A dictionary of Mwotlap (Banks Is., Vanuatu)
This dictionary has no finderlist yet. To look up French or English words, open this link (entire dictionary on one page)
or this Pdf version of the dictionary, and search for a string of text [Ctrl+F/Cmd+F].






mwotlap dictionary
Index e
en goy
en hiy
en tō
et liwo
et su
et vēglal
et yak
et yak
etet hethet
etgoy liwo
et-misin te
et-… qete
et-… si te
et-… te
egoy  [ɛɣɔj] excl. watch out, be careful (.... doesn't, tiple + Prop).


Look out!

Egoy ni-hiy nan, nēk tiple dolm̄a aē !
Be careful of the bones, you might swallow one!

Nēk egoy kē tiple wuh nēk.
Watch out he doesnt kill you.
eh  (n-eh) [nɛh] noun. <Mus>

(1) song

Na-ln̄e eh yoyoy me gēn.
I can hear a song getting nearer and nearer.

Mahē kē so ni-tōytōy, kē ni-se n-eh, n-eh non Iqet.
While she swept, she began to sing a song in the language of Iqet.

(2) melody, music.

[ Mota <°na ási.  asa song’. ]

el1   [ɛl] intransitive verb. walk quickly.

[ Mota al. Mota alial. PNCV *ali(ali). ]

el2   (n-el) [nɛl] noun. <Pois> reef fish which camouflages in sand.

(1) "Lizard fish". Synodus spp.

(2) "Sand perch". Parapercis spp.

el3   (n-el) [nɛl] noun. <Jeu> string game: traditional game in which various geometrical shapes are made out of string (gen. of pandanus leaves nō-yōpdēge), according to how it is hooked on to the fingers.

Ige susu galeg n-el tiwag mi na-gayga yōpdēge.
Children play string games, with string made out of pandanus leaves.
empi  [ɛmpi] sb. deputy, member of parliament.

Kē m-empi tō am̄ag.
He used to be a deputy.

[ Angl. MP, Member of Parliament. ]

en1   [ɛn] ~ e ~   ptc. mark of anaphora.
en2   [ɛn] intransitive verb.

(1) lie down, e.g. to rest.

en tō

Kōmyō van enen day no.
Go and lie down while you wait for me.

Na-mtewot en tō metehal.
Someone injured is lying on the side of the road.

(2) to be somewhere in a lying position.

na-tno tamge en tō en
the mat that's lying over there

N-ēm̄ nonoyō en tō a laln̄e bak.
Their house is [lying] under the banyan tree.

Nē-vētbē vōyō en tō a antan a le-lo siok en.
The two bamboos are [lying] on the ground in the canoe.

[ PNCV *ʔeno. POc *qenop. ]

en goy  [ɛn ɣɔj] transitive verb.

(1) lying down so as to bar the way to ‹› (s.o, den): hence cover, hide; form an obstacle.

Na-m̄at m-en goy na-mtehal en.
The snake lay across the path.

Na-lam t-en goy dōyō.
The ocean will separate us [lit. will be spread out between us].

(2) lying down alongside a ‹sick person+› to take care of him/her.

Van me en goy qōtō tētē gēn kē tiple qēsdi.
Come and lie down next to the baby, in case he falls.
en hiy  [ɛn hij] intransitive verb. lie down.

hiy [1] ‘(2)’

Nok so en hiy goy bah tusu.
I'm going to lie down a while.

Ige susu en mal enen hiy.
The children have already gone to bed.
en tō  loc. at the moment, in this situation.

en [2]

tō [2]

En tō gōh, tita mino mal mat ēgēn.
At this point in time, my mother must have given up the ghost.

En tō nōk, nēk tog vanvan qete antan.
In these circumstances, you should wait a lilttle before going back down.
ep  (n-ep) [nɛp] noun. <Christ>

(1) fire.

N-ep mino tateh.
I've no flame left.

Nok hohoh n-ep van : tateh, et-lawlaw te.
I keep rubbing and rubbing (to start) a fire, it doesn't work.

Kēy gal n-ep a le-qyēn̄i qōqō ōk, tō n-ep ni-lawlaw.
You light the fire at the back of the oven, and the fire begins to burn.

wiyis n-ep tō kē ni-lawlaw
adjust (the wood in) the fire to rekindle it

Dō so bē n-ep van a le-pyēyag agōh.
We'll set light to these dead leaves.

N-ēm̄ mino, n-ep mal gen qēt.
My house burnt down completely [lit. the fire 'ate' it altogether].

N-ep me-gen mat ēntēn.
His son perished in the flames [lit. the fire ate him-dead].

(2) Hell.

Nēk ta-van l-ep!
[you'll go to the Fire] You'll end up in Hell!

