What Does The Constitution Mean When It Says That It "RECOGNISE" Different Languages In Fiji?

Bill of Rights 

Rights to Education

Section 31:3

Conversational and contemporary iTaukei and Fiji Hindi languages shall be taught as compulsory subjects in all primary schools.

This is one of the positives in the new constitution.Learning the two major languages will definitely help at least the two major groups to bridge the huge gaps between the two. I was however confused as why only two major languages and not all the existing languages in Fiji. Of course one of the argument is that most of the people speak the two major languages, but if the opening statement of the constitution mentioned the following;


RECOGNISING the indigenous people or the iTaukei, their ownership of iTaukei lands, their unique culture,customs, traditions and language;
RECOGNISING the indigenous people or the Rotuman from the island of Rotuma, their ownership of Rotuman
lands, their unique culture, customs, traditions and language;
RECOGNISING the descendants of the indentured labourers from British India and the Pacific Islands, their
culture, customs, traditions and language; and
RECOGNISING the descendants of the immigrants and settlers to Fiji, their culture, customs, traditions and

Do you think it is fair to have only the two languages compulsory? I don't think so! If the constitution recognizes the other languages then it is their duty that all the people of Fiji have access to all the languages at school too.

I mean if you are a Rotuman or Banabans etc...you will jump for joy when you open the constitution and see that you are recognised....you went on reading ....( if you feel like reading) until you come to the section 31:3 I quoted above...would you still jump for joy...?

I will leave this for  you to discuss...

As an advocate of the Fijian language, I felt the constitution fails to address the needs to develop the Vosavakaviti.

Let me tell you what I felt when I see the verb "recognise" in the Preamble of the constitution...

Are they going to start translating all the Science, Commercial and Arts subjects into vosavakaviti?

I mean I would be happy if they start doing that...Can you imagine Physics, Chemistry and Biology textbook in Fijian? I would jump for joy if we have that....

Of course some of you will come up with this " 1930 NZ educator lie...E malumalumu na vosavakaviti" if you are still hanging on that statement; wake up!!!!...We can create new words if they don't exist...

I realized that it  will not happen when I read about the constitution bold statement about the other languages as well...

Please don't get me wrong...I am not against the other languages...I was sad because I know my dreams won't materialise...because that means the government will have to invest all their budget on the translation into all the different languages which would be ridiculous...

I then asked myself...are they trying their best to please the different ethnic groups in Fiji...which is very difficult...if not; what is their goal?

This is my conclusion with regards to the view of the government on the issues of language in the constitution...

" We recognised all the languages,BUT the vosavakaviti and the Fiji Hindi are more important than others with the exception of the English language which is superior over all the languages."


I find this very sad...

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Replies to This Discussion

Bula Dan

To me it means that the constitution recognizes the different languages in Fiji. Which means that each language can be spoken and written. Further it also means that it recognizes that different races have their own unique language.

I think it is fair to only have 2 languages compulsory. Hindi and Fijian (vosa vakaviti). This is besides English of course. But with that said, it should only be compulsory to itaukei and indian students. Meaning, the itaukei language should be compulsory to the itaukei and hindi to the Indians. For anyone else, it should be a matter of choice. 

Why shouldn't the other languages be compulsory? The population of these races are not at a level where her language should be deemed as necessary to learn. Out of 100 people you see in Suva, 45 will be Fijian, 45 Indian, 5 Rotuman, 2 Banaban, 2 Chinese, 1 other. This is just merely a rough estimate. But I hope you get my point. But for the good of the Banabans, Rotumans, they should learn Hindi and Itaukei. Because the fact is, you look left or right, you will see an Indian or Fijian. You walk into an office, you will see either an Indian or Itaukei, etc etc. 

Thanks for contributing...I do understand the point where you are coming from...

The constitution of the country I currently live in recognizes four languages 64% speak German20% French6.5% Italian, and 0.5% Rumantsch Grischun (Romansh),

When I say four official languages what I meant is  that everything readable in this country is in the four languages...of course there are other speakers but the constitution regarded the four languages as the official and all the four languages are Parliament languages...

I have the above information at the back of my mind when I wrote down the article above...

When a constitution states that it recognizes the language of a group my only assumption was that the languages that they recognize will be the official languages...apparently....or it seems that it is not the case in this constitution...The 1997 constitution clearly says that "Fijian, Hindi, English" should be the official languages of Fiji...I did not see any statement as such in the current proposed constitution...unless I missed it...(I stand corrected if I did miss it)....to me the constitution is like a politician giving alot of promises without any plans of how they are going to fulfill those promises.

