Japanese and Other Loanwords in Palauan

I got a little carried away this weekend extracting Japanese, English, German, and Spanish loanwords from the New Palauan–English Dictionary, ed. by Lewis S. Josephs (U. Hawaii Press, 1990). The nature of the words borrowed from each language tells a lot about the nature of the interactions between Palauans and their successive colonizers: Spain until 1899, Germany until 1914, Japan until 1945, and the U.S. after that. By 1940, there were 3 Japanese colonists (including Okinawans, Koreans, and Taiwanese) in the islands for each indigenous Palauan.

The current Palauan orthography originated under the Germans, but has continued to evolve since then. There are only five vowel symbols, i u e o a, but e represents the eh sound when stressed and the uh sound (schwa) when unstressed. Vowel length is indicated by doubling the vowel. Palatal and velar glides are written with the vowel symbols i and u.

Consonants show much greater variation. The obstruents /b/ and /d/ are basically voiced, but are devoiced next to other consonants or in word-final position. The obstruents /t/ and /k/ and are basically voiceless, and are strongly aspirated in word-final position. Glottal stop is written with a ch. The fricative /s/ is slightly palatalized (in the direction of sh). There are only two orthographic nasals, bilabial m and velar ng, but ng is pronounced [n] before the dental consonants t, d, s, and r. The flap /r/ and lateral /l/ can each be doubled, and the /l/ corresponds to /n/ in other related and unrelated languages. The consonants h and z are only found in loanwords.

The underlying morphology of Palauan is very complex, but looks a lot like that of Philippine and other western Austronesian languages once you correct for a lot of strange behavior on the part of the nasals (like infixed -l- and the me- prefixes that end up as o- on certain stems). Perhaps I’ll provide a few glimpses in a future blogpost.

babier ‘paper, letter, book’ (G)
badre ‘priest’ (S)
baeb ‘pipe’ (E)
baias ‘bias or slant (in sewing)’ (E)
baiking ‘disease, germs’ (J)
baket ‘bucket, pail’ (E)
bakudang ‘dynamite; bomb; explosion; air raid; bombardment’ (J)
bakuhats ‘explode’ (J)
bakutsi ‘gambling; card game’ (J)
balas ‘ballast’ (E)
bambuu ‘bamboo’ (E)
bando ‘belt’ (J)
bangd ‘bounce; rebound; suspension (of car)’ (E)
bangd ‘musical band; orchestra’ (E)
bangderang ‘flag, banner’ (S)
bangk ‘bank; safe; strongbox’ (E)
bangk ‘get punctured, blow out’ (J)
bangkeik ‘pancake’ (E)
bar ‘crowbar; coconut husking spike’ (E)
bar ‘bar, tavern’ (E)
bara ‘rose’ (J)
barb ‘valve’ (E)
barikang ‘hair clipper’ (J)
baror ‘table lamp’ (S)
barrill ‘wooden barrel’ (S)
bas ‘bus’ (E)
bas ‘bass (in singing)’ (E)
basio ‘place’ (J)
basket ‘basket’ (E)
Baskua ‘Easter’ (S)
bastaor ‘bath towel’ (J)
bastor ‘pastor’ (E)
bat ‘bat’ (E)
bata ‘butter’ (J)
baterflai ‘fickle’ (E)
batrol ‘patrol; guardian; supervisor’ (S)
batteri ‘battery’ (E, J)
beek ‘bake’ (E)
bek ‘sack, bag’ (E)
bengngos ‘lawyer’ (J)
benia ‘plywood’ (J)
benster ‘window’ (G)
bento ‘food eaten away from home’ (J)
bentobako ‘lunchbox’ (J)
benzio ‘toilet’ (J)
berangdang ‘veranda’ (E)
beragu ‘spark plug’ (J fr E)
berib ‘letter’ (G)
bet ‘bed’ (E)
biang ‘beer’ (E?)
bib ‘bib’ (E)
Biblia ‘Bible’ (S)
bid ‘auction, bidding’ (E)
bilt ‘holy picture’ (G)
bings ‘beans’ (E)
bioing ‘hospital’ (J)
bioingseng ‘hospital ship’ (J)
birhen ‘virgin’ (S)
Biskor ‘Peace Corps’ (E)
bisob ‘bishop’ (E)
bistong ‘piston’ (E)
blaks ‘cement blocks’ (E)
blangtalos ‘plaintain (bark used for cord)’
blasbabier ‘sandpaper’ (G)
blauang ‘flour’ (E)
blok ‘pulley’ (G)
bloridang ‘pomade’ (S brandname?)
boi ‘servant’ (J)
boi ‘buoy; property marker’ (E)
bokket ‘pocket’ (E)
boks ‘large wooden tray with legs’ (J?)
bokso ‘elephant grass (used as animal feed)’ (J)
bokungo ‘storage pit, air-raid shelter’ (J)
bomado ‘pomade’ (J)
bomb/bomk ‘pump; small boat engine’ (E)
bongd ‘pound’ (E)
bongkura ‘dull or slow-witted’ (J)
bor ‘ball (in baseball)’ (J fr E)
borhua ‘walk (in baseball)’ (J fr E)
boruu ‘(head) completely shaved’ (J)
bos ‘(motorless) boat’ (E)
bos ‘boss’ (E)
bost ‘post-office’ (E, G)
Bostol ‘apostle’
botang ‘button; flower similar to peony’ (J)
boteto ‘potato’ (E)
bozu ‘(head) completely shaved’ (J)
bresengt ‘present’ (E)
bud ‘booth’ (E)
budo ‘Panama cherry; capulin’ (J)
buk ‘book’ (E)
bul ‘(swimming) pool; pool (game), billiards’ (E)
bulis ‘police’ (E)
bumpo ‘grammar’ (J)
bung ‘minute’ (J)
bungsu ‘fraction’ (J)
buraia ‘pliers’ (E)
burek ‘brake’ (E)
burgatorio ‘purgatory’ (S)
bus ‘puss, cat’ (E)
bussonge ‘red hibiscus’ (J)
butabutabuta ‘way of calling pigs’ (J)
butiliang ‘bottle; glass’ (S)
buts ‘boots’ (E)

