Common Fijian Words
English is the official language in Fiji and almost everyone speaks it - especially in the cities and tourist areas. However, a majority also speak Fijian as well, and terms and phrases may be used interchangeably.
Although learning Fijian is not necessary for easy travel around Fiji, locals always appreciate the effort made by others to learn their language. If all you learn are 'bula' (hello) and 'vinaka' (thank you), you'll be off to a great start and make Fijians smile! The information below is from the Fiji Tourism Board.
"a" is "ah" as in father, but shorter. The correct pronunciation of Nadi, is closer to "Nahn-di" than "Nan-di".
"b" is "mb" as in bamboo. you'll hear "bula" or "hello" many times. You may notice the slight humming "m", almost silent at the beginning. When something precedes the "b", then the "m" sound becomes more pronounced. The formal "hello", Ni Sa Bula, is pronounced "ni sahm" boola".
"c" is "th" as in "this". So "moce" meaning goodbye is pronounced "moe-they".
"d" is "nd" as in candy.
"g" is "ng" as in singer.
"i" is"i" as in sit or "ee" as in routine.
"o" is "ngg" as in finger. The island of Beqa is pronounced "Mbeng-gah".
"u" is"oo" as in bamboo or "u" as in put.
Basic English/Fijian Translations
good morning: ni sa yadra (ni sah yan dra)
goodbye: ni sa moce (ni sa mothey)
please: yalo vinaka (yalo vee naka)
excuse me: tulou (too low)
thank you: vinaka (vee naka)
no: seqa (senga)
mister/man: turaga (tu rang ah)
eat: kana (kana)
house: vale/bure (valey/mburey)
toilet: vale lailai (vale lie lie)
one: dua (ndua)
what is this: na cava oqo (na thava on go)
drink: gunu (goo noo)
coconut: niu (new)
I want: au vinakata (aoo vina kahta)
church: vale ni lotu (vahle nee lohtoo)
shop: sitoa (seetoah)