The constitution has to clearly state which languages are the official languages to avoid misinterpretation which is the reason for this discussion. 

If I understand you right...what you are saying is that neither of the two languages should be imposed onto the people?...We should just learn our mother-tongue...

If language is the bridge that will help us understand one another's culture, then I strongly believe that we (kaiviti) should learn Hindi...and viceversa...We have been together for a hundred years using English as the bridge and it has not helped us...Reading comments that the two major races are hurling at one another on Blogsites ( coupfourpointfive) have  shown that the gap and the stereotypes that the two major races have for one another...have not change at least in the last 30 years.

This is a very interesting topic of discussion. I just wonder what other races of people living in Fiji will think about this.

If it recognises different languages then that will be like speaking in tongues!lols!Where I reside, we only recognise 2 and that is French and English....Speaking your mother tongue will only happen when you meet your fellow country men, attending a function where most people from your country attend etc but when it comes to writing or attending an interview, you will be asked to choose...French or English!

Sa dri yani!

Tau vakacava mo sa vulica na vosa vaka kaidia damudamu....ha,ha,ha,ha.

O ira my Tau era levu tale tu ga na nondra vosa just like us Fijians ( nonda vosa mai na nonda vei korokoro). O ira  qo  ni ra lei vuli, era vulica ga na vosa vaka vavalagi ke ra kila na french, they will attend that class. Na gauna qo, sa ra saga tale tiko me ra kila na nondra dui vosa beleta ni dua na gauna, e a mai kau tani kina na nondra vosa dina ni vanua. That was when they were sent to attend school and everything was stripped from them ( families, language, culture and traditions) . Ko na recognised taki qore na dui vosavosa mai Viti, then what language will our children use in school, in the wrkplace and especially in the Parliamnet when there is a debate. What does the Constitution say??How many languages should be recognised? Kenda na sigi drawa tiko ni lei vosa vaka viti tiko vena loma ni parliament!We have to speak in English...se cava??

vinakavakalevu na solivakasama UKoroi kei viliame nabobo.E dua tiko beka ga na noqu taro vei kemuni... UKoroi...O ni vakabauta ni na vosavakaviti e rawa ni vakabulabulataki se me laveti na kena ivakatagedegede me tautauvata kei na vosavakaperetania?

O au vakabauta ni na rawa. Sa mai oti makawa na bula vakoloni...E levu na ka vinaka e ra sa mai vakatoroicaketaka e na noda vanua...ka tiko talega e so na ka e a mai vakaleqai e na noda vanua. E dua vei ira; na noda vosa...

O au e dua vei ira na valataka tiko me vakatoroicaketaki na noda vosa me vosa talega ni Politiki, vuli, kei na veika kece e volai e viti.... Au vakabauta e dodonu me  toso tikoga na kena vakadewataki se me buli na vosavovou kevaka da vinakata me bula tikoga na noda vosa...

E tu sara ga e ligada na itaukei na kena vakatoroicake taki na noda vosa...Na leqa levu ga....ni lelevu vei keda sa mai vakabauta tu na lasu e ra a kauta mai na daunivetavulici mai Niusiladi...oya..." Ni malumalumu na noda vosa" 

O au vosataka na e 4 na vosa...Na vosavakaviti, vakaperetania, vakaArapea kei na vosavakaJamani. Na kena titobu ga ni noqu vulica tiko na tuvavosa ( Grammar) ni vosa e tolu tale e so, na levu ni noqu qoroya na Tuvavosa ni noda vosavakaviti...Na ka ga e mositi au tiko...e baleta ni da sa tuberi cake mai e na kena beci na noda vosa...O ya na vuna au tara kina na website qo www.create-i-viti.com

Na noqu ivakatagedegede ni volavolavakaviti se dravudravua vakalevu, ia , au vakabauta na levu ga ni noqu volavola vkaviti, e na vukei au vakalevu me'u wasea vakamatata na noqu vakasama....

Me vaka au sa tukuna oti, O keda ga na itaukei e da na vakamatea na noda vosa ke da buturaka sobu tikoga me vaka  da sa cakava tiko e na gauna oqo...

Au sa mai kerea na nomuni veivosoti ke taubaleca na kena volai na noqu isau ni taro...