chabarer ‘get angry, get violent’ (J)
chabunai ‘dangerous’ (J)
chaburabang ‘fried bean paste bun’ (J)
chaburasasi ‘oil-can (with long spout)’ (J)
chaiamar ‘apologize to’ (J)
chaikodetsiu ‘tie [breaker] in game of ziangkempo’ (J)
chainoko ‘half-caste child’ (J)
chais ‘ice’ (E, J)
chaiskeeki ‘popsicle’ (J)
chaiskurim ‘ice cream’ (E, J)
chakimer ‘surrender; give up’ (J)
chaltar ‘altar’ (E)
chamatter ‘plenty; more than enough’ (J)
chambang ‘baked bean paste bun’ (J)
chambelangs ‘ambulance’ (E)
chameiu ‘wheat gluten?, coconut syrup?’ (J)
chami ‘screen’ (J)
chamonia ‘ammonia’ (E)
chanakangari ‘button hole’ (J)
changar ‘(salary) increase; (person) get excited or nervous; promote’ (J)
changari ‘rise; increase’ (J)
changhel ‘angel’ (S)
changko ‘bean paste’ (J)
changtena ‘antenna’ (E)
chansing ‘feel relaxed, at ease’ (J)
chanzang ‘add; do sums’ (J)
chanzeng ‘[safety] razor blade’ (J)
charai ‘strict or harsh sounding’ (J)
charuminium ‘aluminum’ (J)
chas ‘ace (in cards)’ (E)
chasagao ‘morning glory’ (J)
chasbering ‘aspirin’ (E, J)
chasiba ‘scaffolding’ (J)
chasuart ‘asphalt’ (J)
chatter ‘appropriate, suitable’ (J)
chauanai ‘inappropriate, unsuitable’ (J)
chausbengdik ‘know thoroughly; memorize’ (G)
chautomatik ‘automatic’ (E)
chauts ‘out (in baseball)’ (E)
chazi ‘flavor, taste’ (J)
chazinomoto ‘flavor enhancer; MSG’ (J)
chea ‘air (for tire)’ (J fr E)
cheisei ‘sanitation (inspection); hygiene’ (J)
chi ‘stomach’ (J)
chihukuro ‘(pouch of) stomach’ (J)
chikes ‘place for storing live bait or fish in boat’ (J)
chimi ‘meaning; implication (of one’s words)’ (J)
chiro ‘color’ (J)
chirochiro ‘many-colored; fathered by different men’ (J)
chomotenangio ‘territory outside of Japanese Pacific mandate’ (vs. utsinangio) (J)
chos ‘holding tight (when dancing); making a play for; getting too close’ (J)
chosarai ‘girls’ game juggling cloth balls filled with seeds’
chotemba ‘flirtatious; loose or fast (woman)’ (J)
choto ‘noise or sound (usu. mechanical)’ (J)
chotobai ‘motorcycle’ (J)
chuki ‘life-preserver’ (J)
chundo ‘physical exercise’ (J)
chundongutsu ‘athletic shoes’ (J)
chuntens ‘driver’ (J)
churi ‘muskmelon’ (J)
chusangi ‘rabbit’ (J)
chuts(i)us ‘take (photo)’ (J)

