Gogodala love poem
A:pe imimi galasi gobala
Ameta sela, wama kaola gile.
Ma:ma na:pe a:yata napa gi, a: iwalelalowa
→ French poem ←
Little translation of my love poem into gogodala (gogodara), the language of the gogodala ethnic group, a language close to ari. There are about 22,000 speakers in the center of the western province of Papua New Guinea to speak this language of the gogodala-suki language group. Note that the letter, here signified by "a:", is pronounced as in apple.
In the mid-twentieth century missionaries studied Gogodala which the natives spoke in the regions of the Aramia and Lower Fly rivers, and then they preached in Gogodala language, in the middle of this area, then in other places, so much so that Papuans from neighboring tribes, who came to follow the teaching of the missionaries, learned the language and took it back home.
In the end, all of this resulted in many people who were not native speakers of Gogodola, learning this language and practicing it as a second language. Today as for Tolai, the importance of Gogodala as a lingua franca for the teaching of religion has declined, but these events have given it a real importance as a lingua franca in those areas where missionaries have taught.
The Papuan languages
The Papuan languages are non-Melanesian languages spoken in New Guinea and neighboring islands. There are approximately 700 languages, of which 400 can be genetically grouped, the remainder being of a dubious or unknown affiliation.
Many of these languages only concern one tribe or a small group of tribes and have only a few hundred speakers.