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Te taetae ni Kiribati

The language of Kiribati


Te Katei n te M'aneaba - Reirei Nimua

Maneaba Speech - Lesson Five


You may have occasion to be invited to a maneaba, the village meeting house, and it would not be unlikely for you to be asked to give a short talk, explaining who you are and why you are there. This small monologue will provide you with a basic idea of what you might say.



The monologue is to be memorized. When you have memorized it, present it to your class as if they were the people of the maneaba.

monologue for memorization

Te Katei n te M'aneaba

Maneaba Speech

Kam na mauri ni kabane. Arau bon __________. Ngai bon te Peace Corps Volunteer mai Amerika. Te Peace Corps bon te bootaki n ibuobuoki i Amerika n ai aroia VSO mai Buritan. Hello everyone. My name is __________. I am a Peace Corps volunteer from America. The Peace Corps is an organization of voluntary service in America, like the VSO from Britain.
I rangi ni kukurei ngkai e konaa n reke au tai n roko iaoni Kiribati ao ni mm'akuri naba ma ngkamii. Au kaantaninga b'a inanon au tai ibuakomii ae uoua te ririki, ao N na kataia ni buokingkamii. N na boni buokaki naba n reirei aron amii katei ao katein abamii ae Kiribati.I am very happy to have this chance to come to Kiribati and to work with you. I hope that in the two years that I will stay here I will be of some help to you, and that you will help me to know more of your customs and country.
Ti ngaia aanne ao kam rab'a.That's all I have to say – Thank you very much.



It is the custom when visiting a maneaba to bring a gift for the old men, the patriarchs of the village. This is called te mweaka or te moan nei, and is usually tobacco – ten sticks being considered appropriate. It can be presented to one of the old men, usually wrapped in paper, with the explanation that "this is for all of you".

supplementary dialogue

Titiraki mairouia te bootaki

Questions from the Group

mm'aane:  Taiaoka, bukin teraa ngkai kam nakomai Peace Corps Volunteers nako Kiribati?Man:  Excuse me, why have you Peace Corps Volunteers come here to Kiribati.
PCV:  E koaua, a kanakoaki Peace Corps Volunteers nakon aaba nako n te aonnaaba aei. Iai Peace Corps Volunteers i Aatia, Aberika ao aaba aika a bati n te Betebeke.PCV:  Truly, Peace Corps Volunteers are sent throughout the world. There are Peace Corps Volunteers in Asia, Africa, and many countries in the Pacific.
mm'aane:  Ao kaanga teraa aia mm'akuri Peace Corps Volunteers?Man:  And what is their work, the Peace Corps Volunteers?
PCV:  A bati aia mm'akuri ae a konaa ni karaoia. Iai aika a mm'akuri b'a taan reirei, taani kateitei, taan ununiki, taan akawa ao mm'akuri riki tabeua.PCV:  They can do many jobs. There are some who work as teachers, some in construction, some in agriculture, some in fishing and other works.
mm'aane:  Ko rab'a n am taeka. Ti rangi ni kukurei ni bootaki ma ngkoe.Man:  Thanks for your talk. We are very happy to meet with you.

Supplementary Activities:    

Study this additional dialogue. It provides a model for the kinds of questions which might be asked by a group who have just heard your speech. Try asking similar questions of your classmates after they give their talks, acting the roles of the Kiribati listeners and the Peace Corps Volunteer.

Outside Activities:

The monologue you have memorized should come in handy in a number of situations you encounter when meeting new people. Try using all or part of it in response to questions of who you are and what you are doing. What other questions do you meet with which your talk doesn't cover?

Kiribati page

© 1979, 2003 Stephen Trussel, ACTION / Peace Corps, The Experiment in International Living. The Experiment in International Living, Inc., prepared this handbook for the U. S. Government under ACTION Contract number 78-043-1037. The reproduction of any part of this handbook other than for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research, or other "fair use" is subject to the prior written permission of ACTION.