Ni sa Bula! Let’s Speak Fijian
Vacava tiko? I’m good, how about you? While English is widely spoken in the country, Fijian is the national language of the island groups in the South Pacific. Over 400,000 people in Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific speak Fijian.
Communication in Fiji is easy as English is everyday used. However, it’ll be polite, fun, and more appreciative if you familiarize yourself with common Fijian words and local phrases. It adds endearment to the friendly and welcoming Fijian people. Here are common phrases you need to learn.
Greetings and goodbyes
How do you say hi or good morning to someone in Fijian?
Ni sa bula/ ni sa bula vinaka/ bula
When you want to extend your hellos and greetings, ‘bula!’ is the most common greetings you’ll hear in Fiji. Ni sa bula and ni sa bula vinaka is more of a formal welcome and wishing the person good in life. Bula is also a greeting for good afternoon and good evening.
Ni sa yadra
Yadra is the formal way of saying ‘Good morning.’
That’s how we greeted you earlier! It means, ‘How are you?’
Seeing someone the next time? Sota tale means, ‘See you later!’
Ni sa moce
Want to say goodbye? Ni sa moce!
O cei na yacamu?
This means, ‘What’s your name?’ in Fijian. With that you reply with, ‘Na yacaqu o,’ which simply states, ‘My name is –’
Vanuinui vinaka e nomu volau!
Are your friends on a holiday? Wish them a ‘bon voyage or have a safe trip!’
Saying the magic words in Fijian isn’t that hard!
Vinaka vaka levu/ Vinaka
The former means, ‘Thank you very much,’ and the latter is a short saying that means, ‘Thank you,’ or ‘Thanks!’
What’s the magic word? Please! Yalo vinaka is a formal way of saying, ‘Please,’ while the latter is used in informal settings
Au lako mada yani
If you want to get past somebody, you say, “Excuse me.” And this Fijian phrase says that for you.
Vosota sara/ vosoti au
When you did something wrong, you say, “Sorry.” Both phrases are general informal sayings of, ‘I’m sorry.” When you’re invading someone’s space, however, you say, ‘Tulou’ or ‘Jilou.’
Vanuinui vinaka ki na siga ni kua!
If you’re wishing someone to have a nice day, the, ‘Vanuinui vinaka ki na siga ni kua,’ to you, too!
Getting around town
If you’re around town talking to the locals, we suggest you learn basic Fijian language for everyday conversations.
If you want to say, ‘Yes,’ in Fijian, you say ‘ee-oh’ or io.
No? That’s sega I for you!
Can’t decide? Can’t tell? Say ‘de dua’ because that means, ‘Maybe’ in Fijian.
Au sega ni kila
‘I don't know.’ But now you do in Fijian.
Sā macala/Au kilā
I understand .
Au sa seqa ni kilā / E sega ni macala
If you can’t understand anything, just use this phrase which simply means, ‘I don't understand.’
Nī vosa vakavālagi?
English is widely used in the country, but locals won’t hold back talking in their native tongues. ‘Nī vosa vakavālagi?’ Do you speak English?
What? What did you say? Pardon? That’s ‘Ō’ for you!
E vica na kena i-sau?
Interested in buying a souvenir? ‘How much is this?’ in Fijian is the start.