Talk:Samoan language

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you can help[edit]

Hi and welcome to Wikipedia! Please press the Edit button top left of the article page and add more information. Anyone can edit and you need to add proper references. There's help in getting started in contributing to Wikipedia under Help or check out WikiProject Samoa, formed to organize and develop information on Samoa in a spirit of co-operation. Teine Savaii (talk) 03:30, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Samoan wikipedia[edit]

If you speak or write Samoan, you may take part in creating an encyclopedia in that language. It could be useful in helping to preserve the language, by giving learners an extra free source of reading material. See Robin Patterson 05:22, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)


The following could be useful for anyone working in Samoan or even helping out with the Wikipedia:

Robin Patterson

User sm, User smo[edit]

Are there no templates like {{User sm}}, {{User smo}}, {{User smo-3}}? ... It's not for me ;-) --Roland2 07:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I have looked at . It would not appear that there are. :( Chris 02:43, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The templates exist now. If you are a native speaker of Samoan then you can help translate this template into your own language:
smo This user is a native speaker of Gagana Samoa.


--Amazonien (talk) 03:06, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Any difference between American Samoa and Samoa?[edit]

Is there any difference between the Samoan they speak in American Samoa and the kind they speak in Samoa? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

No, there isn't!! :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:28, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

It's not as simple as "No, there isn't".

There are a few differences (or alternatives) in vocabulary, but no major differences. I haven't been to Am. Samoa for years but my mother was there not long ago and she noticed more English borrowings with younger speakers (katchi le pasi = catch the bus -- lexical and syntactic borrwings). There is a lot of exchange (in variuos forms) between the two places too -- you might expect to see more differences developing if there was no contact or exchange at all. Would make for interesting linguistic research though to look at internal changes in American Samoa Samoan.

You will hear major differences though in the Englishes spoken -- Am. Samoa unsurprisingly uses American English; Enlgish spoken in Samoa is influenced by American pronunciation and NZ pronunciation but has a mix of American and British (NZ/Aust) English vocab. The schools in Samoa used the NZ system for a really long time before developing a more lical system (with a strong NZ influence still there)Aleniboy (talk) 20:33, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I've never heard anyone in American Samoa say "katchi le pasi" -- "KESI le pasi," sure, but not "KATCHI le pasi." The reason I make the distinction is because we in Eastern Samoa, altough we have borrowed many English words from the Americans, we have not introduced new sounds --- such as "TCH" -- in order to convey old ideas -- only to create new innovative slang, like "vasti." The proper way to say, "Ride the bus," is, "Ti'eti'e i luga o le pasi," but that takes too long. So I guess one difference to note between Western Samoan and Eastern Samoan as languages is that we in Eastern Samoa are a little more relaxed sometimes. And more often than my family in Upolu, we use the "K" sounds instead of the "T" sounds, as in, "E ke valea!" instead of, "E te valea!" Also, we have our own way of saying things. Some Eastern Samoans might call it "slang." Ie: "O fea lou tamA?" "O la e gako'Ole." "Gako'Ole" and "Gako'Ile" are not even real ways of saying "There" and "Here," but we say them anyway. When I want to know the right way to say something, I ask a Western Samoan. ;) One of the most peculiar things about Samoan language in all of Samoa's islands is what we call "the Chief's language," and if you have the time, you should look into it. When referring to a chief, simple words like "eat" and "listen" are not just transformed -- they are unrecognizable the common ear! Ie: One way to say "Eat" in reference to a chief is "Talisua," and one way to say "Listen" in reference to that same chief is "Fa'afofoga," where as the words would have been "'ai" and "fa'alogo" respectively (I'm sure you know). Anyway, God bless you in your search for truth! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


Here are some resources, retrieved from, which might be helpful in improving this article.

Duranti, Alessandro. 1994. From Grammar to Politics: Linguistic Anthropology in a Western Samoan Village. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Duranti, Alessandro. 1990. Code Switching and Conflict Management in Samoan Multiparty Interaction. Pacific Studies. 14(1):1-30.

