New Release: Say It In Fijian!

by Albert J. Schütz

a media-rich e-book featuring
hundreds of audio samples
and historical images

Say it in Fijian

The revised and expanded edition of Say It in Fijian presents Albert J. Schütz's popular introduction to the Fijian language for the first time in an interactive, media-rich
e-book format.

Designed for use on most tablets, readers, and smart phones, the e-book includes an extensive selection of audio recordings that make it easy to hear and say simple Fijian words and phrases. For example, as Schütz explains in the book, "the simplest way to begin using Fijian is with the greetings, and most common is:

Nī sā bula. 

Bula means literally ‘health’ or ‘life’. means ‘you plural’, but it is also a respectful way of referring to just one person. The singular form, sā bula, or bula, can be used among close friends, rather in the same way as tu and du are in French and German."

A masterfully crafted introduction to the Fijian language, the e-book edition of Schütz's Say It in Fijian allows beginning students and casual visitors alike to quickly acquire a basic familiarity with many common and practical Fijian expressions. In addition, the e-book includes a collection of never before seen historical photographs depicting life and culture of Fiji in the 1960s.

Say it in Fijian

About the Author

Albert J. SchutzHere’s my abbreviated curriculum vitae. I’m an Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (B.S., Purdue University; PhD, Cornell University).

In 1960–61 I did a survey of Fijian dialects, recording speakers from 105 different villages.Fijian Reference Grammar In the 1970s, I served as the first Director of the Fijian Dictionary Project. My major works on Fijian are The Languages of Fiji (1972), The Fijian Language (1985), and Fijian Reference Grammar (2014).

I’ve also written about Hawaiian: The Voices of Eden: A History of Hawaiian Language Studies (1994), All about Hawaiian (1995), Things Hawaiian: Pocket Guide to the Language (1997), and (with Gary N. Kahāho‘omalu Kanada and Kenneth William Cook) Pocket Hawaiian Grammar (2005). In addition, I’ve studied and written about Nguna (a language in Vanuatu), Tongan, Samoan, and Māori.

This linguistic, bibliographic, and geographical span across the Pacific seems an unlikely history for someone who was reared on an Indiana farm, and counted 4-H and Future Farmers of America as important parts of his life, culminating in a Gold Medal in livestock judging at the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City! But that’s another story.

History of the Book

In 1967–68, Ratu Rusiate Komaitai and I developed the language materials for the first Fiji Peace Corps training program and recorded audio tapes to match the lessons. This text morphed into Spoken Fijian (University of Hawai‘i Press, 1971). Although the second edition has been out of print for some years now, I still occasionally get requests for Fijian instructional material, including tapes.

Say it in in Fijian has its own history. When I suggested the project to Pacific Publications Pty. Ltd. one of the managers responded “Well, I don’t have much faith in tourists as book buyers …” As it turned out, this prediction was far off the mark, proving that tourists can be faithful book buyers!

The book, which resulted in a tiny reputation in Fiji for its author, was always an excuse to visit most of the small bookstores on drives around Viti Levu. One occasion in particular sticks in my mind. A friend and I had stopped at Sigatoka for lunch, after which I was prepared to don my bookseller’s persona and check a nearby bookstore to see if it carried Say it in Fijian. Not only was the book prominently displayed, but the owner seemed pleased to meet an actual author. We were promptly invited to his living quarters and served tea and biscuits. This felt better, and was much more satisfying, than any large book-signing ever could have done.

Adding sound and pictures for the first e-book edition of Say it in Fijian has been an exciting and challenging experience. I’m sure that these new dimensions will greatly enhance every user’s experience with the book.

About Fiji

Some Fiji facts don’t change. For example,
Its location: Straddling the 180th Meridian, about 1,100 miles south of the Equator
Its size: Some 332 islands, 106 or so permanently inhabited, with a land area of 18,274 km2. (Actually, some of these figures may change slightly, as the population shifts and rising seas reduce the land area.)
Its past history: Sighted by Abel Tasman in 1643 and James Cook in 1774; Christianized from 1835 on; ceded to the British Crown in 1874; declared independent in 1970.

These bare-boned figures can easily be supplemented by simple searches on the Internet. Contemporary Fiji is a different story, and it’s also easily accessible through the best Fiji web site, Rob Kay’s FijiGuide.Com.

About the Publisher

Topos Media Books is a digital publishing firm based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and specializes in custom designed, media-rich, digital publications for the arts and humanities. has provided the most comprehensive Fiji Travel Planner on the web since 1996. This includes practical advice on popular Fiji resorts, diving, dining, surfing, and even kava drinking. We also have more photos (3500+) than any other Fiji travel website. For example, just one of the categories to click on, Culture+, gives information about the following topics:

The language Dining and drinking
The people Kava (yaqona)
History Books
Cinema Art
Village visits Cultural roots
Golfing Trekking
Bird watching Kayaking

And the Culture+ category is only one of about a dozen to choose from!

Fiji Guide is also an interactive site: Users can ask questions offer photos, and share their thoughts with people with similar interests.