dai ‘platform; support’ (J)
daia ‘diamond suit (in cards)’ (J)
daikong ‘radish; turnip’ (J)
daiksang ‘carpenter’ (J)
dainamait ‘dynamite’ (E)
dainamo ‘generator’ (J)
daigak ‘university’ (J)
daitai ‘general; fine; all right; okay’ (J)
daiziob ‘fine; all right; okay’ (J)
dangs ‘dance’ (E)
datsio ‘disease of testicles aggravated by the cold’ (J)
dempo ‘telegram’ (J)
dengki ‘electricity’ (J)
dengkibasira ‘telephone pole’ (J)
dengkibu ‘power plant’ (J)
dengkiskongi ‘electric phonograph’ (J)
dengu ‘dengue fever; rheumatism’ (J)
dengua ‘telephone’ (J)
deser ‘diesel’ (G)
diab(e)long ‘devil; Satan’ (S)
diakon ‘deacon’ (S)
Dios ‘God’ (S)
Dois ‘Germany’ (J)
dokurits ‘independent; capable of taking care of oneself’ (J)
donats ‘doughnut’ (E)
dongu ‘tool’ (J)
doraib ‘drive around (in car)’ (E)
dorobo ‘robber; thief’ (J)
dosei ‘anyway; at any rate; after all’ (J)
dotei ‘rampart; terrace’ (J)

haburasi ‘tootbrush’ (J)
hadaka ‘bare-breasted; nude; naked’ (J)
hadasi ‘bare-footed’ (J)
haibio ‘tuberculosis; tubercular’ (J)
haisara/haizara ‘ashtray’ (J)
haisia ‘dentist’ (J)
haitsio ‘cabinet’ (J)
hake ‘paintbrush’ (J)
hall ‘Halt! Stop!’ (G)
hambung ‘half; half-witted’ (J)
hanabi ‘fireworks; firecracker’ (J)
hanahuda ‘Japanese card game’ (J)
hang ‘hamlet; part of town’ (J)
hangkats ‘handkerchief’ (J)
hansubong ‘(walking) shorts’ (J)
hantai ‘opposite; opposed or disagreeing’ (J)
harau ‘pay’ (J)
hasi ‘chopsticks’ (J)
hatoba ‘pier; dock’ (J)
hats ‘bee; wasp’ (J)
heya ‘room’ (J)
hanzi ‘answer’ (J)
hermet ‘helmet’ (E)
Hesus ‘Jesus’ (S)
himbiokai ‘fair; exhibition’ (J)
himits ‘secret’ (J)
hokori ‘dust’ (J)
homrang ‘home run (in baseball)’ (J fr E)
hong ‘book’ (J)
honto ‘Babeldaob (main island of Palau)’ (J)
hos ‘hose (of automobile)’ (E)
hosengka ‘garden balsam’ (J)
hotai ‘bandage’ (J)
hoter ‘hotel’ (J fr E?)
huda ‘identification or name tag’ (J)
Hu(i)ribing ‘Philippines’ (J)
Hurans ‘France’ (J)
huseng ‘balloon; condom’ (J)
huto ‘envelope’ (J)
hutsu ‘common; usual; ordinary’ (J)

iakiu ‘baseball’ (J)
iaksok ‘promise’ (J)
iama ‘raise hairdo at front of hair’ (J)
ianagi ‘Formosa koa tree; willow’ (J)
iasai ‘vegetable’ (J)
iasaibune ‘vegetable boat’ (J)
iasui ‘cheap’ (J)
iasumba ‘resting place’ (J)
iings ‘inch’ (E)
iings ‘hinge’ (E)
ikelesia ‘church’ (S)
Ingklis ‘England’ (E, J?)
iorosku ‘regards; greetings’ (J)
iosiharu ‘spring (season)’ (J)
iosiuki ‘winter’ (J)
iotei ‘schedule; plan’ (J)
iotsieng ‘kindergarten’ (J)
iudoraib ‘rent-a-car; U-drive car; loose woman’ (E)

