four commonly used prepositions, ie words that mean, in at , to, from, with, about, etc
i- used with things and places
mai- used with distant things and places
vei- used with people (including pronouns) , vei is joined with the third person singular (he/she) as vua
kei- means )together) with"
iam staying in Suva- au tiko i suva
go away from here- lako tani i ke
they com from new Zealand - era lako mai niusiladi
I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED THE GRAMMAR, ITS ABBREVIATED ALTHOUGH IT GIVES YOU A GOOD START TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE, BESIDES,
WITH ALL THIS YOU CAN MAKE IT, YOU CAN SPEAK THE LANGUAGE WITHOUT A PROBLEM, I BET ON THAT, SO ENJOY YOURSELF