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Online Dictionary

This online wordlist is based on C. Maxwell Churchward's Rotuman Grammar and Dictionary, first published in 1940. The dictionary in that publication lists Rotuman words and their English translations, but does not include an English to Rotuman counterpart. In collaboration with Elizabeth Kafonika Inia, Sofie Arntsen and Hans Schmidt, we have compiled an English-->Rotuman word list to accompany Churchward's original dictionary. The combined listings are being published as a book by the Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, in Suva, Fiji. For information about this publication click here.

A word about pronunciation and diacritics

The metathesis that characterizes Rotuman language results in a sound pattern uncharacteristic of other eastern Oceanic languages and requires special diacritics to represent spoken words. Churchward used dots over and under the 'a', as well as umlats and macrons, to signify phonemic variations in pronunciation of vowels. His orthography has since become the recognized standard for written Rotuman.

Unfortunately, Churchward's diacritics are not standard characters for internet browsers, so we have had to make some alterations, as below:

Where a ~ (tilde) appears in an English explanation substitute the word itself. For example, the Rotuman word fisfisi brings up the English <white: present a ~ appearance>. This should be read as <white: present a white appearance>.

To use the dictionary, click on link below and enter either an English word or a Rotuman word (without diacritics) in the accompanying box.

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