Lynch, John. 1998. Pacific Languages: An Introduction. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Shore, Bradd. 1982. Sala'ilua: A Samoan Mystery. New York: Columbia University Press.

Keith Galveston (talk) 15:18, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Here's one of the more comprehensive analyses of Samoan a good reference if you can find it. Universities will probably have it.
Mosel, U & Hovdhaugen E. 1992. Samoan Reference Grammar. Oxford University Press. Aleniboy (talk) 20:40, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Major reorganization & help needed[edit]

I have reorganized the article into several sections that's the normal layout of other language articles - writing system, phonology, grammar, and vocabulary. Nevertheless, a lot of information is now needed to make it look like a fully complete article.

I also changed the pronunciation guide into IPA, so the IPA cleanup tag is removed. I have, however, relied heavily on while doing the edit, and while I personally find its information very valuable, I don't know for sure if it counts as a reliable source.

In any case, the page itself isn't satisfyingly clear on the vowel issue. I can only assume that the left one is long, while the right one is short. The /ɔ/ and /o/ seems awfully suspicious: I would have expected a close "o" to be the long one.

I'm not sure either whether Samoan uses officially the apostrophe, or it's just a convenient substitution for okina.

I transcribed every "i" as /ɪ/, and every "u" as /ʊ/, but I used /a/ to transcribe every "a" instead of the expected /ə/ because that's what the original pronunciation guide indicated. That was inconsistent but I didn't have a better solution at the moment. Also, in one example, the "oō" in "faigoōfie" looks extremely strange: I suspect it to be a typo of just "ō", as in "matagōfie".

All those uncertainty led to the addition of a "disputed" tag. Moreover, this article has no footnotes. In conclusion, there leaves a lot to be desired. Keith Galveston (talk) 09:44, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Exclusivity in first person?[edit]

I'm wondering how it is possible to a difference between 1st person exclusive and inclusive in the singular? Exclusivity by definition means that a second person isn't involved, but a singular "I" cannot have any other participants--2nd person or otherwise? Maybe I'm missing something here. languagegeek (talk) 21:24, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

It's a funny thing, isn't it. I'm a linguistics grad and Samoan and yet I don't quite know how to explain it. The exclusive one is just the regualr first person pronoun -- the inclusive one is one I'd use, for example, when I'm trying to get someone to side with me or feel included even though I'm only referring to myself. I will ask my mother about this and post again soon with her response -- she'll know how to explain it properly. Aleniboy (talk) 21:01, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Vocab table[edit]

For some reason the vocab table is showing up in external links. But its not there when I click on edit External links. Anyone else getting this problem? Anyone know how to fix it? brob (talk) 08:35, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciations of the sample words[edit]

The IPA that was here was quite dubious indeed, being converted as it was from some newspaper phonetics (not in the least a precise system) with errors in syllable division and stuff. There was at least one obvious error in the conversion -- whoever wrote the newspaper phonetics stuff clearly spoke nonrhotic English; all those /ɹ/s were nonsense. The script also makes clear some glottal stops and vowel lengths that the newspaper phonetics ignored, which I reinserted. Anyway I don't particularly trust the column even as I have it, in particular on these points:

  • the vowel qualities, especially the differences between [ɛ] [e] and [ɔ] [o] and [u] [ʌ]
  • which vowel pairs are diphthongs
  • the glides at the start of the syllables with them

Overall I think we need some phonetically-aware person who knows Samoan to fix this up. 4pq1injbok (talk) 18:39, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I should add: I'd be surprised if the Samoan script was so bad that one couldn't just read the pronunciation easily off the spelling using rules we could give in the phonology section. It might not be worth keeping that column at all... 4pq1injbok (talk) 18:50, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Oceania navbox template[edit]

