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Language Information


Samoan is spoken by about 150,000 people in Western Samoa (an independent island state) and by 25,000 in American Samoa (a U.S. territory) in the South Pacific Ocean. It is a member of the Polynesian branch of the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages. The Samoan alphabet contains only fourteen letters—the five vowels plus the consonants f, g, 1, m, n, p, s, t, and v. The letters h, k, and r appear only in words of foreign origin, while b, c, d, j, q, w, x, y, and z are missing entirely. The sign represents a break or hesitation between two vowels (e.g., la'au—tree, fa'i—banana).

Many Samoan words are simple compounds. Fale (building) + oloa (goods) = faleoloa (store), while vai (water) + tafe (to flow) = vaitafe (river). English has contributed innumerable new words such as taimi (time), apu (apple), aisa (ice), loia (lawver), kolisi (college), and niusipepa (newspaper).


Samoan is spoken/used in the following countries:
American Samoa (U.S.), Hawaii (U.S. State), Western Samoa.

Language Family
Family: Malayo-Polynsian(Austronesian)
Branch: Polynesian


Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.


Writing Sample


Writing Sample

Translation


A Samoan has his house in the village, but his plantations are often a mile or more inland. In his plantation he grows his foodstuffs, taro, bananas, and breadfruit; he also grows coconuts for copra, and cocoa. These things he sells to the merchants in the village or in Apia. With the money received he buys tinned meat and tinned fish, and materials for clothes for himself and his family.