Though I feel it's probably a required ingredient to the "good global citizen" recipe, I don't think I'll ever be truly bi-lingual. Darn tootin', wouldn't that be wonderful? I just don't think I have the stamina to only concentrate on one culture at a time. As my pseudonym suggests, I gotta keep moving. Instead, my resume reads much like this:
Language Skills - Italian (can somewhat carry on a conversation), Spanish (know lots of good insults and how to sound pissed off), and an ability to ask for a beer or count in the following languages: Kiswahili, German, Khmer, Fijian and a couple other languages which prove to be virtually useless in the rest of the world.
Alas, Garrett and I are attempting to learn enough Fijian to command the children who can't understand us or to appease the adults who barely have a hold on "Hello." It's been a fun experience thus far, especially since people in the village get a kick out of making us say naughty or insulting things to others.
Join us in learning an incredibly useful and global language…Fijian! Remember to roll your R's and note the difference in pronouncing C's and J's.
Bula: Hello, Bless you (when someone sneezes)
Cei na yacamu (pronounced they nigh-a tha-mu): What's your name?
Vinaka: Thank you
Vinaka vaka levu: Thank you very much
Bula vinaka: Nice to meet you
Yadra (pronounced yan-dra): Good morning!
Moce (pronounced mo-they): Goodbye
Au sali moce (pronounced ow sa-lee mo-they): I'm going to bed.
Jilou (pronounced chill-o): Pardon me, sorry for invading your space
Io (pronounced ee-yo): Yes
Sega (pronounced sang-a): No
Gunu (pronounced ngu-nu): drink
Kana vakalevu: eat a lot
Gunu ti (pronounced ngu-nu tee): have tea, drink tea
Naka an kana: Thanks for the food.
Tavioka: cassava (a root vegetable like a potato)
Dalo: taro (another root vegetable with an odd, sticky texture)
Bele: greens related to sugar cane and hibiscus, also called Fijian asparagus
Rourou: the leaf of the taro plant, which has itchy sap that makes the mouth feel tingly and quite odd
Pea (pronounced peh-ya): avocado
Maleka sara na kakana: The meal was delicious.
Ciwa (pronounced thee-wa): nine
Cava (pronounced tha-va): what
Cei (pronounced they-ee): who
Vei: where Vakacava (pronounced va-ka-tha-va): how
Naica (pronounced nie-tha)
Warai (pronounced wah-rye): No
Cavatikomadabunene (pronounced tha-ba-teek-oh-man-da-boo-ne-ne): How is it? (throw a snap in there as you say the phrase)
Kisi mai: Come here/Get close for a kiss
So (pronounced Soooooooooooo!): Awwww! Noooooo
There. Now you're as fluent as we are.