The Template:Oceania topic navbox template is used in a number of Oceanian articles. It requires a naming convention as follows:
{{Oceania topic|Language of}}
{{Oceania topic|Religion of}}
{{Oceania topic|Literature of}}
but since there is no page titled "Language of Samoa," this shows a red link. Is there a compelling reason to keep this page title as Samoan language or would it be acceptable to move the article to Language of Samoa. Because the Oceania topic template is used also for religion, literature, and language, to edit this template to include Samoan language would break the template for the other categories. Newportm (talk) 17:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I just thought of an alternative; a new page at Language of Samoa which redirects to Samoan language might work. How does that sound? Newportm (talk) 17:27, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
After one week, no response on this, so I created Language of Samoa which redirects to Samoan language. Newportm (talk) 17:06, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Samoan speakers speak Samoan[edit]

Why does the article claim 70.5% of New Zealand Samoan speakers speak Samoan? It even gives numbers for Samoan speakers (ninety five thousand) versus those who speak Samoan (eighty seven thousand). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:12, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Expanding article with CC-BY-SA 3.0 NZ licence grammar book[edit]

Expanded article with Pratt's grammar George Pratt's Samoan grammar book which is correct and clear with lots of good examples. And as there's a 'dubious' note in the vocab table, I added a numbers table separately with more info, but thought to leave in 1 - 10 in the previous table as that gives the IPA. Don't understand IPA squiggles and don't know whether they're richtig.Teine Savaii (talk) 13:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Cases flourishing[edit]

How refreshing to see that when cases were done away with in Western European languages with the demise of Old English, Latin and Greek, they made their way to the South Pacific and attached themselves to Samoan. Gee. Kahuroa (talk) 03:25, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

That was my way of saying how strangely old-fashioned the grammar book used as a source for this article is. It follows the long-dead practice of analysing Pacific languages as if they had all the cases of Latin. Yet the book was apparently published in the 1980s. Bizzare. Hopefully someone will find a more modern source that comes a bit closer to describing how the language actually works. Kahuroa (talk) 00:11, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Obviously, Samoan is not a Western language or culture so why compare? The highest form of the language is very old, highly esteemed and falls within the arena of complex oratory which survives today in Samoa, unbroken, known by Samoans in everyday form and through the fa'amatai system. This language is understood by most Samoans because of the subtle cultural/social context required, as well as tone, pitch and stress in speaking as well as social dynamics/setting. I've only referred to this info. in the article as a 'polite' form. 'Modern' (colloquial) Samoan is just for basic everyday usage and communication, the language of 'children and the uncouth' (to Samoans), lacking much of the social/cultural nuances that is a necessary part of native Samoan. Therefore, the older the references available for this article, the more linguistically correct this article will be in trying to capture native Samoan and explain these concepts in the English language. Old Samoan is the Samoan language and it survives today unlike Old English. Oratory is the highest form of the language and the most esteemed 'artform' and skill for Samoans. It is full of poetic words and sayings that show off wit and subtlety by the act of speaking. Its form, structure and usage is very difficult to explain (of course, I'm not a linguist) because it involves a lot of metaphors and nuances that are not written in modern books or dictionaries full of vocab and loan words...until a Samoan orator linguist publishes it, but since a lot of this information and oratory is closely guarded, it's very tricky to cite or interpret these ways into a foreign language.Teine Savaii (talk) 16:55, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
That wasn't what I was saying - I wasn't talking about the Samoan language itself or its oratory, etc, or its "oldness" or its highest forms, but about the oldfashioned approach of the grammar book - it was the fashion in the 19th century to describe all kinds of languages as if they had Latin cases. Which they don't. So its surprising that the book used this oldfashioned approach. The more modern approach is to describe what's actually there, and that should include the subtle nuances you mention. Your first sentence is exactly what I was saying - it's not a Western language - yet this book uses the grammar of a Western language to describe it. Concepts like "Dative", "Ablative" and "Accusative" have nothing to do with oratory and social/cultural nuances - all they talk about is what function a word carries out in a sentence (in Western languages that have those cases). And it's not up to you or me to explain usages etc - we can only quote what linguists have written, and if that is the only grammar available, then of course it's what you have to use. Kahuroa (talk) 19:06, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
All clear, comprends, thank you. In good faith. Teine Savaii (talk) 06:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


