How’s your Fa’asamoa?

Le Gagana Samoa = The Samoan Language

We refer to the Samoan way of life as ‘Fa’asamoa’, but we also use this word to talk about our Samoan language knowledge, as in… “My fa’asamoa has improved a lot since we moved to Samoa” or, “Her fa’asamoa is really good, even though she grew up in New Zealand.”

How’s your fa’asamoa?

This beginner-level quiz is part of the first Samoan language quiz to feature in our Notebook Samoana emails, except this one has answers!

Learn Samoan Online (plus, How to Train Google to Translate Samoan)

[If you invest in this Samoan Language coursebook by Galumalemana Afeleti Hunkin, a small percentage of your purchase will also help support One Samoana].

Happy Samoan Language Week!

To celebrate, I’m posting here something I shared a recent Notebook Samoana newsletter. I love that the number one request I get from our readers is, “Please help me learn our language!” 

We’re working on it :). 

In the meantime, other amazing Samoans have developed some great online tools for keeping the Samoan language alive. Check them out here.

45 Biblical names – for boys and girls – in the Samoan language

Today’s Samoa is founded on Christianity, so it’s very common for us to give our children Bible names. Because of our Samoan pronunciation, though, it’s not always clear to the western ear which Biblical characters our names refer to. And some of these names are so widely used in our culture that they’re just Samoan…

Be careful when you praise Samoans

In the western world, complimenting someone on their appearance or accessories is a great way to strike up a conversation. It doesn’t always work like that for Samoans. I remember one time, I mentioned to a relative that her bag was pretty, and then when she tried to give it to me, I was like,…

Samoan Proverb – Sorted like a fishing net in the morning

As the heart of the Pacific ocean, it makes sense that so many of Samoa’s alagaupu & muagagana (proverbs & idioms) use the imagery of fishing. Like this one: O le upega e fili i le po, ‘ae tatala i le ao Its literal translation: The fishing net is knotted (or braided) at night, but…

Alagaupu ma Muagagana – Samoan Proverbs and Expressions

My grandfather was a diligent note-keeper. He was a faiava, which means he lived with my grandmother in her village (rather than his own), and he kept several notebooks worth of hand-written records on her family’s history and titles. This grandfather was also a gifted orator. He died when I was very young, but I…

How to use the Samoan word, Uso

Uso is the Samoan word for either brother or sister, depending on your gender. You’ll see/hear this word thrown around a lot amongst Samoans – “Eh, uso!” or “Ua ‘li’i, uso?” and sometimes more ‘urban’ Samoans will make this short word even shorter: “Hey, uce!” Not my favorite variation of the word, but I’ll let…

10 pretty-sounding Samoan names for girls…that have nice meanings too

A couple years ago, an expectant mother asked the natives in the the ville to suggest Samoan names for her new baby girl. The discussion received a handful of genuine attempts to be helpful, but the other 5 pages of replies were full of so much stupidity I swear… The suggestions ranged from ‘Sasa’e‘ meaning…