Talk:Nauruan language

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IPA[edit]

Could we perhaps get some IPA symbols for pronunciation? I like "X as in the English/French word Y" as an additional guide, but the IPA is what's really needed to demonstrate different pronunciations. Also, am I correct that the digraph "ng" is supposed to represent the velar nasal? Because that should be stated clearly (and of course as ŋ.) Dkatten 18:10, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

The phonetic explanations are decipherable to some extent, but not completely. Here's what I gather for the vowels:
  • a
    • 1 ("father"): [ɑ]
    • 2 ("madame"): [a]
    • 3 ("quantity"): [ɒ]
    • 4 ("lâche"): would be [ɑ], but what's the difference from #1??
    • 5 ("Mähne"): [ɛ] (same as e1 I assume?)
  • e
    • 1 ("set"): [ɛ]
    • 2 ("pain"): [eɪ] ~ [ei] (?)
    • 3 ("épée"): [e]
  • i
    • 1 ("Sinn"): [ɪ]
    • 2 ("ü + i"): maybe [ɨ] or [ʏ]??
  • o
    • 1 ("roll"): [o] ~ [oʊ] ~ [ou]... hard to say which is meant
    • 2 ("son"): [ɒ] (or [ɔ], if different from a3?)
    • 3 ("Möhre, feu"): [ø]
  • u
    • 1 ("took"): [ʊ]
    • 2 ("Mühe"): [y]
    • 3 ("Mühe deep"): ???
    • 4 ("u + ü"): [ʉ]

An explanation on whether these are all distinct phonemes would also be nice. (Probably not.) I suppose we'd need a linguistic's opinion to get this mess settled for certain. --Tropylium 10:59, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Nauruan Scouting[edit]

Can someone please render "Be Prepared", the Scout Motto, into Nauruan? Thanks! Chris 05:13, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Phonology part[edit]

I understand the explanations given in the phonology part. But I have two questions: I don't think that Nauruan really uses "Umalauts". So why are õ and ũ used in the Nauruan language? Because I also noticed that there is no [øː] and [] at all (as Kayser describes in his "Nauru Grammar"). Ok, I understand that there is the [æ] and [ɛ] sound (so probably they would represent ã?).
My second question concerns the example word /e-oeeoun/ → [ɛ̃õ̯ɛ̃õ̯ʊn] ('hide'). Is there a rule when vowels become nasalized? And is there a rule when vowels are long or short? --Jamovi (talk) 10:55, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

As for nasalization, (Nathan 1974) has a footnote that says "some words associated with a /o/ which becomes a glide have nasalization associated with the vowels on either side. I have not yet been able to analyze this" (p 499).
I don't know about umlaut, though. It could mean that words with an umlaut that have been borrowed but aren't necessarily front rounded. That part is unsourced anyway. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 19:28, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

It's the old writing system that uses umlauts. There are no front rounded vowels in Nauruan, as you can tell from the vowel chart in the article (based on my work). Geoffrey S. Nathan (talk) 03:12, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

"Children not learning Nauru"[edit]

The Ethnologue page says: "Children not learning Nauru."

Does it mean that all schools there are in English and Nauruans are deliberately abandoning their own language? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 22:58, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that's what it sounds like. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 23:17, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, it sounds like it, but does anyone know what actually happens there? It sounds kinda strange that a nation, even small and unusual like Nauru, would just give up on its language so easily. Besides, Ethnologue is known to make weird mistakes (i don't have immediate examples to show, but i caught them a few times...). --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 23:56, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
It's not unusual at all for a group of people to, over the course of a few generations, drop their local/tribal language for an international lingua franca. It's somewhat surprising since the government counts Nauruan as an official language, but I believe you that Ethnologue is not reliable enough to accept unquestioningly. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 07:19, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I lived in Nauru for two years, until Feb 2008, and I can definitely say that Ethnologue is wrong here - the Nauruan language is very strong and children are definitely learning it and speak it as their first language. In fact, knowledge of English has declined among young people in recent years. Older people generally have excellent English but among teenagers, knowledge of English is generally not nearly so good. With the economic collapse in Nauru in the late 90s, the quality of teaching in the school system fell sharply - most expatriate teachers left Nauru - and the quality of English language teaching in schools declined. Young people tend to lack confidence in speaking English and prefer not to use it. All Nauruans that I met on Nauru speak Nauruan and people don't speak in English unless there's a special reason to do so. My Nauruan friends, even those very fluent in English, always spoke Nauruan to one another unless they were specifically trying to include me in the conversation. English is the written language in government and business but even there, in spoken communication Nauruan is used. Nauruan is still primarily a spoken language - there is no standard orthography, although I understand that the Education Dept is trying to develop one for use in the first years of school. The Bible is written in an orthography different from the only descriptive grammar of the language and neither the orthography used in the Bible nor that used for Kayser's grammar represents the sounds of the language well. For that reason, literacy in Nauruan is quite low. Nauruan language newsletters are sometimes produced and public health advertisements are often written in Nauruan - but many people have trouble reading these. English is used as the written language in government and business. - Tura2301 (talk) 11:19, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Nauruan language template[edit]

If you are a native speaker of Nauruan then you can add this template onto your userpage:


na Amuno eman wono ubwieda amen kakairu ian Dorerin Naoero.


--Amazonien (talk) 05:23, 20 January 2009 (UTC)