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Prose Selections     Peḷọk

Prose Selections
from Spoken Marshallese

(see below for information on book and cds of these texts)

1.   [The Marshall Islands in 1965] [SM7]
2.   Ij iọkwe ḷọk aelōñ eo aō. I remember with nostalgia my island. [Song] [SM8]
3.   [The people and their history] [SM9]
4.   Kaṃōḷo. A traditional celebration. [SM10]
5.   Kien ko joñoul. Ten Commandments. [SM10]
6.   Ṃōñā. Food. [SM11]
7.   Jerbal in Ājmour. Public health. [SM12]
8.   Wūno in Ṃajeḷ. Marshallese medicine. [SM13]
9.   Jikuuḷ ilo Ṃajeḷ. Schools in the Marshalls. [SM14]
10.   Ni. The coconut. [SM15]
11.   Aje. Drums. [SM16]
12.   Jāānkun. Pudding. [SM17]
13.   Inoñ in Ṃajeḷ. Legends. [SM18]
14.   Ilomej. At time of death. [SM19]
15.   [Marshall Islands Congress—as of 1965] [SM20]
16.   [Congress of Micronesia—as of 1965] [SM21]
17.   Piiḷ Tūreep. Field Trip. [SM 22]
18.   Pinniep. Coconut oil. [SM23]
19.   Jekaro. Coconut Toddy. [SM24]
20.   Ṃakṃōk. Starch [Arrowroot]. [SM25]
21.   Bubu. Divination. [SM25]
22.   Aebōj laḷ. Cisterns. [SM26]
23.   Menin mour. Animals. [SM27]
24.   Jikuuḷ ko ilo Aelōñ ko Ilikin. Outer-island schools. [SM27]
25.   Apañ an iial im retio in kōnono ilo Ṃajeḷ. Barriers to travel and radio communication in the Marshalls. [SM28]
26.   Retio. Radio. [SM28]
27.   Wāween kōjparok ek. Methods of fish preservation. [SM29]
28.   Bwiro. Preserved breadfruit. [SM30]
29.   Bonus Selection. [SM30]

 

 

1. [The Marshall Islands in 1965] [SM7]

Eor jilñuul-emān aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ: joñoul-rualitōk aelōñ in Rālik im joñoul-jiljino aelōñ in Ratak. Rālik ej etan aelōñ ko rej ekkar iturilik ilo meto in Ṃajeḷ, im Ratak ej ñan ko rej ekkar iturear. Armej ro ilo aelōñ in Rālik kab Ratak, eoktak jidik aer ekkonono jān doon. Ṃajeḷ ej tijtūrūk eo reeaar tata ilo Trust Territory. Mājro ej ijo jeban kien eo an Ṃajeḷ im elōñ armej jān kajjojo aelōñ ko ilikin rej jokwe ie. Epjā, ilo aelōñ in Kuwajleen, ej jikin eo kein karuo an kien ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ. Armej rein ioon Epjā rej jerbal ilo Kuwajleen, jikin kōkeḷọk mijeḷ an rūttariṇae in Amedka. Pikinni im Ānewetak rej ijoko Amedka ear teej baaṃ ie. There are thirty-four islands in the Marshalls: eighteen islands in the Rālik and sixteen in the Ratak. Rālik is the name of the islands located to the west in the sea of the Marshalls, and Ratak of those to the east. [S1] The people in the Rālik and Ratak speak a little differently from each other. The Marshalls is [in 1965] the easternmost district in the Trust Territory. Majuro is the seat [lit. the head] of the Marshalls government, and many people from each of the outer islands live there. Ebeye, in Kwajalein Atoll, is [in 1965] the secondary seat of government in the Marshalls. These people on Ebeye work at Kwajalein Island, site of missle launching of the American military. Bikini and Einiwetok are where America tested bombs.

 

 

2. Ij iọkwe ḷọk aelōñ eo aō. - I remember with nostalgia my island. [Song] [SM8]

Ij iọkwe ḷọk aelōñ eo aō, ijo iar ḷotak ie, Meḷan ko ie, im iiaḷ ko ie, im iaieo ko ie, Ij jāmin ilọk jāne, bwe ijo jikū eṃool, Im aō ḷāṃorōn in deo, eṃṃan ḷọk ñe inaaj mej ie. I remember with nostalgia my island, the place where I was born, The surroundings there, the paths there, and the comings and goings there, I will never leave it, because it is my rightful place, And my heritage forever, it is best that I die there.

 

 

3. [The people and their history] [SM9]

Eor tarrin joñoul rualitōk taujin armej ilo Ṃajeḷ rainin. Elōñ abkaaj in Nippoñ, Jāmne, Jeina, Bodeke, im bar elōñ laḷ. Aelōñ kein raar pād iuṃwin pein Jipein, Jāmne, Jepaan, im ālikin pata eo ḷọk ñan rainin, rej pād iuṃwin pein Amedka. Kien eo an Amedka ej jipañ armej rein bwe ren wōnṃaanḷọk im bōk jikier ippān laḷ ko jet. There are [in 1965] about eighteen thousand people in the Marshalls today. Many are part Japanese, German, Chinese, Portuguese, and also from other countries of origin. These islands were under the wing of Spain, Germany, Japan, and after the war up until today [as of 1965] under the wing of America. The American government is helping these people move forward and take their place among other countries.