Expanded header and content including sentence word order - referencing Gagana Samoa language book (2009, Hawai'i University Press) written by Galumalemana Hunkin, a Samoan matai and head of Samoan Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Other non-Samoan linguist scholars have published about the language but there seems to be a debate among them about word order, whether the language is VSO or VOS. I'm no expert at all but Hunkin states that the language is not limited to only one type of sentence structure so I added that information to the page including the four most common types, and citing his work. I added a PDF link to the new 'Colour' box under vocab, but not sure whether that is the correct style of citation - if someone else knows how to fix it. Thank you. Teine Savaii (talk) 03:34, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

feedback - how to cleanup article?[edit]

Anyone got ideas on how to improve this article for cleanup with the tag? Just wondering whether to move the vocabulary section to a new article...or what else to do to improve it. Ta. teinesaVaii (talk) 08:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

I think the first step should be to ask for input on the best way to present the material in sections. Once that is fixed the article will work a lot better. At the moment there are way too many sections, and the division isn't logical. The lead needs to be worked on too - it should be a summary of what's in the article, and there is quite a lot of material that shouldn't be there - for instance the material about alphabets could go into the article, in one section combined with Written Samoan/First Samoan dictionary/Alphabet and Phonology. Why not ask the person who placed the cleanup tag for suggestions - User talk:GPHemsley. This is a linguistics article, so it needs input from linguists - I suggest you ask for help at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Languages. Ask them for help on the section layout, perhaps they have a Good Article that could be used as a model. The use of terms like Gender, Dative, Vocative, Ablative is very strange (very 19th century) for a Polynesian language, as I have mentioned before. The vocab section is very messy with those endless tables. How useful are they? Would some work better as text? I'll be happy to help if I can. Kahuroa (talk) 10:21, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Kahuroa. I'll follow what you suggest for input etc and hopefully we can improve it. teinesaVaii (talk) 06:56, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
This page is a template giving a suggested layout for language pages. I'm going to be out of town for most of next week but I can look at applying the template to this article after that. It looks like the article was originally based on the template but has gotten a bit more complex and perhaps has some material that should be in other articles. Anyway let's wait awhile and see if we get some feedback. Kahuroa (talk) 03:13, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

A few suggestions:

  • There are a number of hyperlinks missing. “Chinese people”, “letter”, “consonant” , to name a few.
  • “Polynesian language” as a headline does not relate to the rest of the article. (The content seems quite good, though.)
  • “Written Samoan” is not lexical style. “First Samoan dictionary 1862” is not a major point in language development and therefore should better be incorporated into the preceding subsection.
  • A good phonology section is IPA-based, even if the rest of the article employs orthography.
  • Some additional use about the use of personal pronouns in society would be nice, if such info is available.
  • “Adjectives are made into abstract nouns” - again the style of a text book, not usually of a grammar and surely not of a lexicon.
  • The noun section makes too much use of the concept “sometimes”. As a reader, I want to have generalizations, not just instances of something. I don’t say that every such sentence is a bad idea, sometimes it can even be the only option. But not that often!
  • “Genitive” is the word for a kind of Grammatical case, not for possessive relations. It is the latter that this article is treating, as a preposition is by definition not case. The article is confusing case, prepositions, semantic roles and the like all the way. But all this pseudo-case stuff needs a separate subsection.
  • The lead mentions info on word order that is not present within the article body. The lead should reflect the article, not complement it.
  • The grammar part is direly lacking structure.
  • The tables in the end are too much. Giving them without any further information is even rather inappropriate. But even with explanation, a subset of these tables would do. Instead, a section on the lexicon, its development and history, might come in handy.