kab ‘curve; curve-ball’ (J fr E)
kaba ‘armor; protective covering’ (J)
kabaiaki ‘broiled canned fish’ (J)
kabitel ‘captain’ (G)
kabur ‘flip someone over one’s shoulder (when wrestling)’ (J)
kadenia ‘gardenia; carnation’ (E)
kaer ‘return’ (J)
kahol ‘wooden box; coffin’ (S)
kai ‘shell’ (J)
kaisia ‘company; business’ (J)
kamang ‘sickle; twisted, crippled’ (J)
kambalang ‘bell’ (S)
kanadarai ‘large basin’ (J)
kanaria ‘gonorrhea’ (E)
kangdalang ‘candle’ (S)
kangkei ‘relationship; connection’ (J)
kangkeister ‘related to; connected with’ (J)
kangkodang ‘tourist’ (J)
kangngob ‘nurse’ (J)
kanibisket ‘Crab biscuit’ (J brandname)
kansok ‘meteorological survey’ (J)
kansume/kanzume ‘canned goods’ (J)
kantang ‘simple; plain’ (J)
karas ‘glass’ (J fr E)
kardina ‘cardinal’ (E)
kare ‘curry’ (J fr E)
kas ‘gas; gasoline’ (E)
kasinoma ‘cancer’ (E)
kasorin ‘gasoline’ (J)
kastera ‘yellow pound cake’ (J)
kat ‘playing cards’ (E)
kata ‘shape; form; body form; frame for weaving’ (J)
katangami ‘sewing pattern’ (J)
katai ‘stubborn, inflexible or unyielding’ (J)
kataki ‘revenge’ (J)
katate ‘dextrous; needing only one hand to do things’ (J)
katatsumuri ‘African (land) snail’ (J)
kateng ‘curtain’ (E)
katolik ‘Catholic’ (S)
kats ‘winner; win’ (J)
katsudo ‘movie’ (J)
katsudokang ‘movie theater’ (J)
katsuo ‘bonito’ (J)
katsuobusi ‘dried bonito meat’ (J)
katsuoseng ‘bonito-fishing boat’ (J)
kaua ‘leather’ (J)
kauar ‘change’ (J)
keik ‘cake’ (E)
keikak ‘(economic or political) plan’ (J)
keis ‘court or legal case’ (E)
keisang ‘calculate’ (J)
keizai ‘economics’ (J)
kelebus ‘jail, prison’ (S)
kembei ‘police’ (J)
kengri ‘right; privilege’ (J)
kensa ‘inspection; medical examination’ (J)
kerebou ‘cow; carabao; water-buffalo; beef; corned beef’ (S fr Philippines)
kerisil ‘kerosene’ (G)
keristiano ‘Christian’ (S)
kerus ‘cross; crucifix’ (S)
kes ‘erase; obliterate’ (J)
keskomu ‘pencil eraser’ (J)
kets ‘stingy’ (J)
kia ‘gear’ (E)
kiab ‘carburetor’ (J fr E)
kiabets ‘head cabbage’ (J fr E)
kiande ‘candy’ (J fr E?)
kil/kir ‘keel’ (E)
kilo ‘kilogram’ (G?)
kimots ‘feeling’ (J)
king ‘king (also in cards)’ (E)
kigatsakani ‘be unaware of; miss import or implication’ (J)
kigatsku ‘notice; be aware of; understand import or implication’ (J)
kingko ‘safe; strongbox’ (J)
kintama ‘testicles; exclamation uttered when batter strikes out’ (J)
kirioke ‘projecting eave of roof’ (J)
kiro ‘kilogram’ (J)
kisets ‘faint; lose consciousness’ (J)
kisu ‘scar’ (J)
kita ‘guitar’ (E)
kiter ‘effective or strong (words, medicine); convincing (argument); in working order’ (J)
kitsingai ‘crazy; obsessed with’
kitte ‘postage stamp’ (J)
kiubio ‘heart attack’ (J)
klab ‘club; association’ (E)
klas ‘class; classroom’ (E)
klas ‘drinking glass; eyeglass; diving glass’ (E)
klok ‘clock, watch’ (E)
kobito ‘midget; dwarf’ (J)
kohi ‘coffee’ (J)
koi ‘thick or strong (liquid); dark in color’ (J)
koibito ‘sweetheart’ (J)
kokubang ‘blackboard’ (J)
kolt ‘gold’ (E)
komakai ‘stingy; detailed; thorough; accurate’ (J)
komatter ‘inconvenienced or in trouble or hard-pressed financially’ (J)
kombalii ‘company; helpers in preparing food; food so prepared’ (E)
kombas ‘compass’ (E)
komeng ‘sorry; excuse me’ (J)
komi ‘trash, garbage’ (J)
komibako ‘trash can’ (J)
komisteba ‘trash dump’ (J)
komu ‘rubber’ (J)
komunion ‘Holy Communion’ (S)
komunoki ‘India rubber tree; banyan tree’ (J)
komuteib ‘elastic band for clothing’ (J)
kona ‘powdered soap; detergent’ (J)
Kongkong ‘Hong Kong’ (J)
kongro ‘kerosene stove’ (J)
korira ‘gorilla’ (J)
korona ‘crown’ (S)
kort ‘court of law’ (E)
kosi ‘buttocks; hips’ (J)
kosio ‘out of order; broken; get stuck; stop working; have a fit’ (J)
kosui ‘perfume’ (J)
kotai ‘answer (to math problem); (written) solution’ (J)
kotsiosensei ‘high school teacher’ (J)
koziak ‘bald-headed person’ (E name)
kozukai ‘spending money; pocket money’ (J)
Kristo ‘Christ’ (S)
Kristus ‘Christ’ (G)
ksai ‘bad-smelling’ (J)
ksari ‘neck chain (for holding keys, medal, etc.)’ (J)
kuabang ‘guava’ (S)
kudamono ‘passion flower; grandilla’ (J)
kukobokang ‘aircraft carrier’ (J)
kuma ‘bear’ (J)
kumade ‘rake’ (J)
kumi ‘rubber; elastic’ (G)
kumi ‘group; association’ (J)
kungreng ‘military training’ (J)
kurangd ‘playground’ (E)
kureiong ‘crayon’ (E)
Kurismas ‘Christmas’ (J, E)
kurob ‘baseball glove’ (J fr E)
kusarang ‘spoon’ (S)
kutsibeni ‘lipstick’ (J)
kuzira ‘whale’ (J)