 

 

4. Kaṃōḷo. - A traditional celebration. [SM10]

Elañe kwōj ruwamāejet ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ armej ro rej koba im bōkwōj ṃōñā im men-in-leḷọk ko ñan eok. Etan men jab in: kaṃōḷo. Rej bōk waj bao im piik im mā im aolep kain ṃōñā, kab amiṃōṇo. Rej al im eb ñan eok im kwōj aikuj in jutak in jipiij im kaṃṃoolol er. Rej kaṃōḷo wōt ñan ruwamāejet kab irooj, ñe ej wōr keemem, kab ñe ewōr ri-lotok. If you are a newcomer to the Marshalls, the people gather and bring you food and gifts. The name of this sort of festivity: Kaṃōḷo ‘making cool’. They bring chickens, pork, breadfruit, and all kinds of food and handicraft. They sing and dance for you, and you are expected to stand up and say a few words, and thank them. Only newcomers and chiefs are honored in this way, or if there is a first birthday, or if there are visitors.

 

 

5. Kien ko joñoul. - Ten Commandments. [SM10]

En ejjeḷọk bar anij raṇ ippaṃ ijellọkū. Kwōn jab kōṃṃan im jekjek ekjap ñan eok. Kwōn jab ba pata etan Jeova aṃ Anij; bwe Jeova ejāmin joḷọk ruōn eo ej ba pata etan. Kwōn keememej raan in Jabōt bwe kwōn kokkwōjarjare. Kwōn kipliie ñan jeṃaṃ im jinōṃ, bwe en to raan ko aṃ ioon āneo Jeova aṃ Anij ej lewōj ñan eok. Kwōn jab uror. Kwōn jab lejān. Kwōn jab kọọt. Kwōn jab kōnnaan naan in riab ṇae ri-turuṃ. Kwōn jab ankoṇak iṃōn ri-turuṃ, kwōn jab ankoṇak lio pāleen ri-turuṃ, jaab karejeran ṃaan, jaab karejeran kōrā, jaab an kau, jaab an aj, jaab men ko jabdewōt an ri-turuṃ. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Thou shalt not take in vain the name of the Lord thy God, for the Lord will never forgive one who takes his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

 

 

6. Ṃōñā. - Food. [SM11]

Ej jab kanooj lōñ ṃōñā ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ. Eḷap an lōñ ek, ak ej jab bwe mā im men ko jet. Raij im pilawā, jukwa, im ṃōñā ko jet ilo kāān rej itok jān Amedka, Aujterelia, kab Jepaan. Eḷap aer kaddeḷọñtok ṃweiuk im ṃōñā jān aer kaddiwōjḷọk waini. There is really not a lot of food in the islands of the Marshalls. There are lots of fish, but not enough breadfruit and other foods. Rice and flour, sugar and other foods in cans come from America, Australia, and Japan. More goods and foods are imported than the copra that is exported.

 

 

7. Jerbal in Ājmour. - Public health. [SM12]

Ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ, kien ej bōk eddoin aolep jerbal ko kijjien kōjparok im bōbrae armej jān nañinmej im jorrāān. Ejjeḷọk wōṇāān taktō ñan ri-jikuuḷ, im ñan armej ro jet, ewōr wōṇāān ak edik. Aolep taktō rej jerbal ñan kien, ej jab āinwōt Aṃedkā. Eḷap tata ilo Ṃajeḷ nañinmej in uwur, pokpok, kab jiemetak. Nañinmej ko rōḷḷap rej aolep itok jān aelōñ in pālle, ainwōt polio kab tiipi. In the Marshall Islands, the government takes the responsibility of caring for and protecting people from sickness and harm. Medical care is free for students, while others pay a modest fee. All doctors are employees of the government, unlike in the USA. The most common sicknesses are head colds, coughs, and abdominal pain. Major diseases such as polio and tuberculosis have all come from foreign countries.

 

 

8. Wūno in Ṃajeḷ. - Marshallese medicine. [SM13]

Ṃokta jān an ri-pālle bōktok wūno ko aer, ri-Ṃajeḷ raar make kōṃṃan aer wūno jān bōlōk, wūjooj, okar im men ko jet. Jerbal in wūnook armej an jejjo wōt. Ri-wūno rein raar ṇooj wūno ko aer im wāween kōṃṃani im kwaḷọk wōt ñan ro nukwier im jerāer. Kōn an kar mejinede ro ḷōmṇak bwe wūno in Ṃajeḷ ej jerbal kōn anijnij, raar jab kanooj ṃōṇōṇō in kōtḷọk an armej kōjerbale. Taktō ro rej jab bar kōtḷọk an ri-Ṃajeḷ make wūno bwe ej jab erreo aer kōṃṃan wūno im bar juon eḷap aer bōk maroñ jān armej. Kōn men in, ṃōttan jidik ejjeḷọk ri-wūno ej mour wōt kiiō. Before Westerners brought their medicines, the Marshallese made medicines on their own from leaves, grasses, roots, and other things. Practicing traditional medicine is reserved for a select few. These medical practicioners kept their medicines and how to use them secret, and revealed them only to their families and friends. Because the missionaries thought that Marshallese medicine involved sorcery, they were not very happy to permit people to use it. The doctors also do not allow Marshallese to treat (patients) by themselves, for the way they prepare medications is unsanitary and also they usurp the people's right to do so. As a result, soon there will no longer be any living practicioners of Marshallese medicine.