G Purevdorj (talk) 22:59, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you so much for the expert feedback, G Purevdorj - fantastic and much appreciated. teinesaVaii (talk) 01:47, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I've done some preliminary edits to sections. I have made a temporary section containing alphabet, registers and sentence types to be moved elsewhere- i had to do it that way since i am usimg my mobile phone to edit at the moment. PS as G Purevdorj confirms, Pratt is a major problem because he uses case terms when the language has no cases. I'd like some serious input from linguists about what to do about that. Unfortunately I have no alternative sources Kahuroa (talk) 05:47, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I have taken out the sections on case because they were misleading. There will still be references to cases in the txt remaining, eg to the Genitive, and these will still need cleaning up. Perhaps we could have a subsection somewhere talking about how 19th century wrters like Pratt imagined the cases of Latin in Samoan, but it's misleading to use his examples here as if they were correct. Kahuroa (talk) 15:54, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Nice! It's looking more wikified and linguistics-like now (from a non-expert) - I didn't know how to edit the 'genitive' case bits or the other 'expert' grammar parts etc suggested above. I'm just wondering what to do about the vocabulary tables because it's 'too much'? Shall I move it to a new article page? I'm also thinking that the header is now looking too thin. Happy to help improve and edit - but a bit wary because I'm not a linguist. teinesaVaii (talk) 06:44, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I think that the tables with no explanatory text should go and you're right about the lead being too thin. The lead should be brief - only about three paragraphs summarising the content of the article. Can we wait a few days - I am out of town and using my iphone to edit. I would rather look at it on a proper computer before changing much else. I may also add subsection about the pseudo cases as suggested above. We might get some more feedback who knows. I am also planning to take a look at the Polynesian languages article by the way. Kahuroa (talk) 07:44, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
That's a good plan! Maybe some other experts will pop up to give feedback and help too. I've done a tiny little bit with some of the other Polynesian languages - will help. Gave barnstar thank you for your work here - there aren't many other active people in WP Samoa. teinesaVaii (talk) 08:40, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I am a bit stuck with what to do about the Grammar section. Pratt is not a good source and much of the stuff doesn't make a lot of sense. I will ask User:Kwamikagami if he can help. 22:39, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Polynesian languages don't necessarily have subjects, so the whole word-order section might be misleading. The AN family is famous for having nothing that really corresponds to subject, active, or passive, but Polynesian is its own special case, rather divergent from western AN, and one I'm not familiar with. We need grammatical descriptions from the past 10-20 years, and ones that actually delve into the issues rather than glossing over them with Western terminology. — kwami (talk) 20:27, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
This book won't have much precision, but it may have some good refs. — kwami (talk) 22:20, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Mosel & Hovdhaugen (1992) sounds like it may be the oldest reference that's worth while. So far I haven't located a more recent comprehensive source, though there are plenty of things on specific aspects of Samoan grammar. — kwami (talk) 10:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for that Kwami. You sum up the problem with great clarity - Polynesian languages eluded analysis until the late 20th C. My expertise is in Māori where the so-called "passive" is used more than the "active" so I agree with your point about AN. Samoan is similar in vocab but the grammar is very different - probably more ergative and I haven't studied it enough to get a grip on it. Thanks for the pointers to sources, I guess we will try and do our best to sort it out. Kahuroa (talk) 10:17, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
PS Yes you are right about the word order section, it's meaningless without some indication of the function of the various word orders. Thanks for the changes you have made, they are a big help. Appreciate you taking the time to have a look at the article. Kahuroa (talk) 22:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
About the phon, I've read that foreign /h/ is replaced w /s/ in colloquial Samoan, though I don't know how regular that is. I added the puke(ta)! example because it is supposedly the only contrast between /t/ and /k/ in native vocab, and I thought that was worth mentioning. I'm not certain about [w]: my source implied /uV/ is pronounced [wV], but I wonder if they meant [uwV] as in Hawaiian. — kwami (talk) 23:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi, nice cleaning up of the article!....
  • I've just removed the 'dubious' tag in 'word order' section, but added a couple more book refs...not sure which bit exactly was dubious? Possibly the OVS bit? I hope this may clarify...Galumalemana [1], Samoan chief and author of Samoan language course book at Victoria University, NZ writes here, pg 105, [2] the 4 most common word orders, and he should know what he's talking about being a native speaker and an academic author - what he says makes complete sense and correct in actual language usage and practice within a socio-cultural context. Elinor Ochs found this too in her study (pg 116, ref book) - different word orders because of the different registers in the language, formal/written and colloquial which is also gender relative and depending on social situation. (This is gauged by native speakers and can be complex affecting which register to use, because it is also dependent on age, social standing/relationships etc.) This is because part of Ochs' study involved her observing Samoans talking to each other (rather than only direct interviews), so she was able to pick up the colloquial speech rarely used when speaking directly to foreigners, including linguist researchers, because, for Samoans, it's good manners and polite to speak in the formal register with strangers/foreigners etc until a very intimate personal relationship is accepted between people.
  • VSO in Polynesian languages - just as a note, even tho this is not the Polynesian language talk page - I think there's also something wrong with the individual Polynesian language articles stating that they are VSO, like Tongan which is misleading, because the Poly langs also share grammatical structure, and most probably use at least 3 different types of word order.
  • Hi Kwami - I think maybe I might have removed 'puketa' ages ago. (I think Pratt wrote about 'puketa' as the only word using 'K') - Pratt is wrong here, because K is used ALL THE TIME in spoken colloquial speech among Samoans between themselves - because, again, it is considered 'bad form'/incorrect/'bad manners' to write using K - therefore, K is replaced by T, just like the L becoming the R in the formal register.
  • Agglunative language - i think we should add this info too.
  • Vocab tables deleted - I want to save this information, perhaps start a page List of Samoan words, like Lists of English words or List of Ainu terms. Or how to re-incorporate it back into the article, so it's acceptable and wikified. Any thoughts be gratefully received. Thanks! teinesaVaii (talk) 12:27, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Clean-up still needs expert attention[edit]