[ POc *api. ]

es  [ɛs] transitive verb. stab, kni throw a knife or an assegai at ‹s.o› (opp. gon, stab and keep hold of the knife).

et1   (n-et) [nɛt] noun.

(1) man, human being; spec. living person (opp. na-tmat ('devil', etc).

Iqet mi-tin̄ na-myam; bastō, kē mi-tin̄ n-et van alon en.
Iqet created the world, then he created men.

Tigsas kē et-wot vu te, kē mo-wot et.
Jesus wasn't born a spirit, he was born a man.

Kē n-et si na-tmat?
Is it alive, or is it a ghost?

(2) no one; someone, the one who....

n-et qagqag vitwag
a White man [a white person]

Nēk n-et m̄aya vitwag!
You're a funny person!

N-et aē l-ēm̄ gōh?
Is there someone in this house?

Tateh et me agōh.
There's no one around here.

n-et mey a mo-gom en
the person who's sick

(3) someone regularly associated with an object N.

n-et b-ih
[the person with the bow] the archer

n-et be-non ēm̄
[the person for his house] the owner

(4) someone used to (doing V); hence forms names of agent.

Nok et- n-et be-qneqneg te.
I'm not someone who's jealous.

Nēk n-et woswos vitwag!
You're a handyman! [someone to nail]

n-et bē-sēsēil
[someone for divination] the seer

n-et bē-tēytēy tēnge
[someone to handle plants] the healer

n-et behemhe tele
[someone to join metal] the coachbuilder, the mechanic

n-et towtow eh
[someone to compose songs] the poet, the composer

n-et vēgēpgēl
[someone to bewitch] the healer (witchdoctor)

(5) people, we, you.

Sisqet n-et ni-qlen̄ qēt.
The whole population nearly disappeared.

Imam mino kē nu-kuykuy et.
My father is a cannibal [he bites people].

ige tēytēy-et
the police [lit. people catchers]

Itōk, veg kē ne-myin̄ n-et.
It's good, because it's useful [it helps people].

N-et ta-galeg vēste qele anen.
You can't do that / That's not done.

Nē-bē, kē n-ēh non n-et.
Water is life. (lit. people's lives]

[ PNCV *ʔataspirit, soul; person’. POc *qatashadow, reflection’. ]

et2   [ɛt] transitive verb.

(1) see; look.

higher register: halveg

et hiy
to look closely, carefully

et lōlhiy
follow with one's eyes

et kēlē
to look behind oneself

Nok so et te muk!
Let me have a look.

Kē van me nen, kē et van qele kē : no-woh !
As he drew near, he suddenly looked up [he looks like this]: a figtree!

(2) establish that, find that; consider ‹, s.o.› in a certain way.

et vēglal

et yak

Kē m-et van so ma-haytēyēh ēgēn.
He considered that was enough.

Nēk et van tita nonon kōyō imam nonon, kōyō na-tam nēk?
Do you think her parents (of your fiancée) like you? [lit. You look at her mother and her father, do they like you?]

Nēk etet no me qele ave?
How do I look? To your eyes, how am I?
et-3   [ɛt] mod. first element of negation et-… te ‘not’, etc. [cf. brackets]..

tit-2 ‘fv:te-2 + fv:et-3’

et-… te

et-… qete

et-… si te

et liwo  (n-et liwo) [nɛt liwɔ] noun.

(1) adult (opp. n-et su 'child'), eldest.

ige lōmlōmgep, tiwag mi ige lililwo lo-lo vōnō en
young people, as well as the village elders

(2) person of high rank, dignitary, chief (cf. bsl ‘Bigman’).

n-inti et liwo
chief's son, a prince

N-et bi-tigtigheg ni-ha van ni-vinlah hiy ige lililwo, tō kēy in ēgēn.
The servant serves a bowl (of kava) to the dignitaries, who drink it.
et su  (n-et su) [nɛt su] noun. child (opp. n-et liwo ‘adult’).


E, n-et su!
Hey, little one!

n-et su vōyō
two children
et vēglal  transitive verb. recognize ‹, s.o.› at sight (by looking); understand (after seeing

et [2]

Bulsal, nēk et-et vēglal te no?
Don't you recognize me, my friend?

Ne-twoyig ēwē, nēk t-et vēglal nowmat vēh.
It's easy, one can recognize it straight away.

Nok et n-ili men en, tō nok et vēglal so na-gop.
As soon as I saw the feather, I understood it was a heron.
et yak  transitive verb. examine in a selective manner: hence choose, select.

et [2]

Ige lōqōvēn kēy et yak galgalsi na-mtevōn ige tam̄an.
(in Europe, to choose a husband) Women carefully observe a man's character.
et yak  transitive verb. lit. “see-(take) off” : choose, select.

yak [C]

Ikē nen a kē t-etyak mayanag ne vōnō.
ete  [ɛtɛ] ptc.

(1) presentative, accompanying the deictic reference: here, there.