 

 

9. Jikuuḷ ilo Ṃajeḷ. - Schools in the Marshalls. [SM14]

Ewōr juon aijikuuḷ kab jejjo jikuuḷ jiddik ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ. Enañin aolep jikuuḷ kein an kien bōtab ebar wōr an Katlik im Būrotijen. Ewōr emān an Būrotijen jikuuḷ kab ruo an Katlik. Elōñ ri-kaki in pālle ilo jikuuḷ kein rōḷḷap ak enañin aolep jikuuḷ ko rōddik ilo aelōñ ko ilikin ri-Ṃajeḷ wōt rej ri-kaki. Bok, pinjeḷ, im ṃweiien jikuuḷ ko jet, reiiet wōt. Kōn men in jerbal in ri-kaki ilo aelōñ ko ilikin ej juon jerbal epen im ebōk iien. There is one high school—and a few lower schools—in the Marshall Islands [as of 1965]. Most of these schools are public schools, but there are also Catholic and Protestant schools [as of 1965]. Four of the schools are Protestant and two Catholic [as of 1965]. There are a number of Western teachers in the larger schools, but almost all of the small outer-island schools have only Marshallese teachers. Books, pencils, and other school supplies are in short supply. For this reason, the job of the teacher in outer-island schools is demanding and time consuming.

 

 

10. Ni. - The coconut. [SM15]

Eḷap an ri-Ṃajeḷ jeraaṃṃan kōn an dedek ni ilo aelōñ ko aer. Ni ej leḷọk ñan er limeer, kijeer, iṃweer, kinieer, kab waan aer itoitok iloṃaḷo im ilọmeto—bareinwōt aer kein jerbal im kein tariṇae ilo raan ko etto. Rej kōṃṃan enañin aolep men ko rej aikuji ñan mour jān ni im men ko leen. Ñe en kar jab ni, ri-Ṃajeḷ rōban kar maroñ mour. The Marshallese people are extremely fortunate that coconut trees grow in their islands. Coconuts provide them with beverages, food, dwellings, bedding, and canoes for their traveling in lagoons and in the ocean — and also their tools and weapons in olden days. They make almost everything they need to live from the conconut and its fruit. If it weren’t for the coconut, the Marshallese people would not have been able to survive.

 

 

11. Aje. - Drums. [SM16]

Aje ej juon kein kōjañjañ im eiten āinḷọk wōt tūraṃ. Ej kar kein kōjañjañ eo dein ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ ṃokta jān an deḷọñ tok laḷ ko jet. Aje ej kōṃṃan jān kilin pako. Kilin ek in ej eḷḷọk ṇa imejān juon ṃōttan wōjke rot ṇe me ewōr lowaan. Men in aje ekōn jerbal ilo iien rot ṇe an eb, tariṇae, im kwelōk an irooj eḷḷap ro im aḷap ro etto. Ilo raan kein i Ṃajel ekanooj in jeja ellolo aer kōjerbal aje. Im barāinwōt eiiet ro me rej kōṃṃane men in aje. The aje is a musical instrument similar to a drum. It was the only kind of musical instrument in the Marshalls before Western contact. The aje is made from shark skin. The skin of this fish is tied over the opening of a hollow log. This drum used to be used at such times as dances, battles, and as an alarm for calling together family leaders in olden times. Today in the Marshalls one rarely sees aje being used. And there are few who make aje anymore.

 

 

12. Jāānkun. - Pudding. [SM17]

Eor ruo kain jāānkun; juon ej kōṃṃan jān mā. Wāween kōṃṃan jāānkun jān bōb eñin, ñe ej owat bōb, jej aintiini ak uṃwini. Kilọkwe im ej waḷọk mokwaṇ. Jej kōjeek mokwaṇ eṇ, im ñe eṃōrā, limi na ilowaan maañ. Kiō epojak ñan ṃōñā jabdewōt iien. Jāānkun in mā ej kōṃṃan jān Mejwaan. Ñe ej emmed, kwōj uṃwini im ewaḷọk liped ak jekaka. Kōjeke im ñe eṃōrā, tūrtūri ṇa ilo maañ im lukoj kōn ekkwaḷ im epojak ñan ṃōñā. There are two kinds of jāānkun; one is made from breadfruit. The way to make jāānkun from pandanus is, when it is ripe, to boil it or bake it. Press it and out comes pandanus pudding. We put it under the sun, and when it is dry, wrap it in pandanus leaves. Now it is ready to eat at any time. Breadfruit jāānkun is made from the Mejwaan variety of breadfruit. When it is ripe, you bake it and it becomes liped (baked breadfruit) or jekaka (breadfruit chips). Keep it under the sun, and when it is dry, wrap it in a bundle with pandanus leaves and tie it with sennit, and it is ready to eat.

