The Kelabit Language
Lian Raben explains some of the efforts that the Kelabit community have been engaged in to support the Kelabit language using the Bario dialect of Kelabit. The recording was made in Bario on 9th November 2017.
mo, petabi' lekedtang ngen muyuh ngabi
good morning to you all
ngadan uih Lian Raben
my name is Lian Raben
anak Raben Bala ngen Sineh Raben Bala
the son of Raben Bala and Sineh Raben Bala
tetepuh kudih, ngadan Tepu' Balang Ribuh
my grandparents' names were Balang Ribuh
ngen Sineh Pian Ayu'
and Sineh Pian Ayu'
idih teh Beken Ayu' ngen Uwan Bala ngilad
and Beken Ayu' and Uwan Bala
pipa tetameh kuh
on my father's side
tetepuh kudih, Tama Labang ngadan neh ngilad
my grandfather was called Tama Labang
ngen awan nedih Mekatu Aren
and his wife, Mekatu Aren
uih nih mudeng tungey ngi Bario pulu' teluh laak neh
I have been living in Bario for 13 years
let ena' uih ngilad, let sekolah ngi New Zealand
I came from school in New Zealand
ngi nangey iwa' laak mudeng nangey, kerja nangey
I lived and worked there for nine years
mo, pengeh neh nemuli' let nangey
after that, I came back
let New Zealand nangey marih tungey
from New Zealand to here
marih peruyung ngen diweh tetepuh kudih tungey
and came to live with my grandparents here
marih la' keli' ulun Kelabit
to learn about the life of the Kelabit people
la' keli' adet
to learn about our customs
neh teh narih la' mala belajar lah
that's how I want to say study
belajar lem karuh tauh
to say "study" in Kelabit
mo, inan lemulun doo' pian ngen kerja kudih tungey
some people were very happy with my work here
nemutuh kuh mey sekolah ngi UK
and asked me to go to study in the UK
mey naru' Linguistics ngi nangey
to do Linguistics there
pengeh ineh, jadi' ko' edteh lexicographer neh keduih
after that I became a lexicographer
edteh lun nurat/nulis kamus lah
someone who writes a dictionary
kamus lem karuh tauh tebey'
a Kelabit dictionary
kadi' lem tuda'-tuda' laak suk pengeh nih
in the past few years
mula' ayu' teh nuk midih perlu tu'en tauh lem karuh tauh
there have been lots of things that we needed to do for our language
edteh neh lem spelling
one of them is the spelling
lem nulis lem karuh tauh
when we write in Kelabit
kapeh dih doo'?
what is the best way?
kapeh dih doo' pian ngen kekamih anak-adi' nuk beruh ih?
what will be the best for the younger generations?
nuk beruh mulun ih, mo?
and future generations?
neh neh tauh netaru'-taru' ngen idih lah
so we have been working on that
tuda' laak inih, mo
for several years
ineh peh, neh neh lem pasal internet ih
the same goes for the internet
lem social media
and on social media
inan kamih perlu ngen edteh tulisan lah
we need a spelling system
edteh ayu' nuk teretek ih tu'en kamih pekaruh
a proper way of chatting
tu'en kamih semulud lem idih
and conversing on it
lem karuh tauh, lem internet ih
in Kelabit on the internet
pengeh neh saru' neh kamih edteh standard Kelabit lah
atfer that we made a standard Kelabit
kuan anak adi' nuk beruh ih
for the future generations
lem ineh peh
on that subject
uih peh doo' teh pian kuh kekeli' irat karuh tauh lah
I also would like to know where our language comes from
iih keduih nih?
who am I?
lun tauh, lun Kelabit kedeh keyh?
who are the Kelabit?
kapeh ayu' lun Kelabit?
what makes someone Kelabit?
enun nuk beken lem erang kamih lah ngen lun beken ih?
what is unique about us compared with other people?
ngen bawang-bawang beken ih?
or other places?
lem keli' kuh, mula' nuk midih kekeli' narih
in my opinion, there are lots of things I know
kadi' lun merar dih, lun merar ideh nuk mala sekunuh
because the elders told stories
mala irat deh
and talked about where they came from
mala nuk kekeli' deh
talked about what they knew
kadi' kineh ih, edteh nuk leng-leng penting lah lem karuh tauh idih ineh
because of that, something that is very important for our language is
narih mileh ninger
that we are able to listen
kadi' karuh tauh ineh ieneh secara lisan lah ken narih, oral language
because our language is an oral language
jadi ineh peh, edteh skill tu'en tauh...
so that is a skill that we should...
mesti tauh belajar lah let lun merar tauh
we have to learn from our elders
mileh ninger narih keleyh
if we can listen
mileh ketaru' nuk midih
we should be able to do things
diren peh narih edteh nuk midih
if we want to preseve something
maya' ineh neh narih, lun merar dih
we should follow our elders
neh teh ayu' ih keli' keduih lah
that's how it seems to me
murih-murih teh lun malem mala edteh nuk midih pedingeren narih
often people said things to me
kadi' narih ena' teh, taru'-taru' teh narih
because I was trying to work out
lem ayu' enun doo' ih lah ngen kedideh, mo
what was good from them
kadi' kineh ih, mula' anak-adi' tauh lah nuk beruh ih
so many of the children
ideh - kamih harap lah - ideh nih mileh ninger
we hope they will know how to listen
paad teh lem zaman kinih nih tauh nulis
just like in this age we are writing
inan teh zaman tauh mileh type edteh nuk midih
this is an age where we know how to type
tak ineh keyh, enun peh narih nulis keleyh
so whatever we write
enun peh narih type keleyh
whatever we type
paad teh idih pedingeren ketauh lah
we will hear it in the same way
kedideh nuk narih mo berey bala ngen ideh nuk kineh ih
those who we send messages to
uih ngelinuh, suk penting idih ieneh
so I think the important thing is
adet kapeh tauh mala edteh nuk midih lem tulisan lah
the custom of how we spell things