One of the most exciting things about Fiji is the three official languages (English, Fijian and Hinustani) widely spoken by the South Pacific population. English is used most predominantly and has been adopted by the courts, businesses and the education system.
The traditional Fijian language is made up of a number of dialects, with the official interpretation being Bau Fijian. An Austronesian language, Fijian was initially spoken in Fiji when the first inhabitants arrived 3500 years ago from either Vanuatu or the Solomons. Today just 450,000 (less than half the population) Fijians speak it as their first language, while 200,000 speak Fijian as a second language.
Words with a 'd' sound an invisible 'n' before the letter (i.e Nadi is pronounced 'Nandi' and the tasty cool, marinated seafood dish called kokoda, is pronounced 'kokonda'). You also must put an 'm' immediately before the 'b' in some words like Toberua (Tomberua). Other irregularities include sigatoka which becomes 'singatoka' and naigani is 'ninegani'. 'C' is also pronounced as a 'th', so Mamanuca becomes 'Mamanutha'.
Common words and phrases include:
|Hello/hi||ni sa bula||nee sar bula|
|Good morning||ni sa yadra||nee sar yarndra|
|Goodbye||sa moce||sa more there|
|Please||yalo vinaka||yarlo veenarka|
|Excuse me||tulou||too low|
|Thank you very much||vinaka vaka levu||veenarka varka levoo|
|A little/small||vaka lailai||va ka lie lie|
|Great/a lot||vaka levu||va ka levoo|
|Fast||vaka totolo||va ka tortorlo|
|Slowly||vaka malua||va ka mar lua|
|Toilet||vale lailai||va le lie lie|
|Come||lako mai||la ko my|
|Go||lako tani||la ko tan i|
|One more||dua tale||du a ta le|
Note: Greetings may be shortened, for example: Ni sa bula can be just 'bula', ni sa yandra can be just 'yandra' and sa moce can be simply 'moce'.