To Teinesavaii and others who care about this article. I was working on cleaning it up and have stalled a bit, but intended to resume. Teine could I ask you not to add stuff to it please - I know you mean the best, but it needs expert attention, not more material at this stage. And I think you should have left the dubious tag for Kwami to take off, adding a source may not address what he was getting at. Polynesian langs do tend to be VSO by the way. And he was talking me about puketa, I took it off in error. I might try another source of help in the meantime. Kahuroa (talk) 18:49, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Ina, he korero te reo hamoa koe me kwami, me he 'expert' ki te reo hamoa korua, ka pai te tuhituhi korua inei - me kaore, kei whakarongo tatou ki te kaiako hamoa ko Galumalemana - no hamoa ia me te kaiako rangatira ia mo nga tangata hamoa. Kaore au e mohio tenei kupu 'puketa' i te reo hamoa! Me he korero i te 'K' ratou katoa! teinesaVaii (talk) 12:29, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Kei a koe e hoa. Ko koe tonu te tohunga reo e whakapai te tuhipānui nei. Kahuroa (talk) 17:51, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

A Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language: With English and Samoan Vocabulary By George Pratt (1893)[edit]

Rajmaan (talk) 03:20, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Some stuff I removed[edit]

I made some fairly substantial cleanup-type edits, including retitling two sections and trying to separate some of the conflation of phonetics with spelling. I also took out these two paragraphs, which are sort of interesting but didn't fit in at all in the section where they were ("Foreign words" under "Phonology"):

