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Author Topic: Samoan Pronunciation  (Read 14441 times)

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Tavita Tusitala

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Samoan Pronunciation
« on: September 21, 2009, 01:40:06 PM »
Samoan is a very phonetic language. Not so long ago it was only an oral language and the written language is is constructed to represent the sounds that are heard.

Basic Samoan pronunciation is not to hard for English speakers.
There are 17 letters in the alphabet, 14 original and 3 added after the missionaries as mentioned in a previous post.
The missionaries also brought about the aberrations in pronunciation where in common speech "r" can be come "L" and "t" can become "k." But it is best to speak as teh words are written. You can learn common slang later if you wish!

The consonants, f, g, l, m, n, k, t,  p, s, t, v, k, r, h  are pronounced as in English except for "g" which is pronounced "ng."
The word Pago Pago is pronounced pahngo pahngo.

The vowels, a, e, i ,o, u,  are pronounced as in a romantic language like Spanish or Italian.

a as in ah,
e as in eh,
i as in it,
o as in ought,
u as in put.

There is one more sound or pronunciation, the glottal stop, which is signified with an apostrophe '.
It indicates the hard voicing of a vowel, 'o-'o as in oh-oh!   
without the glottal stop vowels are not voiced and and would sound like ho-ho.
So vowels at the beginning of a word are started with an open throat unless there is a glottal stop and then the throat is closed to make a hard start to the vowel. You often can find vowels together separated by the glottal stop.
Each vowel is heard.

fa'a samoa  is fah-ah samoa.

The last note about pronunciation is that the part (syllable) of the word that is stressed (accented) can change the meaning.


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Re: Samoan Pronunciation
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 10:51:59 AM »

A - a  as in (a)h
E - e  as in Santa F(e)
I - i    as in  t(ea)
O - o  as in (o)h
U - u  as in yah(oo)


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