Mr.Dan! that is a good question.E rawa ni vakabulabulataki na vosa va Viti  and me tekivu saraga mai vale mai vi rau na tubutubu. Vei au madaga, na Vosa Vaka Viti, e sa rui rabai levu. I ke madaga, ni ra dau toroga vi au na palagi meu translate taka ani eso na vosa vaka valagi vena Vosa Vakaviti, e dau dredre dina saraga vi au. Eventhough I have a Fijian Dictionary with me.  O au mai Vanualevu and e so na vosa mai noqu koro, au rawa ni lei cavuta tale vena so tale na koro but e na duidui na kena balebale vi ira mai na koro gona. Ni kitou dau lako i nitou koro, noqu Nau sigi kila na vosa vaka Bau(common language) . Koa e  expect taki kitou  me  understand our village dialect . Sa qai dau nona i tavi o tamaqu me vakadewadewa vua. Na vosa vaka Viti e dodonu me vakoukouwa taki tale because that is our identity but na kena na lei vakagataki ga vena vanua ni cakacaka, se vuli se buturara ni politiki, ena rawa beka ni buli eso na vosa vaka valagi me vukici me vosa vaka Viti??That is my concern!Even in my workplace, we have to speak either English or French. Ke rua rau lako mai vena dua tale na matanitu, me rau qai lei vosataka ga na nondrau vosa ni rau tiko taurua. Mai nonda vanua , vakacava ni caka na bose vena loma ni bose lawa?? E ra na tukuni talega ani vi ira na India na lewe ni bose  me ra kila na vosa vakavaviti??Ka vaka talega kina o kenda na taukei. E dodonu me da kila talega na Hindi?? Edua na vosa qo na "BULA". E ra vakagataka talega na vosa qo na kei Ethiopia kei ira mai India but with a different meaning to them.

Na buli vosa e dodonu me caka kevaka e da vinakata me kaukauwa se me bula balavu na noda vosa...na vosavavalagi da vkayagataka tiko e vkayagataka e levu na vosakerei...vakabibi na vosa vakavaranise...qai curu taletuga e so na vosavakaJamani...me vaka na 

kindergarten- kinder- children

                      garten- garden

Sega ni dodonu me da vakanuinui tiko vei ira na daunivosa me tukuna vei keda na  vosa cava me vakayagataki...E vakatau sara ga vei keda...O ira na daunivosa, na nodra itavi ga me ra vadikeva na vosa sa da vakayagataka tiko o keda...na lawa ni tuvavosa( Grammar) e vakatau talega vei keda na vosataka na vosavakaviti....sega ni o Paula Qereti se o ira na vakoroi lelevu...e na vosa...

Mr.Dan! E dua ga na taro....O cei gona me bulia na vosa??Ni o kenda li mai Viti sa ra dui tu ga na nonda dui vosa. Na vosa cva tale e rawa ni buli me tomana na vi vosa vaViti sa tiko rawa. Dua na siga, au varorogo tiko vi Mr.Paula Qereti, qai tukuna tiko o koa e so na Vosa VaViti au se qai rogoca vadua kei na vanua e kau mai kina kei na vi matanitu talega era vakagataka but in a different meaning..E so talega na vosa vakavavalagi e sa vukici tiko me vosa vaViti. Koa gona ni da warai sa la ni kila na kena translation beka meu tukuna.Ni kaya mada, ke kenda sa buli vosa, au sa teri kila sa la na cva ena aco.

I U.Koroi,na vosa o ni volavola tiko mai kina qori e sega ni vosa vakaBau.. o ni volavola tiko e na vosavakavitiraraba...

Na vosavakaviti e na nodra rai na daunivosa e wase 3 tiko

1. Vosavakaviti Raraba- Vosa e mosoki vatakece na veivosavakaviti ni veivanua kei na so na vosa vakavavalagi se vosa tale e so

2. Vosa Raraba ni iTabagone- vosavaka viti e ra vakayagataka tiko na i tabagone

3.Vosa ni Vanua-na veivosa e vakayagataki tiko e na noda koro...

Me vaka na veivosa tale e vosataki e na veiyasai vuravura e tiko talega e so na vosavakaviti makawa...E levu na vosa eda sa sega ni vakayagataka tiko na gauna oqo...E vakatau vei keda...na lewenivanua na kena vakayagataki...Me vaka na vosavakaperitania...E dua na gauna e ra dau vakayagataka tu na vosa...vaqo




Come unto me- Come to me..

O ira ga era "vosanisusu"( mothertongue) e na vosavakaperetania era veisautaka na vosa...na vanua ga da raica kina na vosa oqo...e na iVolatabu..King James Version...se na sere ni lotu vavalagi e se vakayagataki tiko e na valenilotu vavalagi...

Na vosanivanua, oya na vosa e ra dau veivakadodonutaki kina vakalevu o ira na daunivosa...me vakai Paula Qereti... ke o vosavakaBau e dodonu mo muria vinaka na lawa ni vosavakaBau...se vosavaka Bua...se vosavakaYale mai vei keitou...