Greek and Latin loanwords were added to the Sāmoan language with the introduction of Christianity, such as "evagelio" (gospel), "ekalesia" (church), "epikopo" (bishop), "satauro" (crucific), "tiakono" (deacon), "peteriaka" (patriarch), and "perofeta" (prophet). The Sāmoan Bible was translated from the English King James Bible supplemented with Greek tracts of the Septuagint, leading to the transliteration of Greek, Latin, and English terms into Sāmoan. Some words were also borrowed from native Polynesian missionaries from French Polynesia and the Cook Islands, most notably "moli" (lamp oil, from Tahitian "mori"), "solofanua" (horse, from Tahitian "horofanua"), "fa'aipoipoga" (marriage, from Rarotongan "akaipoipo"), and "tiputa" (poncho, from Tahitian). While many religious terms are used universally among the various denominations in Sāmoa, some churches have made conscious efforts to preserve the usage of pre-colonial indigenous religious terms rather than replace Sāmoan words with transliterated biblical loan words; for example, "malumalu" (temple) instead of "temipale" (as is commonly used in Tongan language); "ositaulaga" (priest) instead of "patele" (from "padre"); "fa'amanatuga" (sacraments) instead of "sakalameniti", etc. Several terms that applied to pre-colonial, indigenous Sāmoan religion have been adapted into Christian usage, such as "vavalo" (prophecy), "atua" (god), "agaga" (soul, spirit), "fa'atuatua" (faith, belief, dedication), and "anapogi" (fasting, meditation).

Pre-colonial Sāmoans and Tongans had intimate two-way contact and some English loanwords entered the Sāmoan lexicon via Tonga, where interaction with Europeans began much earlier than in Sāmoa. When Tongan words of English origin were adopted by Sāmoans, they were transliterated as if they were Tongan words; as such, the English "goat" became the Tongan "koti" and subsequently "oti" in Sāmoan. The same occurred with the Tongan word for the element iron ("ukamea", meaning "strong material") which became "u'amea" in Sāmoan, and the old Tongan word for clothing iron ("kauli", from English "coal") which became "auli" in Sāmoan.

Kabest (talk) 23:51, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Sāmoan vs Samoan[edit]

These are used interchangeably throughout the article. I'm assuming "Sāmoan" is the "correct" spelling as it includes the length diacritic, while "Samoan" is an Anglicized spelling. Thoughts on which should be used here? My feeling is that "Samoan" might be more consistent with other language articles, insofar as it's the typical English spelling—the page on the French language, for example, uses "French" and not "Français".

Kabest (talk) 00:01, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Phonology: Consonant section unclear[edit]

I think the "Consonants" section is missing an introductory sentence, along the lines of "The Samoan language has xx consonants." I believed the first sentence to mean that Samoan had only three consonants in total, and then noticed more consonants being mentioned so I thought all of them were being listed throughout the article. I was very confused to find F and M in the alphabet and in examples, since their existence was not at all mentioned in the consonants section. Very interesting article otherwise; especially the part about the differences between formal and colloquial Samoan. (talk) 16:24, 20 December 2013 (UTC) (lKj)

Additions to article[edit]

I am in the process of making a number of additions to the article. Some of the items include - similarities to other Austronesian languages, preservation of pronunciations through diacritical marks, and try to source a few facts. Sources I plan to use include articles from Project Muse, ProQuest among others. Drafts are available on my talk page. Bob Frasure (talk) 14:34, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

After much review of numerous articles and comparing to what's in the document, I found a couple of opportunities. I focused on the use of diacritical marks in the language and literature. Also after speaking to a couple native born Samoans (this article was a ripe opportunity to get to know them better), they clarified there were similarities between Polynesian languages. I focused some research on possible similar words. I found the numbers and the greetings to be very similar, maybe for business and trade purposes. I also listened to how they pronounced the language and compared it to any documentation I could find (including prior sources found in wiki article itself) and created IPA representations. While my additions were moderate at best, I learned a lot about the Samoan language, culture, as well as the overall sociology of parts of Polynesia. Bob Frasure (talk) 21:52, 29 July 2017 (UTC)