mado ‘window’ (J)
mael ‘mile’ (E)
mahobing ‘thermos’ (J)
mahongani ‘mahogany’ (J, E?)
mahura ‘muffler; scarf’ (J)
maikake ‘apron’ (J)
Maikronesia ‘Micronesia’ (E)
maingami ‘bangs’ (J)
mais ‘corn [maize]’ (S)
mak ‘fifty cents’ (G)
make ‘loser; loss’ (J)
makit ‘(produce) market’ (E)
mame ‘beans’ (J)
manaita ‘cutting board; chopping block’ (J)
mang ‘ten thousand’ (J)
mangnga ‘cartoon’ (J)
mangtang ‘black cloth’ (S)
mangtekang ‘lard’ (S)
manguro ‘yellowfin tuna’ (J)
manneng ‘fountain pen’ (J)
Marialas ‘Marianas’ (S)
Marsial ‘Marshall Islands’ (E)
mases ‘matches’ (E)
masku ‘mask; sanitary mask’ (J fr E)
mastang ‘master; leader’ (E)
matsi ‘capital; main town’ (J)
mauar ‘turn’ (J)
mauas ‘turn (something)’ (J)
mazegohang ‘rice mixed with vegetables, meat, etc.’ (J)
mazui ‘bad-tasting; unskilled or unsuccessful (in persuasion)’ (J)
mihong ‘sample; example’ (J)
milk ‘milk’ (E)
minatobasi ‘harbor bridge between Koror and Ngemelachel’ (J)
misang ‘Mass’ (S)
mitsumata ‘three-pronged farming implement’ (J)
miuzium ‘museum’ (E)
mokar ‘gain profit from’ (J)
mongk ‘complaint; criticism’ (J)
motsio ‘appendicitis’ (J)
musiba ‘cavity; rotted tooth’ (J)
musing ‘cooperative enterprise’ (J)

