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Author Topic: T Language and K language and the Samoan Alphabet  (Read 22951 times)

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T Language and K language and the Samoan Alphabet
« on: September 15, 2009, 06:38:09 AM »
When listening to Samoans speak you often here a variation in speaking different than how the word is written. Maria becomes Malia, Leroi becomes Leloi. Fata becomes Faka and so on.  In common language the "R" becoms "L" and the "T" becomes "K."

This is something that started after the missionaries came to Samoa.
At that time there were 14 letters in the Samoan alphabet, 5 vowels a,e i,o,u and 9 consonants g, l, m, n, p ,s, l, and v.

Samoan was a rich language learned by listening before the missionaries.

When the missionaries started to write down Samoan words and teach and translate  the bible in Samoa they added the letters k, r, and b. Jesus Christ became Lesu Keriso in Samoan. K, R and B are found in words added or borrowed to Samoan after the missionaries came.

With the introduction of a written language there came a variation in pronunciation.
"T"s are spoken as "K"s, "R"s as "L"s and sometimes "N"s as "G"s !!!

"We live in America"  in English.
"Tatou te nonofo i Amerika" in proper Samoan, and pronounced
"Kakou ke gogofo i Amelika"  in common spoken language

Using the pronunciation as written is proper Samoan and learning  to speak the K-L-G slang dialect is learned as a variant, It certainly can be confusing for the student, but proper Samoan is the only one taught, the other is learned by osmosis.


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Re: T Language and K language and the Samoan Alphabet
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 09:14:22 AM »
This would explain why, when learning how to say some common phrases, my cousin-in-law (26yrs old) said "come inside" is "sau i totonu" but inside is pronounced as "kokongu."  However, when speaking with my father-in-law, he said No, no, totonu is pronounced as totonu and mother-in-law tried explaining that there is a difference with the younger generation and their use of slang. 

Kristin Tupuola

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Re: T Language and K language and the Samoan Alphabet
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 03:32:12 PM »
Now i understand why it is hard for my husband 26 to teach me 21 to teach me. however i have children 3 of them. they all are half samoan. none of them no how to speak samoan. i would like to teach them.


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Re: T Language and K language and the Samoan Alphabet
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2010, 09:27:15 PM »
Now , I understand, why different people from the same place can speak so differently. I would like to know more Samoan language for sure.


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