I've always loved languages and I seem to have a talent for learning them. I was fluent enough in high school and college to be able to read Don Quixote in Spanish and I picked up the basics of most of the languages of the countries I traveled in over just a few days. I made the assumption when we moved here that Marshallese would come just as easily as other languages had, and boy was I wrong!
I started studying with the LDS missionary sisters three years ago and have just become barely fluent in the last year. I've studied Chinese and Arabic and learned a little Thai and Hindi and with all that practice, I still have trouble with Marshallese. Really, I probably sound like Fire, who's just starting to talk now, when I speak Marshallese. I can make myself understood but I constantly leave out important parts of speech and just don't know all the words I need to express myself.
With that glowing introduction I wanted to share these videos that I made, at the request of some other adoptive families. In them, I share basic vocabulary and phrases that visitors to the Marshall Islands might need as well as tips on how to say some of the more challenging parts of speech.
Why do I look so funny in those screen captures?! And why didn't I smile more? Oh well, at least the words are out there and hopefully they can help someone else with their Marshallese skills.
These last two videos are my favorites! This is my beloved Auntie, my Marshallese Mama, reading in Marshallese. If you'd like to follow along with the books, they're both available on Amazon:
Isn't she wonderful! I miss her so much, and I love the little glimpse of Ebeye life that you get from the activity going on around Auntie while she reads.
Have you ever learned another language? Was there anything that made it easier or harder for you?