nakas ‘sink’ (J)
namari ‘lead weight; molded lead’ (J)
namer ‘challenge; hold in contempt; make a fool of’ (J)
nangiosakura ‘flame tree’ (J)
nappa ‘long cabbage’ (J)
nas ‘eggplant’ (J)
neibi ‘navy’ (E)
nengi ‘green onion’ (J)
nenneng ‘sleep’ (J baby talk)
nezi ‘screw’ (J)
nezimauas ‘screwdriver’ (J)
nikibi ‘pimple; acne’ (J)
niku ‘meat (esp. beef)’ (J)
nimots ‘baggage; luggage’ (J)
ningio ‘doll’ (J)
ninzin ‘sweet potato with orange flesh’ (J)
nitske ‘fish simmered with sugar and vegetables’ (J)
niziu ‘twenty’
nori ‘glue; paste; starch’
nurs ‘nurse’ (E)

oiakodomburi ‘chicken and eggs with rice’ (J)
okane ‘money’ (J)
okasi ‘candy; sweets’ (J)
oni ‘demon; “it” in games of tag’ (J)
osbitar ‘hospital’ (E)
osime ‘diaper’ (J)
osimekaba ‘diaper cover’ (J)
otsir ‘fail (a test)’ (J)
otsuri ‘change (from purchase); benefit; recompense; advantage’ (J)
otsuringanai ‘having no benefit’ (J)
ouasi ‘walk or go on foot’ (J)

raiskare ‘rice curry’ (J)
rakket ‘racquet’ (E)
rami ‘rummy’ (E)
ranningngu ‘tank-top’ (J fr E)
razieta ‘radiator’ (E, J)
razio ‘radio’ (J, E)
rekodo ‘phonograph record’ (J)
rimbio ‘venereal disease’ (J)
ringngo ‘apple’ (J)
roba ‘donkey; ass’ (J)
rosario ‘rosary’ (S)
Rosia ‘Russia’ (J)
rot ‘piston rod’ (E)
rrat ‘bicycle’ (G)
rrom ‘liquor; alcoholic drink’ (E)
rum ‘room’ (E)

