Gagana Sāmoa - Samoan

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Gagana Sāmoa - Samoan

Postby ego » 2007-09-21, 11:26

Tālofa,

Samoan interests me just like all Pacific languages, but there are no sufficient resources. I have only found the Peace Corps handbook which lacks explanation though..

Is anyone here interested in Samoan or has a knowledge on it?

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Postby Aleco » 2007-09-21, 13:23

No, sorry, but I am really interested in Pacific Languages as well :D I wish there were more resources on them :(
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Postby ego » 2007-09-21, 15:23

Let's focus on some highlights of the language.. What I wrote below are just my conclusions from the Peace Corps Handbookand I cannot guarantee they are all correct. I will always compare to Tongan. Tongan words and expressions used for comparison will be marked with a T. while TM will stand for Tense Marker. Note that g is pronounced like the Tongan ng and like the English sing.


Pronouns

It seems that the pronouns are:

'ou, a'u (emph.) = I
'e, 'oe (emph.) = thou
na, ia (emph.) = he/she

tā, tā'ua (emph.) = we (dual, incl.)
mā, mā'ua (emph.) = we (dual, excl.)

tātou = we (pl. incl.)
mātou = we (pl. excl.)

lua, oulua (emph.) = you (dual)
tou, outou (emph.) = you (pl.)

lā, lā'ua (emph.) = they (dual)
lātou = they (pl.)


Tense markers (TM)

Some tense markers seem to follow the pronoun, unlike in Tongan.

a. Present tense

The tense marker is te when there's a pronoun and e when the subject is not a pronoun:

'Ou te alu i Apia = I go to Apia
E alu Sefo i Apia = goes Sefo to Apia

It seems that subjects aren't preceded by an article (like Tongan 'a).

Another present tense marker is 'ua which seems to be used as a perfect tense marker as well:

'Ua 'e fa'aipoipo? = you married?

'Ou te fia moe = ua 'ou fia moe = I want to sleep

b. Past tense

The tense marker is na. It seems to come before the pronoun:

na tautala le faiā'ogo = TM speak the teacher / the teacher spoke

na 'e sau = TM you come / you came

Another tense marker is sa. It precedes the pronoun as well:

Sa tautala Sione = Sione spoke

Sa 'ou tautala = I spoke

Sa and 'ou are together pronounced sa'u

c. Future tense

The future tense marker is . It seems that it's used alone in questions but in affirmative it's preceded by 'o + pronoun:

'o le 'ā tautala Sione = Sione will speak

'ā 'ē tautala? = TM you talk? / will you talk?

To be

The equivalent of Tongan ko is 'o in Samoan:

'O le peni ia = it's a pen (Tongan ko ha peni ia)

'O le ā ia? = What is this? (Tongan ko e hā ia?)

or

'O ā ia? (Tongan ko (e) hā ia?)

'O se peni ia? = Is this a pen? (Tongan ko ha peni ia?)

Articles

Obviously le is the equivalent of Tongan e and se the equivalent of the Tongan ha. The plural of se seems to be ni:

'O ni peni ia? = Are these pens?

Other demonstratives:

'O se peni lea? = Is this a pen?
'O se peni lenā? = Is that a pen?
'O se peni lale? = Is that (far) a pen?
'O ni peni ia? = Are these pens?
'O ni peni nā? = Are those pens?
'O ni peni lā? = Are those (far) pens?

'E te fiafia? = You TM happy?
Ioe, 'ou te fiafia = Yes, I TM happy
Lēai, 'ou te lē fiafia = No, I TM not happy

Sa 'e alu i Apia? = Did you go to Apia?
'E te le'i alu i Apia? = Didn't you go to Apia?
Ioe, sa 'ou alu i Apia = Yes, I went to Apia
Leai, 'ou te le'i alu i Apia = No, I didn't go to Apia
Sa 'e fiafia i ai? = Did you like it?
Ioe, sa 'ou fiafia i ai = Yes I liked it
'E te le'i fiafia i ai? = Didn't you like it?
Ioe, 'ou te le'i fiafia i ai = No I didn't like it