 

 

13. Inoñ in Ṃajeḷ. - Legends. [SM18]

Kōnke kajin Ṃajeḷ ear jab pād ilo peba ṃae iien eo ear itok ri-pālle, ej jab kanooj lōñ armej rej mour wōt kiiō rejeḷā inọñ ko an ri-Ṃajeḷ. Bōtab ewōr jet inọñ rej pād wōt ñan rainin im jej maroñ wōt rōñ ilo iien kiki. Buñbuñtata ilo inọñ in Ṃajeḷ ḶeEtao. Etao kar lukkuun ri-nana im maroñ ko an rōkanooj in kabwilōñlōñ. E eo ear lo kijeek, im inọñ ko rej ba bwe unin an ri-Amedka mālōtlōt, Etao ear ko jān Ṃajeḷ im bōkḷọk an mālōtlōt ñan Amedka. Jenaaj kajjioñ in lale jet inọñ ilo katak kein tok i laḷ. Because the Marshallese language wasn’t put into writing until Westerners came, not many people living today know the legends of the Marshallese people. However, there are some legends that remain today and we can hear them at bedtime. Most famous in Marshallese legends is Etao. Etao was a real rascal and his powers were amazing. He is the one who discovered fire, and the legends say that the reason Americans are smart is that Etao left the Marshalls and took his knowledge to America. We will try to look at some legends in coming lessons.

 

 

14. Ilomej. - At time of death. [SM19]

Ñe juon armej ej mej ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ, men in ej juon iien kwelọk tok an ro nukun, ro jeran, im aolep ro rejeḷā kajjien. Rej bōktok men in leḷọk ko. Men kein rej joob, jāān, ṃōttan nuknuk, im men ko āierḷọkwōt. Men kein rej kōjerbali ñan iien eoreak, jiljino raan ālikin an armej eṇ mej im iien eo rej tōmak bwe ri-mej eṇ ej jerkakpeje. Ṃweiuk kein rej likūt ioon lōb eo ñan an armej tōptōp. Ālikin eoreak eor kejota in kōjeṃḷọk iien būromej eṇ ñan armej eṇ. When someone dies in the Marshalls, this is a time for the coming together of their family, friends, and everyone who knew them. They bring gifts. These are things like soap, coins, articles of clothing, and other such things. These things are used for the time of “spreading the gravel,” six days after the time of death, when they believe that the dead rise. These gifts are laid on the grave as gifts for the people to take home. After the spreading of the gravel, there is an evening meal to bring to an end the time of mourning.

 

 

15. [Marshall Islands Congress—as of 1965] [SM20]

Ri-pepe ro ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ rej kwelọktok ñan Mājro aolep iiō im etali kien ko im bar kōṃṃan kien ekkar ñan aikuj ko im kōṇaan ko an armej ro i Ṃajeḷ. Ri-tōl ro an kọñkorej in rej likao ro raar jikuuḷ im katak kōn wāween kien. Elōñ iaan ri-pepe rein rej aḷap im irooj ro rej jañin iminene kōn kilen kōṃṃakūt ko an raan kein. Kọñkōrej in ej jab lukkuun ḷap an maroñ ijoke eḷap an jipañ ri-jikuuḷ ro im ro routaṃwe ñan kōkōṃanṃanḷọk wāween mour an ri-Ṃajeḷ. The Marshallese legislators assemble at Majuro each year and review the laws and also pass laws to meet the needs and proclamations of the Marshallese people. The leaders of the legislature [as of 1965] are young men who have gone to school and studied the legislative process. Many of these legislators are lineage heads and chiefs who are not yet completely accustomed to the way of doing business today [as of 1965]. The legislature [as of 1965] does not have great powers, so it works to help students and the infirmed in order to improve the life of the Marshallese people.

 

 

16. [Congress of Micronesia—as of 1965] [SM21]

Kwelọk eo ṃoktata an Kọñkorej eo an Ṃaikronijia ear kōṃṃan ilo Juḷae 1965. Aolep laḷ ko rōḷḷap raar kanooj in itok limoier kōn men in bwe raar tōmak bwe men in juon kōkaḷḷe in an Ṃaikronijia jino wōnṃaanḷọk ñan an make jutak im bōk eddoin jerbal ko an make. Ej kab kar juon iien an ri-Ṃajeḷ maat im kālōt ri-kwelọk ro aer im ear kanooj ḷap ejjeurur. Ear itok ri-kaki jān Iuunibōjiti eṇ an Awai im raar katakin ri-pepe ro wāween kwelọk im bar men ko jet eḷap tokjāer ñan kōṃṃani kwelọk ko an kien. Ear jab kanooj ḷap tōprak kōnke ej kab juon alen aer kwelọk bōtab ewōr ruo men eḷḷap raar karōki ñan an ri-Ṃaikronijia ḷoori. Juon, raar kowaḷọk bōḷāāk eo an Ṃaikronijia im ruo, raar kōṃṃan bwe Julae 12 raan en an Ṃaikronijia raan in kakkije in kakeememej jinoin Kọñkorej eo an Ṃaikronijia. The first meeting of the Congress of Micronesia was in July 1965. The major powers of the world were quite interested in this because they believed it to be a sign of the beginnining of Micronesian independence and of their taking responsibility for their own affairs. It was finally a time when the Marshallese had chosen their own representatives, and there was great excitement. Professors came from the University of Hawai‘i and instructed the representatives on important points of how to meet and hold legislative sessions. Not a great deal was accomplished, as it was their first session, but there were two important things set for Micronesians to follow. One was to decide upon a flag for Micronesia, and the second was to set July 12 as a holiday to commemorate the beginning of the Congress of Micronesia.

