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Te taetae ni Kiribati

The language of Kiribati


Kaain iia ngkoe? - Reirei Aua

Where are you from? - Lesson Four


This lesson is set on a plane, a first meeting. It is centered around the question of where you come from, and what you are doing. Explaining where you come from will probably come up often, and this lesson should prepare you with some possible ways of responding.



Study the dialogue well. Afterwards you should be able to ask and answer questions pertaining to the content, such as who comes from where, where they are going, what they will do, etc. (in Kiribati) Prepare a set of these questions to direct to the rest of your class.

dialogue for study

Kaain iia ngkoe?

Where are you from?

Te kaaitiboo iaon te waanikiba

Iai uoman mm'ane, temanna te tia reirei ae boni kaaini Kiribati ao temanna te Peace Corps Volunteer. A uaia ni bootaki n tekateka. Ai tib'a te moan tai ae a kaaitiboo iai iaon te waanikiba. E moana te marooroo te Peace Corps Volunteer...

Meeting on the plane

There are two men, one a teacher who is I Kiribati and one a Peace Corps Volunteer. They are sitting together. They have just met on the plane. The PCV begins the conversation ...

Bita:  Nao ko na mauri. Antai aram?Peter:  Hello sir. What's your name?
Baraniko:   Ko na mauri. Arau Baraniko ao ngkoe antai aram?Bara:   Hello. My name is Baraniko, what's yours?
Bita:   Arau Bita. Kaain iia ngkoe?Peter:   My name is Peter. Where are you from?
Baraniko:   Boni kaain Abemama ngai ma I mm'akuri i Tarawa. Au mm'akuri bon te tia reirei ma N na nako ni motirawa irouia au karo i Abemama.Bara:   I'm from Abemama but I work on Tarawa. I work as a teacher and I'm taking my vacation with my parents on Abemama.
Bita:   Ngai N na nako naba Abemama ni mm'akuri. Peter:  I'm going to Abemama too, to work.
Baraniko:   Taninga, ao kaain iia ngkoe?Bara:  Wait, where are you from?
Bita:   Ngai boni kaain Florida i Amerika ao I roko b'a te Peace Corps Volunteer n aroia VSO mai Buritan.Peter:  I'm from Florida in America, and I've come as a PCV, like the VSO from Britain.
Baraniko:   Taiaoka, ao teraa am mm'akuri i Abemama? Bara:  Excuse me, what's your work on Abemama?
Bita:   N na mm'akuri n te ununiki ikekei.Peter:  I'm going to work in agriculture there.

Additional Activities:    

Study this additional dialogue until you understand it. Then rewrite it, using facts from your life for the life for the new content. Present your new dialogue to the class.

additional dialogue

Bita:  Boni kaain Abemama ngkoe? Peter:  And you, are you really from Abemama?
Bara:  E eng, boni kaain Abemama ngai ma I bungiaki i Tarawa.Bara:  Yes, I'm Abemaman, but I was born on Tarawa.
Bita:  E ngaa te aba ae ko tangiria riki Abemama ke Tarawa?Peter:  Which island do you like better, Abemama or Tarawa?
Bara:  I tangira riki Abemama. E rangi ni bati te aomata i Tarawa. I kukurei riki ni maeka i Abemama. Ao ngkoe, boni kaain Florida?Bara:  I like Abemama better. There are too many people on Tarawa. I'm happier living on Abemama. And you, are you really from Florida?
Bita:  Tiaki, ngai boni kaain Nevada ma I mm'akuri b'a te kaabenta i Florida.Peter:  No, I'm from Nevada, but I work as a carpenter in Florida.
Bara:  E ngaa te tabo ae ko tangiria riki Florida ke Nevada?Bara:  Which place do you like better, Florida or Nevada?
Bita:  I tangira riki Nevada b'a e aki bati naba te aomata iai.Peter:  I like Nevada better because there aren't so many people there either.
Bara:  E raoiroi tao ti na boni manga kaaitiboo iaon Abemama n tabetai.Bara:  That's good, maybe we'll meet again sometimes on Abemama.
Bita:  E eng, ko rab'a naba.Peter:  Yes, and thanks also.
Bara:  Ao ngkoe ko rab'a naba. Ti a manga kaaitiboo rimwii.Bara:  Thank you too. We'll meet again later.

Outside Activities:

When you meet new people, find out where they are from, and let them know something of your background as well. See if you can detect distinctive accents from the different islands of the group, especially the differences between north and south.

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.