Ete n-ēm̄ mino a hag gēn.
There's my house over there.

Ros a ete magtō agōh.
Rose is this old lady here.

(2) suggests a coincidence between the deictic reference and the speech context: hence (that's) exactly (it), precisely.

Syn: ate

Syn: ēgōh

Ohoo, ete, kē no-togtog van agōh.
This is precisely where she lives.

Ete ige bul vet hah vatag hag na-tgop anen.
Four men are just arriving with the wedding cake.
etet  (n-etet) [nɛtɛt] noun. noun derived from the vb et 'see': point of view, vision, opinion.

L-etet nōnōm, ne-qe ni-en lok ave itōk?
Where do you think we should put the bed?
etet hethet  [ɛtɛt hɛthɛt] transitive verb. feel resent for, be envious, jealous of ‹s.o›; hate.

Syn: etet wolwol

Syn: dēmdēm hethet

qeneg ‘être jaloux’

Kēy t-etet hethet vēh nēk aē, a so nēk sotel nēk bo-hohole galsi to-M̄otlap en.
They might be jealous of you, seeing how proud you are to speak mwotlap so well.

Ige lōmlōmgep en kēy etet hethet kē.
The other boys developed a feeling of jealousy / hatred towards him.
etgoy  [ɛtɣɔj] transitive verb. keep an eye on.

(1) watch over; spy.

Ige le-pnō kēy etetgoy meh n-et.
At the village, we observe others a little too often.

(2) beware of, be wary of; be careful (that ....not, tiple + Prop).

Nēk so m-ekas na-magtō nēk etgoy galsi!
If you meet an ole woman, beware.

Nēk so van ale, nēk etgoy kēy tiple ekas nēk.
If ever you go to the beach, be careful nobody sees you.

(3) take care of, look after ‹someone weak›; spec. educate, raise ‹child›.

Kē ni-mat en, ino mahgēk no m-etgoy kē.
When she died, I was the only one to look after her.

(4) govern, politically administrate ‹a territory›.

Syn: liwo goy

Mayanag ni-etetgoy galsi na-pnō nonon.
The chief looks after his village well.
etgoy liwo  transitive verb. take care of ‹child› until he becomes an adult, hence bring up, educate.


Syn: bōg

Taitus me-lepyak Ivana, tō kē ni-etgoy liwo kē.
Taitus adopted Ivana, and educated her.
et-misin te  expr. a little later, immediately.

Kōmyō van, et-misin te nē-vēytitit.
[lit. You had just left, and it wasn't long before they started fighting.

Kē ni-wot en, et-misin te tita nonon mi na-tqan lok se.
Shortly after his birth [lit. he was born, and without delay], his mother became pregnant again.
etsas  [ɛtsas] ~ eksas ~ ekas  transitive verb.

(1) see, esp. after an effort; manage to see.

Ave en? Nok et-etsas te !
Where? I can't see anything.

(2) find ‹, s.o›, by chance or purposely.

sok ‘chercher’

(3) receive ‹an object addressed to me: letter, parcel+›.

Qōn̄ vitwag no m-eksas nē-lētes namu nēk ma-yap me.
The other day I received the letter you wrote me.
et-yeh  (n-et-yeh) [nɛtjɛh] noun. <Bot> (Sl) lit. “see-far” : rice. In the village of Toglag, a young deaf man called Kaya would represent rice as improving eyesight: the nickname n-et-yeh was created jokingly as a slang word for rice.


Ige to-Toglag, kēy et ōl si te 'na-raes' en, kēy ōlōl so 'Nok so van wēl n-et-yeh' !
The people from Toglag no longer say 'rice', but 'I'm going to buy some see-far'!
et-… qete  mod. not yet. Accomplished negation (mal).

et- [3]


Mal monog > Et-monog qete.
It's already cooked > It's not cooked yet.

No et-eksas qete kē.
I haven't found it yet.
et-… si te  mod. no longer.

et- [3]

Kem et- vanvan si te l-ēm̄yon̄.
We no longer go much to church.
et-… te  mod. Realis negation, referring to past, present or timeless events. Both elements surround the predicative syntagm (verb, noun, etc.), and replace the affirmative aspect modals (ex. nE- Stative, mE- Perfect…).

et- [3]

No ne-mtēgteg > Nok et-mētēgteg te.
I'm afraid > I'm not afraid

No ma-van et-van te Toglag.
I went to T. > I didn't go to T.

Kēy et-gengen te hap te.
They don't eat anything. [do not eat something]

Et-ni-siok nonontēl te.
It's not our canoe.

Et-haytēyēh te.
It's not enough.
ey2   (n-ey) [nɛj] noun. <Bot>

(1) She-oak, bsl. Oktri. Casuarina equisetifolia.


[ POc *aʀu. ]

▲ Back to top ▲