 

 

17. Piiḷ Tūreep. - Field Trip. [SM 22]

Ālkin aolep ruo allōñ, waan rawūn eṇ ej raun ñan aolep aelōñin Ṃajeḷ. Wāween rawūn, waan rawūn eṇ ej etal ñan aolep āne in Rālik, ñe ebooḷ kobban kab ñe emaat ṃōñā im ṃweiuk, erọọl ñan Majro, eakto im ektak, kaṃōjḷọk tūreep eṇ an. Ejja wāween dein wōt an rawūn Ratak. Wūnin tūreep in rawūn kein, kōnke en bōkḷọk ṃōñā im ṃweiuk im ektak waini jān aolep aelōñ ko ilikin Mājro. Ilo Ṃajeḷ kiiō, ewōr jilu waan rawūn: Militobi, MIECO Queen, im Rālik-Ratak. Every two months [as of 1965] a field trip ship makes the rounds of all the islands of the Marshalls. The procedure is for the field trip ship to go to all the islands of the Rālik, and when it is fully loaded and all food and trade goods are gone, it returns to Majuro, off-loading and on-loading, to finish the trip. The same procedure is followed for the Ratak round-trip. The purpose of the round-trips is to take food and trade goods and bring copra from all the outer islands to Majuro. In the Marshalls now [as of 1965] there are three field-trip ships: the Militobi, the MIECO Queen, and the Rālik-Ratak.

 

 

18. Pinniep. - Coconut oil. [SM23]

Ṃōttan men ko rōḷḷap tokjāer im rej waḷọk jān ni ej pinniep. Pinniep ej kōṃṃan jān waini im ri-Ṃajeḷ rej kōjerbale ñan elōñ men ko āinwōt ekkapit bar, ānbwin, ñan wūno im ñan romrom. Ewōr ruo wāween kōṃṃan pinniep. Wāween eo ṃokta rej kōjeeke. Ṃoktata, ālkin aer raankeik waini eṇ im bōk eaḷ eṇ jāne, rej kōjeeke im ej erom pinniep. Kein karuo wāween, rej kōmatte ālkin aer bōk eaḷ in waini eṇ. Wāween jab in, eḷapḷọk an ṃōkaj im pinniep eṇ ejjap kannooj ḷōḷ im āinwōt eṇ me rej kōjeek wōt. Jet iien ilo aer kōmatte rej likit wōt men ko rōñaj ie bwe en ennọ bwiin im jab ḷōḷ. Among the products of importance from coconut trees is coconut oil. Coconut oil is made from copra, and the Marshallese use it for many things, such as hair oil, body oil, medicine, and for illumination. There are two ways to make coconut oil. The first way is to dry it under the sun. First of all, after they have grated the copra and taken the coconut milk from it, they heat it under the sun and it becomes coconut oil. The second way, they cook it after they have taken the coconut milk. This method is faster and the coconut oil isn’t really musty, like that which is only dried under the sun. Sometimes when they cook it they put things that are fragrant with it just so that it will smell good, and not musty.

 

 

19. Jekaro. - Coconut Toddy. [SM24]

Jekaro ej waḷọk jān utak in ni ilo iien eṇ ej jañin rup im jepeḷḷọk im waḷọk kwaḷini. Ṃokta, jej kakilen utak eo, bwe ñe eṃṃan joñan, jej jepe im eọuti, kọudpake, im kietake jidik. Aolep iien ad jekaro, ilo jibboñ im jota im jet iien ilo raelep, jej jep utak eo jidik illọk jidik, im barāinwōt kietake bwe en jab idaak bwijen. Eḷaññe eraane-bōkāān, kiiō eiien an kajokkor. Aolep jibboñ im jota, ej iien eakto jekaro im kōkkāāl jeib. Elōñ men jekaro emaroñ oktak ñani. Jemaroñ kōmatte im ewaḷọk jekajeje (eṃṃan ñan limen niñniñ). Elañe eto ḷọk wōt ad kōmatte enaaj waḷọk jekōṃai. Bar juon, elañe jenaaj kōtḷọk jekaro eo bwe en pād jilu raan, enaaj erom jimañūñ—dān in kadek eo limen ri-Ṃajeḷ. Ñe eto ḷọk wōt an pād jimañūñ eo enaaj erom penkō. Jekaro ej bar bōk jikin iij ilo iiōk pilawā. Men kein rej kwalok im kalikkar joñan an ḷap an ni jipañ ri-Ṃajeḷ. Jekaro comes from coconut shoots before the time when they haven’t yet broken and separated and small coconuts have appeared. First, we examine the shoot, so that if it is the right size, we trim and bind it, peel off its end, and bend it down a little. Every time we tend to the task of drawing coconut sap, in the morning and evening, and sometimes at noon, we cut the coconut shoot a bit each time, and we also bend the shoot down to prevent the sap from drowning its navel. (In other words, to prevent the sap from seeping back into the shoot and destroying the project.) When it is “ready for a bottle,” that is the time to put a bottle on it. Every morning and evening the jekaro should be unloaded and the bottle renewed. Many things can be made from jekaro. We can boil it to become jekajeje (a good beverage for babies). If we boil it longer it becomes jekṃai (coconut syrup). Also, if we let jekaro stand for three days, it will become jimañūñ—the alcoholic beverage of the Marshallese. If it stands longer as jimañūñ, it will become vinegar. Jekaro also takes the place of yeast in making bread. These things show and make clear how important coconut trees are in sustaining the Marshallese.

