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Te taetae ni Kiribati

The language of Kiribati


Antai aram? - Reirei Uoua

What's your name? - Lesson Two


This lesson provides a means for discovering people's names, as well as an introduction to some common grammatical features – possessive pronouns and person demonstratives. After mastering the material in this lesson, you should be able to ask the name of someone you meet, ask someone about others' names, and answer these questions when addressed to you.

dialogue for memorization

Antai aram?

What's your name?

A:   Taiaoka Nao, antai aram?A:   Please sir, what's your name?
B:  Arau ______, ao ngkoe antai aram?B:   My name is ______, and you, what's your name?
A:   Arau ______. Ao antai aran teuaanne / neienne?A:  My name is ______. And what's his / her name, that man / woman?
B:   Arana ______. B:  His / Her name is ______.
A:   Antai aran teuaarei / neierei?A:  What's the name of that man / woman there?
B:   I aki ataia, ko konaa n titirakinna.B:  I don't know, you can ask him / her.


1. A list of Kiribati names with their English equivalents follows. Select a name for yourself, and use your new name and those of your fellow students in playing out the dialogue.

2. Memorize the dialogue.

Taian ara ni mm'aane:   Some names of men:
Arobati   Albert
Arekantara   Alexander
Anterea   Andrew
Antonio   Anthony
B'arotorome   Bartholomew
Beniamina   Benjamin
Tiaare   Charles
Kiritoba   Christopher
Tawita   David
Etuati, Etuare, Etuete   Edward
Eria   Elias
Baraniko, Barantiti   Francis
Tioti   George
Eneri, Enere, Erene   Henry
Tiemti   James
laone, Tiaon, loane   John
loteba   Joseph
luriuti   Julius
Rui   Louis
Mareko   Mark
Mataio   Matthew
Maikare, Mikaere   Michael
Mote   Moses
Nikora   Nicolas
Bateriki, Baterika   Patrick
Bauro   Paul
Betero, Bita   Peter
Biribo   Phillip
Tebano   Stephen
Taomati, Tooma, Tom, Taom   Thomas
Waoreta   Walter
Wiriam, Uriam   William
Taian ara n aiine:   Some names of women:
Akineti   Agnes
Ameria   Amelia
Anna   Ann
Beatirike   Beatrix
Karorina   Caroline
Torotea   Dorothy
Eritabeta   Elizabeth
Emeri   Emily
Itabera   Isabella
Tien   Jane
Iuriana   Juliana
Ruitia, Ruta   Louisa
Rutia, Ruti   Lucy
Matarena   Magdalen
Marekerita   Margaret
Mareta   Martha
Maria, Meri, Mere   Mary
Tara   Sarah
Tobia   Sophia
Tuutana   Susan
Teretia   Therese

Taeka riki tabeua:   Some additional words:
arau, aram, arana, aran   my name, your name, his name, name of
arara, aramii, araia   our names, your names, their names
uaakai, uaakanne, uaakekei   these men, those men, those men there
teuaaei, teuaanne, teuaarei   this man, that man, that man there
naakai, naakanne, naakekei   these people, those people, those people there
neiei, neienne, neierei   this woman, that woman, that woman there
aomata akekei   those people

additional dialogues

Antai aramii?

What are your names?

Approaching a group
A:  Taioka naaka, antai aramii?  Excuse me folks, what are your names?
B:  Arau ngai ______.  My name is ______.
C:  Ao ngai ______.  And I'm ______.
D:  Arau ______.   My name is ______.
E:  Ao ngai arau ______.  And me, my name is ______.
One introduces the others
A:  Taioka naaka, antai aramii?  Excuse me folks, what are your names?
B:  Arau ngai ______.
Aran neiei ______, ao teuaaei ______.
Ao aran teuaarei / neierei ______.
  My name is ______.
The name of this woman is ______, and this man, ______.
And the name of that man / woman is ______.

Additional Activities:

Using the additional vocabulary provided, as well as these new model dialogues, create new dialogues for different situations, using the Kiribati names you have chosen. Act them out with various members of your class.



Nao (Sir), Neiko, Nei (Miss), and Naaka (You folks) are generally used as terms of address for attracting attention, as when someone isn't looking at you, and are not often used when you already have someone's attention. Neiko seems to have a connotation of familiarity when spoken by a man, especially a stranger.
(On Nonouti (S.), Atae is used for Sir or Madam.)

Outside Activities:

Practice these new name learning devices on people you meet, keeping a list of new names you encounter, especially those with no English counterpart.


Grammar References:

See the grammar sections on possessive pronoun suffixes and person demonstratives for a fuller explanation of the new vocabulary items.

Kiribati page

© 1979, 2003 Stephen Trussel, ACTION / Peace Corps, The Experiment in International Living. The Experiment in International Living, Inc., prepared this handbook for the U. S. Government under ACTION Contract number 78-043-1037. The reproduction of any part of this handbook other than for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research, or other "fair use" is subject to the prior written permission of ACTION.