Marshall Islands Languages

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Description[edit | edit source]

The Marshallese language (Marshallese: new orthography Kajin M̧ajeļ or old orthography Kajin Majōl [kɑzʲinʲ(i)mˠɑːzʲɛlˠ], also known as Ebon, is a Micronesian language spoken in the Marshall Islands. The language is spoken by about 44,000 people in the Marshall Islands, making it the principal language of the country. There are also roughly 6,000 speakers outside of the Marshall Islands, including those in Nauru and the United States. [1]

There are two major dialects:

  • Rālik (western) - The Rālik Chain is home to the Rālik dialect (or western dialect) of the Marshallese language. It is mutually intelligible with the Ratak dialect (or eastern dialect) located on the Ratak Chain. The two dialects differ mainly in lexicon and in certain regular phonological reflexes. [2]
  • Ratak (eastern) - The Ratak Chain is home to the Ratak dialect (or eastern dialect) of the Marshallese language. It is mutually intelligible with the Rālik dialect (or western dialect) located on the Rālik Chain. The two dialects differ mainly in lexicon and in certain regular phonological reflexes. [3]

Marshallese is written in the Latin alphabet. [4]

Word List(s)[edit | edit source]

Marshallese English
aet yes
jaab no
jab (usually pronounced jeb) not, don’t, doesn’t
ewōr or elōñ there is, there are
ejjeḷọk there is none, there are none, there is no, there are no, none, nothing, nobody
aolep all, every, everything, everybody
juon (usually pronounced juōn) one, a, an
etal go
itok (E: wātok) come, arrive
ṃōñā eat, food
koṃṃool thank you
iọkwe hello, goodbye, love
ilo in, at
im and
in of


Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Marshallese

Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Marshallese language," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshallese_language, accessed 23 June 2021.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Ralik," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralik, accessed 23 June 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Ratak," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratak, accessed 23 June 2021.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Marshallese language," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshallese_language#Orthography, accessed 23 June 2021.