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Samoan Language Week

29th May 2018

Happy Samoa Language week!!  Manuia lava le vaiaso Gagana Samoa!! 

Our tutor Jackie Curry is a proud Samoan, so she wanted to help us celebrate Samoan Language week by sharing a bit of the "measina" language with you all.  Measina means something precious... similar to Taoga.

Here are some simple sayings Jackie can share with you all, if you have any Samoan friends or work colleagues, feel free to practice:

  • Talofa lava - formal greeting
  • Taeao manuia - formal good morning
  • Malo - Hi, Hey
  • Malo lava - great job
  • Fa'afetai lava - Thank you 
  • Manuia - Cheers or Good health to you
  • Manuia le aso - Have a great day
  • Tofa Soifua - formal goodbye
  • Fa - informal/ slang goodbye
  • Tautua - to serve
  • Pisinisi - business
  • Pule - Leadership/ Management

One of her favourite Samoan proverbs is "O le ala o le pule o le tautua" - The pathway to Leadership is to serve.  In the Samoan language, There are beautiful proverbs which teach us how to behave and deal with different situations as a Samoan person. 

A Samoan person is a representative of their matua (parents), aiga (family), nuú (village) & atunu'u (country), therefore there are ways they are taught to approach people & situations using values such as fa'aaloalo (respect), alofa (love), tautua (service).  The practice of the culture is "faásamoa" - the Samoan way.  These cultural values are similar to tikaga Maori values.  The links to family & village are strong, and Samoans are very patriotic to their country.  These links are upheld by the elders and leaders of their families, who are the "matai" or chiefs.  Each family has Matai titles they are linked to through their genealogy or whakapapa and their village.  The Matais make up the leaders of each village.  So there is a clear hierarchy within the village setting, of titled Matais and the untitled men & women (aumaga & aualuma), and this can also extend to family, community & professional settings in Samoa and even here in New Zealand. 

For example, our Minister for Pacific Peoples in New Zealand, has a paramount chief title "Aupito" which he was bestowed by his father's family & village of Matatufu, in Lotofaga district, the south-eastern part of Upolu, Samoa.  He also holds the matai title of Su’a from Letaupe village & Tofae by his maternal grandfather’s family from the villages of Falevao and Falefa.  

Here is a link to Aupito's Matai Bestowal Ceremony in October 2017:


Here is a link to Ministry of Pacific People's resources & schedule of events for Samoa Language Week, in case you want to learn more about the 3rd most commonly spoken language in New Zealand.


Manuia tele le aso (Have a Great Day)

Soifua ma ia manuia (Good health & blessings)

This article was written by (Afamasaga) Jackie Curry - Tutor

(Afamasaga is the chiefly title Jackie holds on behalf of her family, from her grandmothers village of Fasito’o Tai) 

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