Palauan love poem

A blebelem el ngar er a dirk

A kot el ungil klangireng

Eng di kmal mereched el mo dibus

Tia a ulebongel ak kmal betik a renguk er kau

Translated into Palauan by Darlene Hicks

Original version
Poem the mirror

Descendant of the Moros and Palau language

My love poem translated in Palauan. I know a young girl from Koror, a long-haired brunette who swims every morning in the clear water of the lagoon. She is a descendant of the Moros these famous pirates of the seas.

In her hair, she wears a flower a little pinkish red. Every morning she takes this flower whose I do not know the name, she put it delicately to the left of her head, just above her ear ... and every night when comes the night, untied her hair, she takes off this flower, in removing the petals ... There is magic in this rite, because she smiles at seeing this tiny piece of her flying away ... far away!

The Palauan (Palau, Paluan, Palaoan, Belauan, , Autonym : Tekoi ra Belau), is a Malayo Polynesian language which come from the paradise islands of Palau (Belau) where it is an official language. 20,000 people speak it.

The island of Palau is four times the size of Kosrae, and ships stopped on the small island of Koror, rather than Babelthuap, the largest island in Palau. Perhaps this explains why a pidgin of English didn't take like in Kosrae. It also seems that European "emigrants", castaways, etc., limited their use of English to contacts with arriving ships (in smaller numbers than in Kosrae).

Conversely, the contact with the Spaniards will have been more important on Palau, more boats, and Spanish priests, who will settle on the island to evangelize, and to create a school.

The Palau in the end will be more influenced by Spanish than by English, unlike Kosrae.

The language will also have the influence of those of the workers displaced on the island of Angaur in 1907, Europeans, Micronesians, Chinese etc, to exploit the phosphate deposits, just discovered.

Palau and its history

This archipelago includes around 200 volcanic or coral islands, Palau is the main one. Discovered in 1543 by Villalobos and Spanish possession until 1899.

The first European to stop at Palau was Francis Drake in 1579. It was not until 1710 that a Spanish ship docked there in turn, and in the 18th century that there were more frequent passages.

In 1783 a ship of the British East India Company, the Antelope, was wrecked nearby. Other shipwrecks will follow, resulting in a few survivors settling on the island.

Other Europeans will also find refuge on the island, the famous "beachcombers", a mixture of deserters and escaped convicts, as well as sailors in search of Sea cucumber.

The archipelago bought by the Germans, will come under Japanese mandate from 1919-1945. Later, it will be administered by the United States, and will become independent in 1980.

Neighboring languages
Chamorro poem
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Poem translated into palauan (482 languages)