 

 

20. Ṃakṃōk. - Starch [Arrowroot]. [SM25]

Ṃakṃōk ej juon iaan ṃōñā ko kijen ri-Ṃajeḷ. Ekkā wōt an eddek ilo aelōñ ko iōñ kōnke ṃakṃōk eṃṃan an eddek ilo jikin ko rejawōtwōt im kabokbok. Kilen kōṃṃane, totake ṃokta, ṃōjin kwaḷe, tokālik iri kōn dekā pukor innām likliki im kōjeeke. Elañe eṃōj, likit ilo nuknuk im totouki ṃae iien emōrā. Āliktata rupe im likit ṇa ilowaan bōjọ. Kiiō epojak ṇan ṃōñā, kōṃakṃōk nuknuk, im ñan wūno. Arrowroot is one of the foods of the Marshallese. It usually grows on the northern islands because arrowroot grows in sandy places of little rainfall. The way to prepare it is to first dig it up, and after washing it, grind it with coral rocks, and then sift it and dry it under the sun. When that is finished, wrap it in cloth and hang it up to dry. Finally, break it up and put it in a finely woven basket. Now it is ready for eating, starching clothes, and for medicine.

 

 

21. Bubu. - Divination. [SM25]

Bubu ej juon maroñ ri-wūno in etto ilo Ṃajeḷ raar kōjerbale ñe rej kōṇaan jeḷā kōn juon men eo rej jab meḷeḷe kake. Men in kar ṃōttan ekkōpāl im wūno. Bubu eḷap tokjān ṇan wūno, ñan kapok ri-kọọt, im ñan kapok men ko rej jako. Raar kōjerbal ñan wūno ñe rej pukot nañinmej rot eo an juon armej, wūno ta eo ekkar, ia eo wūno eo epād ie, kab wōn eo ekkar ñan leḷọk wūno eo. Iien eo iien wūno ej bar juon iaan men ko bubu ej kwaḷọk. Men ko rej kōjerbali ñan bubu remaroñ kimej, juubub, maañ, ekkwaḷ, dekā, im bōlōk. Divination was something olden-time Marshallese doctors used to learn about something they didn’t understand. This was part of sorcery and of medicine. Divination was important for medicine, for discovering thieves, and for locating lost objects. It was used in medicine for diagnosing the sickness of a person, what medicine to use, where to find the medicine, and whose responsibility it was to apply the medicine. The time for medication was another thing divination showed. The things used for divination could be coconut fronds, shoots, pandanus leaves, sennit, stones, and leaves.

 

 

22. Aebōj laḷ. - Cisterns. [SM26]

Ṃokta jān an itok armej in pālle ñan Ṃajeḷ, ri-Ṃajeḷ rōkein kōjerbal eṃṃak, aebōj laḷ, kab lọjet ñan tutu, aṃwin, im idaak. Eṃṃak im aebōj laḷ ko etto raar jab kanooj in erreo. Raan kein ekanooj in eṃṃanḷọk im erreoḷọk aebōj laḷ. Wāween aer kōṃṃani, rej kibwiji ñan ñe epo dān innām jimeeṇe tōrerein ak apare tōrerein kōn kaajliiñ ak dekā bwe en jab rōṃ tōrerein im kōṃṃan an ettoon. Kiiō rej kōṃṃan penjān mejān bwe en jab wōtḷọk menọknọk ak jabdewōt men ilowaan im kattoone. Ear kanooj iiet aebōj laḷ etto im jabdewōt armej rej kōjerbale im kattooni. Kiiō enañin wōr aebōj laḷ iturin aolep eṃ. Eḷap ḷọk an armej ro aer aebōj laḷ kein karreoiki bwe ren erreo im jab kōṃṃan nañinmej ñan er ñe rej tutu, idaak, ak kōṃṃan ṃōñā ilo aebōj laḷ kein. Before Westerners came to the Marshalls, people used to use tree catchments, cisterns, and ocean water for bathing, washing hands, and drinking. Tree catchments and olden-time cisterns were not really clean. Nowadays cisterns are better and cleaner. The way they make them, they dig down until it is near water, then cement the sides but put a rim around it with an oil drum or stones so that the sides don’t crumble and make it dirty. Now they make a cover for the opening so that trash or anything else doesn’t fall into it and contaminate it. There were very few cisterns in olden times, and everyone used them and contaminated them. Now there are cisterns near almost all homes. More people clean their cisterns so that they are pure and don’t make them sick if they bathe, drink, or make food at these cisterns.