Ia na vosavakavitiraraba se "Standard Fijian" sa ikoya na vosa e tiko e na nomu dictionary... na vosa oqo e totolo na kena veisau...

E na 1980...au se dau rogoca vakalevu na vosa ni wede qo..."Au lao"...se Barewa...Au sa sega ni rogoca vakalevu na gauna oqo...Na vosa ga sa vakayagataki mai 1990 oya...na "Uro"...E dua na gauna au a tiko voli mai kina i Viti (2006)...gole tiko i Suva e na Basi...e dua na cauravou...a dabe tiko i liu vei au, a iro ga i tuba ( gauna keimami pasitaka kina na sotia ra yadra tu i gaunisala)...qai tukuna vei dua na sotia..."Dakai tiko vei iko" Katuvu na nona dredre na sotia;veilecayaki vakalevu o au...Au se qai rogoca vakadua na vosa oya..

O ira na vola dictionary se "Ivola ni Vosa" e ra dau vakadikeva vakalevu na vosavakavitiraraba...ke levu na ilavo e soli vei ira...ka ra na  qai vacuruma na vosavovou oqo e na noda ivolanivosa...Da raica mada na ivolavosa me vaka na Cambridge se Oxford Dictionary...na veigauna kece e ra tabaka kina e dua na iVolanivosa vou "New Edition" era na vola tiko mai ni sa biu tale tikoga e loma na vosavovou sa vakayagataki tiko...

Na vosa au tukuna tiko me bulivou o ya na vosavavalagi e sega na kena ivakadewa vakaviti...se na Vosavakavavalagi ni Cakacaka

Taura mada na vosa qo...

Software- E so vei keda na vakayagataka ga na vosa "Software" ka vakacuruma e na nodra vosavakaviti...

E so beka  e ra na via vakavititaka na kena icavucavuti (pronunciation).....

"Sofuwea" se na Sofowea 

O ira na daunivosa e ra na soqona kece na vosa e vakayagataki tiko ka ra vadikeva na vosa e vakayagataki vakalevu...ke ra raica ni vakayagataki vakalevu na "Sofuwea" e sa na biu na ivolanivosa na "Sofuwea" ke ra raica ni ratou vakayagataki tolutolu...e dodonu me ra na biuta tolutolu ka  ra na qai vakamacalataka ni vakayagataki tolutolu...vakavo ga ke tiko e dua na lawa  mai na matanitu e ra vauci tiko kina e na kena tabaki e dua na vosa vou...

Ia na lawa ni matanitu e sega ni rawa ni tarovi keda na lewenivanua mai na vosa e da na via vakayagataka e na veitalanoa se volavola...

E dodonu me da kakua ni rerevaka na bulia na vosavovou ke da kila ni sega tiko na kena vakadewa vakaviti...Na levu ga ni nomu vakayagataka...ke ra taleitaka o ira na veitalanoa tiko kei iko na vakadewa o vakayagataka tiko e ra na tekivu vakayagataka...Qo sara ga na i balebale ni noqu tukuna me da bulivosavovou

Mr.Dan!Matata dina na nomuni vamacala and vinaka vakalevu! Io  ni da reica na gauna nikua, o ira ga na i tabagone era tubu tiko mai na gauna qo, e ra buli vosa vovou tiko. E so na vosa era bulia tiko se ra tukuna tiko e street lingoes se slang words. Na vosa qore na Uro se Uro Ca  niu a se qai rogoca vadua ni tau vi au, qai kidacala o la e tukuna mai, niu sa tuvuki ani au qai vosataki koa cos I did not know what that means.Vei au madaga e 2 na kena balebale. Vakacava mada na vosa qo na PASI! E vosa vaviti se vavalagi.Ni kenda na lei volavola, we will not use street lingoes on our report se cava. Au mai reica eke e levu saraga ni ra dau vagataka na street lingoe vena nondra reports and I do not agree with that. Vei kenda na i taukei, ni da lei volavola i valenivuli, eda vulica e so na street lingoes but when it comes to writing , most of us do not use it.Ni da reica talega na gauna qo, vaka e dau vaka season tiko na veivosa buli eda dau rogoca mai vi ira na tabagone. Ni qima ga na kena kamica, sa mai qima tu ani and another new word comes up.Ko ga kina, me vakoukouwataki tiko ga na vosa vaviti dina vena loma ni vale so that it can stick with the children and they have to pass it on to their kids.Na vosa talega e  buli vou e vaka toka na gacagaca ni  computer. New gadgets are being installed everyday.




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