Samoan Song Translation: Afai e te Alofa

This song is so pretty. It’s one of my top 5 all-time favourite island jams, particularly the version by legendary Samoan band Five Stars. The message is simple: if you love me, come back to me. Here’s how I would translate it line by line: Afai e te alofa / If you love (as in, … Continue reading Samoan Song Translation: Afai e te Alofa

Tweak your Samoan language skills

Most of us in the ville are at least a little bit familiar with the Samoan language… some of us (especially the Au Kalepe) are such experts they can happily take creative license… but all of us I’m sure could use a few reminders about proper Samoan grammar.

A little while ago, Liz M posted up what I think are a couple of the most enlightening blog posts in the ville – I definitely learned myself a few new things…

1. Gagana: 5 Common Errors

The following points are, in my opinion only, five of the most common grammatical and spelling errors I continue to observe in social gatherings including online sites such as Facebook, Twitter, as well as some independent Islander sites. I assume this may be from a lack of comprehension of the Samoan language so I have included a few notes as guidance. You may either take it or leave it, but I would appreciate if we can share our thoughts in order to increase awareness for those who wish to learn the gagana Samoa (Samoan language)… READ MORE

2. Gagana: Yours and Mine

My previous post about common errors in the Samoan language generated some requests for more tips on Samoan grammar. One of the requests is about understanding how to correctly use the pronouns lo’u/la’u (my) and lou/lau (your)… READ MORE

The two Samoan languages

While I was slowly picking up Samoan from my family and friends, I’d hear references to another, mysterious, ‘higher’ version of the language. ‘It’s different from our everyday Samoan,’ …they would say. ‘It’s the language that matais and ministers use’. And I would think, OK, so… what is it? Do they just use bigger words? … Continue reading The two Samoan languages

Samoana, Ala Mai: Translating Lota Nu’u

You know how at the end of a long Samoan (usually family) function, someone says the closing prayer then everybody gets up to sing a song together? I love that. Not just because it means we can go home soon and eat the food we’ve already loaded in the car (who does that?) ’cause of … Continue reading Samoana, Ala Mai: Translating Lota Nu’u

Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daughters…

Did you know… If you’re a girl and you want to refer to your sister, you call her ‘uso’. If you’re a guy and you want to talk about your brother, you also call him ‘uso’. BUT… If you’re a girl talking about your brother, you call him your ‘tuagane’. AND… if you’re a guy … Continue reading Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daughters…

Samoan Lyrics: translating Naumati Lagona

Update 2015: I’ve seen this translation copy/pasted to several places around the web. I’m pleased that you all are reading me and that we’re sharing Samoan language knowledge, but please give credit when you refer to other people’s work. Or drop me a link, maybe? Or at least change the wording so it’s not word-for-word, … Continue reading Samoan Lyrics: translating Naumati Lagona