 

 

23. Menin mour. - Animals. [SM27]

Ilo Ṃajeḷ, kōn an iddik āne ko ie im jabwe jikin men in mour, ejjeḷọk men in mour eḷḷap. Ewōr piik im bao, ak men kein ebbōktok in ri-pālle im ejjab men in mour in Ṃajeḷ. Kar kijen ri-Ṃajeḷ wōt ek ñan jalele im ñan ōn ko rōaikuji jān kanniek. Ekanooj in lōñ wāween kōmat im kōpooj ek ñan ṃōñā im jekdọọn ewi ikutkut in aer ṃōñā ak rōban in ṃōk kake. In the Marshalls, because the islets are so tiny and there isn’t space for animals, there are no large animals. There are pigs and chickens, but these have been imported by Westerners and aren’t original Marshallese animals. Fish were the only part of the Marshallese diet that provided the nutrients one gets from meat. There are many ways to cook and prepare fish for eating, and even though it is constantly in the diet, people don’t get tired of it.

 

 

24. Jikuuḷ ko ilo Aelōñ ko Ilikin. - Outer-island schools. [SM27]

Jikuuḷ ko ilo aelōñ ko ilikin rej pād eoḷapān jikin kwelọk ko, ijo im joonjo ro im aḷap ro rej jokwe ie. Ekkā aer pād ijo iṃōn taktō eo ej pād ie. Ṃōkein kōṃṃan jān aj im ilowaer ejjab jimeeṇ ak ḷā. Raan kein ewōr jet jikuuḷ kōṃṃan in kien im epo ḷọk jidik ḷōmāer. Oran ri-jikuuḷ ilo jikuuḷ kein ekkā jān roñoul ñan rualitōkñoul, koba kilaaj juon ñan rualitōk. Ālkin kilaaj rualitōk, ro ri-kaki ro rej ḷōmṇak bwe remaroñ etal ñan ae jikuuḷ, rej jilikinḷọk er ñan Mājro. Ro jet, ekwe, eṃōj aer jikuuḷ. Schools on the outer islands are located in the central meeting area, where officials and lineage heads live. Usually they are located where the dispensary is. These buildings are made from thatch and their interiors have gravel, not cement as floors. Nowadays there are some schools built by the government that are more ideal. The number of students in these schools is usually from 20 to 80, including grades one through eight. After eighth grade, those students the teachers think are able to attend high school are sent to Majuro [as of 1965]. The others, well, their schooling is finished / their school days are over [as of 1965].

 

 

25. Apañ an iial im retio in kōnono ilo Ṃajeḷ. - Barriers to travel and radio communication in the Marshalls. [SM28]

Kōn an jabwe wa im kein kōnono ilo aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ, jet iien ej wōr ñūta ilo aelōñ ko ilikin ak ejjeḷọk ejeḷā kake ṃae iien ej etal wa ko ñani. Āinwōt ad kar ba ṃokta bwe ri-Ṃajeḷ rainin eḷap wōt aer ḷōmṇak kōn ṃōñā in pālle āinwōt raij, pilawā, jukwa im men ko jet. Kōn men in eḷap an wa ḷap tokjān ñan ri-Ṃajeḷ. Eḷañe enaaj wōr retio in kōnono ilo aōlep aelōñ, enaaj kanooj in jipañ aolep aelōn ko ilikin. Men in ej juon iaan men ko jej tōmak bwe kien enaaj loloodjaake ilo allōñ kein rej itok. Eḷañe ewōr retio in kōnono ilo aolep aelōñ in Ṃajeḷ, ri-nañinmej rōban aikuj in mej kōñ an ejjeḷọk taktō ak wūno, im barāinwōt jipañ bōbrae jān an waḷọk ñūta. Because there are not enough ships and communication gear in the Marshall Islands, sometimes there is famine on the outer islands but no one knows about it until ships go there. As we mentioned before, Marshallese today prefer imported foods like rice, flour, sugar, and so forth. Because of this, large ships are extermely important to the Marshallese. If there were radio communication on all islands, it would really help all the outer islands. This is something we believe that the government will give attention to in the months to come [as of 1965]. If there were radio communication on all islands in the Marshalls, sick people would not die for want of doctors or medicine, and it would also help prevent the occurrence of famine.

 

 

26. Retio. - Radio. [SM28]

Ṃōttan men ko kien ear būktok ñan ri-Ṃajeḷ ej retio. Kiiō armej in aelōñ ko ilikin rejjab aikuj in kōttar wa bwe ren eọroñ ennaan. Ñe ewōr taibuun im jorrāān ko rōḷḷap, remaroñ in jeḷā kake jān aer roñjake retio. Bar juon men, retio eṃōj an kapidodoḷọk ñan ri-Ṃajeḷ, ej kijjien al ko aer. Ṃokta ear kanooj pen an juon al buñbuñ kōn an iiet armej eṇ ej roñ. Kiiō aolep al jān aolep aelōñ rej jañ ilo mejatoto im armej remaroñ in kālet ko rōkōṇaan, ko rōṃṃan, ak ko renana. Retio ej juon jipañ eḷap. Among the things the government has brought to the Marshallese is radio. Now people on outer islands don’t need to await the arrival of a ship so that they can hear news. If there are typhoons or other disasters, then can know about them by listening to the radio. Another way in which radio has made life easier for Marshallese concerns their songs. Before, it was difficult for a song to be well known, because there were few people who heard it. Now all songs from all islands are heard on the air, and people can choose those they like—those that are good and those that are not. Radio is a big help.

