Misima Language Guide, Louisiade Archipelago, PNG

After teaching Violetta how to take photos with my camera, we all posed as she snapped away happily...

There are over 200 languages spoken in Papua New Guinea, all very particular to the region the people are from. The islanders in the central part of the Louisiades speak the ‘Misima’ language, and even have difficulty understanding people on the mainland in Port Moresby.

The following is a little guide of helpful Misima words and phrases. The spelling is mostly phonetic, written as I sound it out. So although not perfect, it will be a helpful start to creating a bit of fun banter with the locals.

WORD PRONOUNCIATION TRANSLATION
A teu owa Ah-tey-wo-wa Thank you  (can also be you’re welcome)
Eweiss Ear-whyce Good
Eweiss e ya Ear-why-see-yar That’s good, all good, its ok
Eweiss e nabi Ear-why-see nar-bee Good Luck
Bainunuatu Buy-a-nu-nu-watu No worries, no problem
Nu auw Noo-wow I like it
Ni gen auw Nee gen wow (hard g, not j) I don’t like
Unem Oo-nem Come, you come, come here
Kyoni Kye-oh-nee Goodbye
Mweluluga waiwaisana Mwe-la-LU-ga why-why-sarna Good morning (I think adding waiwaisana makes it more polite)
A lala tey waiwaisana Ah-lar-lar-tay Good afternoon (12pm – 3pm)
Koko ya ve waiwaisana Koh-koh yar vey Good afternoon (3pm – 6pm)
Bulin waiwaisana Bull-een why why sarna Good evening
Nolu Noh-loo yesterday
Rane Rar-nay today
Bwalugumwa Bwa-loo-goo-mwa tomorrow
U wa he Oo-wa-hey Take it
A bwe taki tela Ah-bwe-tar-kee-tell-a I see you, like hello (my favourite)
A bwe taki tela aa Ah-bwe-tar-kee-tell-a-ARR I see you again, nice to see you again

 Miss out on the Pratical Information for Yachties in the Louisiades? Click here for the whole story…

With only a few simple phrases conversing with the locals is such a fun experience, especially when they often still have NO idea what you are on about. A smile is often all you need.

About Imogen Throp

Imo takes life as it comes, fueling her wander-lust with hard work along the way. She loves the lessons learned through shared experiences, interaction and bloody good yarns. Imo is humbled and awestruck by stories, situations and stunning panoramas that she encounters on her path. Often, all it takes is a smile.

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