sabis ‘bonus; special service; tip’ (J)
sabisi ‘lonely’ (J)
sablei ‘long knife; machete’ (S)
sabtbol/sobtbol ‘softball’ (E)
saidang ‘cider; soft-drink’ (J)
saing ‘sign’ (E)
saingo ‘last time; end (of relationship)’ (J)
saireng ‘siren’ (J)
sak ‘unit of measure; foot’ (J)
salad ‘salad’ (E)
saladaoil ‘salad oil’ (J, E)
sambas ‘dock with piers’ (J)
samui ‘cold’ (J)
sandei ‘week; Sunday’ (E)
sandits ‘arithmetic’ (J)
sangdiang ‘type of watermelon’ (S)
sangkak ‘triangle’ (J)
sangklas ‘sunglasses’ (E)
sangta ‘female saint’ (S)
sangto ‘male saint’ (S)
sao ‘pole for fishing or support’ (J)
sar ‘salt’ (S)
sarmetsir ‘liniment’ (J brandname)
sarumata ‘panties, underpants’ (J)
sasimi ‘sashimi; raw fish’ (J)
Satan ‘Satan’ (S)
sausab ‘soursop (tree or fruit)’ (E)
sbiido ‘speed (up)’ (J)
sbots ‘sports’ (J)
seb ‘safe (in baseball)’ (J fr E)
sebadong ‘Saturday’ (S)
Sebangiol ‘Spain’ (S)
sebel ‘shovel’ (E)
sebulias ‘green onion’ (S)
seikats ‘life’ (J)
seiko ‘succeed; prosper’ (J)
seinendang ‘youth group’ (J)
seizi ‘politics’ (J)
sembuki ‘electric fan’ (J)
semmong ‘expert; specialist’ (J)
seng ‘insulated wire; electrical wire; cable’ (J)
sengk ‘money gift’ (G)
sengkio ‘election’ (J)
sengko/katorisengko ‘mosquito coil’ (J)
sensei ‘teacher’ (J)
serangk ‘bookcase; cupboard; shelf’ (G)
seraub ‘screw’ (G)
Siabal ‘Japan’ (E)
siasing ‘photo’ (J)
siasingki ‘camera’ (J)
siats ‘shirt’ (J)
sib ‘sheep’ (E)
sidosia ‘car; automobile’ (J)
sikang ‘hour’ (J)
sikar ‘cigar’ (E)
simang ‘vain; boastful’ (J)
simpai ‘worry’ (J)
simbung ‘newspaper’ (J)
simer ‘strangle; choke; close; turn off’ (J)
Sina ‘China’ (J)
singyo ‘trust’ reputation’ (J)
sintsiu ‘brass, copper’ (J)
sinzo ‘heart (= internal organ)’ (J)
siobai ‘business’ (J)
siobang ‘loaf of bread’ (J)
siokumins ‘farm colony’ (J)
sionga ‘ginger’ (J)
sioning ‘witness’ (J)
sioningdai ‘witness stand’ (J)
siorai ‘future’ (J)
siraber ‘investigate or interrogate (someone)’ (J)
sirangkao ‘face feigning ignorance; innocent face’ (J)
sisiu ‘embroidery’ (J)
sister ‘nun; sister’ (E)
sits ‘(linen) sheet’ (J)
siukang ‘custom; (bad) habit; idiosyncrasy’ (J)
skak ‘square’ (J)
skamaer ‘confront; face; corner; catch; get hold of’ (J)
skareter ‘tired’ (J)
skarister ‘serious, conservative or self-controlled or strait-laced or not easily swayed’ (J)
skato ‘skirt’ (J)
skemono ‘pickles; condiments’ (J)
skeng ‘test; examination’ (J)
skidas ‘drawer (of desk, table, etc.)’ (J)
skoki ‘airplane’ (J)
skongki ‘(manual) phonograph’ (J)
skozio ‘airport’ (J)
skuul ‘school’ (E)
slibs ‘necktie’ (G)
sobdringk ‘soft drink’ (E)
sodang ‘discussion’ (J)
soko ‘storage area; shed’ (J)
soldau ‘soldier’ (S)
song ‘take a loss; waste time’ (J)
songngai ‘(financial) loss’ (J)
sorobang ‘abacus’ (J)
sos ‘sauce; soy sauce’ (E)
sotets ‘cycad [palm]’ (J)
sotsungiosei ‘graduate’ (J)
sotsungioski ‘graduation ceremony’ (J)
stamb ‘rubber stamp; seal’ (E)
stangi ‘underwear’ (J)
statmota ‘(engine) starter’ (E)
stengles ‘stainless’ (E)
stereo ‘stereo’ (E)
stoang ‘store’ (E)
stob ‘stove’ (E)
stob ‘stop’ (E)
sub ‘soup’ (E)
sudare ‘rolling bamboo curtain’ (J)
suester ‘nun; sister’ (G)
sukal ‘sugar’ (S)
suklatei ‘chocolate’ (S)
sumi ‘charcoal’ (J)
sumitsubo ‘carpenter’s tool for marking lumber’ (J)
sung ‘unit of measure (close to inch)’ (J)

tabasko ‘tabasco’ (E)
taber ‘blackboard’ (G)
tabi ‘canvas shoe’ (J)
tada ‘free of charge’ (J)
taem ‘time; occasion’ (E)
taia ‘tire’ (J fr E)
taib ‘typewriter’ (E)
Taiheio ‘Pacific Ocean’ (J)
taiko ‘drum’ (J)
Taiuang ‘Taiwan’ (J)
takai ‘expensive; high status’ (J)
taki ‘waterfall’ (J)
tama ‘marble; fried dough ball; ball bearing’ (J)
tamanengi ‘onion; shaved head’ (J)
tamango ‘egg’ (J)
tamangodomburi ‘rice topped with egg’ (J)
tamangongata ‘egg-shaped’ (J)
tamangoudong ‘noodles topped with egg’ (J)
tana ‘shelf’ (J)
tane ‘seed’ (J)
tangk ‘water tank or drum’ (E)
tansiobi/tanziobi ‘birthday’ (J)
taor ‘towel’ (J)
taorer ‘faint; collapse’ (J)
tarai ‘large basin’ (J)
tatami ‘tatami’ (J)
tatemai ‘action of building frame of house’ (J)
tauas(i) ‘scrubbing brush’ (J)
te ‘ability; skill; style’ (J)
tebel ‘table; desk; chair’ (E)
teb(u)kuro ‘glove; mitten’ (J)
teng ‘grade; point; score’ (J)
tengki ‘weather’ (J)
tengus ‘cat-gut; plastic fishing line’ (J)
tenis ‘tennis’ (E, J?)
tenor ‘tenor’ (E)
tento ‘tent’ (J fr E)
tenzio ‘ceiling’ (J)
teppo ‘hand of cards in hanahuda’ (J)
tibi ‘television’ (E)
todai ‘lighthouse’ (J)
tokas ‘make (something) melt’ (J)
toker ‘melt; die of embarrassment’ (J)
tokoia ‘barber’ (J)
toktang ‘doctor’ (E)
tokuni ‘especially; particularly’ (J)
tomato ‘tomato’ (J fr E?)
tongang ‘squash’ (J)
torak ‘truck’ (J fr E)
torangk ‘trunk; suitcase’ (E)
toseng ‘ferry-boat’ (J)
Trinidad ‘Holy Trinity’ (S)
trombetang ‘trumpet; bugle’ (S)
tsesa ‘chaser; snack to accompany beer’ (E)
tsiok ‘chalk’ (E)
tsiokkolet ‘chocolate’ (E)
tsios ‘condition’ (J)
tsitsibando ‘brassiere’ (J)
tsiub(u) ‘inner tube’ (J fr E)
tsiui ‘be careful; warn (someone)’ (J)
tsizim ‘shrink’ (J)
tsubame ‘barn swallow’ (J)
tsuingam ‘chewing gum’ (E)
tsunami ‘tidal wave’ (J)
tsurubasi ‘pick-axe’ (J)
turm ‘church tower; steeple’ (G)