 

 

27. Wāween kōjparok ek. - Methods of fish preservation. [SM29]

Ejjeḷọk aij-bọọk ilo enañin aolep eṃ i Ṃajeḷ, bōtab eḷak wōr ilo jet wōt eṃ ko Kuajleen im Mājro kab jejjo ilo aelōñ ko ilikin. Ñe armej rej kōṇaan kato an ek pād, rej jọọḷ im kōṃṃan ek jọọḷ ak atiti im kōṃṃan ek ṃōṇakṇak. Wāween jọọḷ ek, ṃokta jej karreoik ek ko, im eḷañe ek killep men ko jej ṃwijiti im kōṃṃan bukwōn jidik, ak eḷañe ek jidik, jej kaiouki wōt in jooni ilo dānnin-jọọḷ iuṃwin juōn boñ. Ṃōjin, jej kōjeeki, im ñe rōṃōrā, kọkoṇi ṇai lowaan iiep, bọọk, ak tiin, ṃae iien jeaikuji ñan ṃōñā. Bar juon wāween kōjparok ek bwe en to an pād, jej atiiki im kōṃṃan ek ṃōṇakṇak. Ek jọọḷ kab ek ṃōṇakṇak ekkā wōt aer kōṃṃan ilo aelōñ ko ilikin me reike ak ejjeḷọk armej in amāni. There are no refrigerators in most Marshallese homes, except for some on Kwajalein and Majuro, and a few on the outer islands. If people want to presesrve fish, they salt them and make salted fish, or smoke them and make dried fish. The way to make salt fish is first, we clean the fish, and if they are big fish, we cut them into smaller sections, or if they are small fish, we put them whole to soak in salt water overnight. Then we put them to dry in the sun, and when they are dry, fit them into a basket, box, or can until we need them for food. Another way to preserve fish is to smoke them and make dried fish. Salt fish and dried fish are rarely made on outer islands that have lots of fish and no one to consume them.

 

 

28. Bwiro. - Preserved breadfruit. [SM30]

Mā ej juon iaan ṃōñā ko eḷaptata an ri-Ṃajeḷ kōjerbale. Ej kalle ilo enañin aolep aelōñ bōtab ewōr juon iien, kōtaan eṇ ilo Mae im Wọkwōj, etan “rak,” im ṃā ej lukkuun ḷap an kalle im kouwa. Ilo iien in, armej rej kōṃṃan bwiro. Rej bōk mā eṇ, kakili, im joone i lọjet. Ṃōjin rej kōbọrōke kōn bōlōk in mā im kimej, innām rej jukjuki im bar kūtimi kōn bōlōk im kalbwini. Ilo wāween in, ejjab jorrāān, ak rej kwaḷọk jidik-jidik ekkar ñan aer aikuji ñan ṃōñā. Nemān ilo an kallib, āinwōt bwiin jiij ñe rej kōṃṃane. Kōn men in, elōñ ri-pālle rej ṇa etan “Marshallese cheese. Breadfruit is one of the foods that Marshallese use most. It grows on almost every island, although there is a season, between May and August, called summer, when breadfruit bear most fruit. During this season, people make preserved breadfruit. They pick the breadfruit, peel it, and soak it in salt water. The breadfruit is picked, peeled, and soaked in salt water. Next it is preserved with breadfruit leaves and coconut fronds, then pounded and again covered with leaves and buried. With this method, it doesn’t spoil, and it is uncovered bit by bit as it is needed for food. The flavor from its having been buried is like that of cheese when they make it. ” For this reason, many Westerners have given it the name “Marshallese cheese.

 

 

29. Bonus Selection. [SM30]

Eñiin ej jeṃḷọk eo. Eḷaññe kwaar kijenmej jān jinoun, kemij kōjatdikdik bwe ilo awa in kwōj riiti peijin, kwōmaroñ kōnono im meḷeḷe kajin Ṃajeḷ. Kōmij tōmak barāinwōt bwe jān dedeḷọk in eṃōj aṃ tōpare, ewōr ṃōttan aṃ meḷeḷe kōn ṃanit im wāween mour an ri-Ṃajeḷ. Aolepān katak kein ilo bok in, kōmij tōmak bwe rōkōpooḷ aolep wāween ko ñan jeḷā kōn wāween mour, im rāpeḷtan kajin Ṃajeḷ. This is the end (of our Spoken Marshallese lessons). If you have been diligent from the beginning, we hope that when you read this page, you are able to speak and understand Marshallese. We believe also that what you have covered up to this point includes some understanding of the customs and ways of living of the Marshallese. We believe that the lessons in this book include ways for learning about the way of living, and a deeper understanding of the Marshallese language.

 

Spoken Marshallese.
Byron W. Bender
University of Hawaii Press
Honolulu 1969.

2 CDs with recordings for all 30 lessons available for $30 from:

CENTER FOR LANGUAGE & TECHNOLOGY
1890 East-West Rd. Moore Hall 256
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone | 808.956.8047

clt@hawaii.edu
clt.manoa.hawaii.edu

 

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