uaia ‘wire’ (E)
uaks ‘wax’ (E)
uata ‘cotton’ (J)
uatasibune ‘ferry-boat’ (J)

zeitak/seitak ‘luxurious; high-class; select’ (J)
ziabong ‘pomelo; shaddock’ (J)
ziakki ‘jack (for car)’ (J fr E)
ziangkempo ‘game [paper-scissors-rock]’ (J)
zibiki ‘dictionary’ (J)
ziteng ‘dictionary’ (J)
ziu ‘gun; rifle’ (J)
ziu ‘freedom (to do as one wishes)’ (J)
zori ‘rubber slippers’ (J)
zubong/subong ‘trousers’ (J)
zunga/sunga ‘picture; drawing’ (J)
zurui/surui ‘sly; sneaky; shrewd’ (J)



Filed under Germany, Japan, language, Micronesia, Spain, U.S.

16 responses to “Japanese and Other Loanwords in Palauan

  1. José CALVETE

    Excellent ! I am interested by Spanish loanwords in Palauan and I found your work very good and interesting !

    You can contact me if you want…



  2. This is a great list here. I think people underestimate foreign keywords, which is a good thing for those of us who don’t. Thanks for sharing this list. Must have taken you some time to build.

  3. Seth

    Nice work!

    Loan words in indigenous languages of the Pacific are really interesting.

    It just seems a bit odd that despite considerable Philippine presence in Palau (during Spanish occupation up to the present), only one word seemed to make it into the list (kerebou)!

    • stu

      also maybe “babii”. what about “choi” from Filipino “chocho”.. just a thought.

      • stu

        what about “osbitar”?

      • Stu. To me it also seems intuitive that babii must be borrowed (note that I’m not a linguist). However, neither the Josephs nor Kerresel dictionary lists it as borrowed.

        As for ‘choi,’ I suspect it’s native since ‘yes’ “doesn’t seem to be a concept that needs to be borrowed.” [this quote is from how Joel discusses ‘sueleb’ below.] Neither dictionary lists ‘choi’ as borrowed.

        ‘osbitar’ is marked as coming from English.

    • Hey Seth, in tekinged.com bakla and akeke are also listed as having Tagalog origins.

  4. crystal

    do you think “sueleb”, noon, came from the word “twelve”?

  5. Laisang Metes

    Oh yay, I learned the German loanwords. I’m palauan, I’m glad someone put this up. It makes me learn more about my language. Thanks. :D

  6. Wow, this is pretty awesome. Thanks for this. I’m currently in the process of trying to digitize, expand, and update the Josephs dictionary and this is a huge help. The biggest challenge is the data entry so this page is a great help. I was able to use mechanical turk to scrape a bunch of Palauan proverbs from the old McKnight paper but the PDF I have of Josephs is not legible enough to get decent accuracy in transcription.

    My current effort is at http://tekinged.com.

    Please let me know if you’d prefer I not scrape your hard work here and I’ll remove from the tekinged.com database.

  7. Tom

    sment (cement)

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