ioe = yes (T. 'io)
lēai = no (T. 'ikai[/b])
'aiseā = why
fa'afetai = thanks
manuia = fine (T. monū'ia)
mai = from (T. mei)
i = in, to (T. ki, 'i)
alu = go (T. ('alu). Plural form is o (Tongan ō)
'o ā mai 'oe? = what from you? (how are you doing?) (T. ko hā mei koe?)
feoloolo lava = just fine
'ae ā 'oe? = what about you?
mālosi fa'afetai = fine thanks
matai = chief, noble
lelei = good
lava = very, many, much
lelei lava = very good
fiafia = happy, rejoice (T. fiefia)
'āiga = family (T. kāinga)
ai = who (T. hai)
pau lava = just because
tagata = man (T. tangata)
la'u = my (a-class)
lo'u = my (o-class)
lau = your (a-class, similar to T. 'e-class)
lou = your (o-class, similar to T. 'o-class)
galuega = work, job (T. ngāue)
igoa = name (T. hingoa)
sau = come (sg.) (T. ha'u)
o mai = come (pl.) (T. ō mai)
fea = where (usually preceded by o) (T. )
fia = how many (T. fiha)
lē = not (immediately before the verb)
mālō le soifua = hello
mālō le fo'i soifua = hello (answer)
'ai = eat (pl. 'a'ai) (T. kai)
anapō = last night (T. anepō)
ma = and, with (T. mo)
'o ā au mea sa fai? = is what your thing TM do? / What did you do? (T. Ko hā ho'o me'a na'e fai)
sa 'ou faitautusi = TM I read / I read
fai = do
fa'anoanoa = sad
'o le ā le mea lea? = TM the what the thing this? / what is this? (T. ko e hā e me'a ia?)
e fia? = how much?
fa'amolemole = please (T. fakamolemole)
fia = want (auxiliary) (T. fie)
mana'o = want (T. fiema'u)
moe = sleep (T. mohe)
malie lou loto = excuse me please
'o le ā le fa'asāmoa 'o le ... = TM the what the samoan way TM the..? / what's the Samoan expression for..?
toe = again
mālamalama = understand
tautala = speak
E iai...? = is there...?
lā e i... = is in the...
'o fea le peni? = TM where the pen? / Where is the pen?
'o le peni lā e i totonu o le fale = the pen is in the house
totonu = inside
fafo = outside
luga = on
lalo = under
tafatafa = beside
'o ai lā e i fale? = TM who is in the house?
aua = don't
faiā'oga = teacher
aso = day (T. 'aho)
manuia le aso = nice the day / have a nice day
fa'atau = shop (verb)
'ia = OK, fine, well, so, then
mai = to me, to us (T. mai)
atu = to you (T. atu)
ai = to it, in it etc. (T. ai)
tamā = father
tinā = mother
uso = sibling
anafea = when (referring to the past) (T. 'anefē)
se = a, an (T. ha) (often combined with possessives giving several indefinite possessives)
tele = very (postpos.)
fa'afetai le.. = thanks for..
fiafia i = to like
'ino'ino = to hate
suamalie = sweet
fōma'i = doctor
fōma'inifo = dentist
taeao = tomorrow
masalo = probably (T. mahalo)
aoauli = afternoon
pō = night (T. )
Last edited by ego on 2007-09-22, 22:26, edited 7 times in total.

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Postby Sisyphe » 2007-09-21, 16:03

Ego, do you know anything about the intelligibility of Samoan with other Polynesian languages?
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Postby ego » 2007-09-21, 17:56

Sisyphe wrote:Ego, do you know anything about the intelligibility of Samoan with other Polynesian languages?


Yes. Samoan is mutually intelligible with Futunan (Futuna was under constant Samoan influence and perhaps rule). Also I think it's mutually intelligible with Tokelauan and Tuvaluan. It's closer to Cook Islands Maori and Tahitian than Tongan but I don't know if they're mutually intelligible. It's quite different than Tongan and Niuean. I am pretty sure it's not mutually intelligible with NZ Maori and Hawaiian

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Postby Sisyphe » 2007-09-21, 19:45

Thanks. :) I'll be watching this thread. I'm not gonna actively learn it, but there are tons of Samoans here in SoCal, and it would be good to know a bit about such a different language.
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Postby ego » 2007-09-21, 21:03

Sisyphe wrote:Thanks. :) I'll be watching this thread. I'm not gonna actively learn it, but there are tons of Samoans here in SoCal, and it would be good to know a bit about such a different language.


Watch as much as you like.. I am not doing it for anyone else.. just for me. Making conclusions out of the mess of that book and writing them down will help me too.
Send me some Polys please :shock:
I must say I find Samoan much more beautiful and elegant than Tongan. But Tongan is more archaic and has more of those beautiful glottal stops 8) .

I will write more when I have time. Perhaps riki can help me with some things that I cannot understand, like the different tense markers..

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Postby ego » 2007-09-22, 21:04

It seems that in sentences referring to the past, the negative particle is le'i instead of lē.

inei = here
inā, 'ole = there
tafatafa = near
i le vā o le.. ma le.. = between.. and..
maua = take (T. ma'u)
'ave = take
'aiseā? = why?
'o le ā le mea? = why?
'auā = because
leaga = because
'ona = because
'ona 'o = because of
pe 'ā = 'ā (beginning of a sentence) = if, when (conj.) in the future
ina ua = when (conj.) in the past
pe 'ana = 'ana (at the beg.) = if (past)
pe 'āfai = if (fut.)
'ae = but
'a'o +verb = while
ina ua uma = after (past)
pe 'ā uma = after (fut.)
'a'o lei = 'ae le'i = before

Examples on the use of conjunctions

aumai se tupe pe 'āfai 'e te sau = bring some money if you come
Sa fāgota lo'u tamā 'a'o fai le mea'ai e lo'u tinā = my father was fishing while my mother was making the food
'Ou te fia alu 'ae ua 'ou vaivai = I want to go but I am tired
E 'āmata le ā'oga 'ae le'i taunu'u Toma = TM start the school before arrive Tomas / the school started before Tomas arrived
'Ana mafai ona ou alu, ua lelei = If I could go, it'd be good


Prepositions

It seems that both "in" and "to" are expressed by the same preposition in Samoan: i (unlike in Tongan: 'i (loc.) / ki (dat.).
Just like in Tongan, i has three forms:
i - before common nouns
- before proper names
iate (or iā te) - before pronouns

The preposition "for" is ma (a-class) and mo (o-class), similar to Tongan. The preposition i can also be used as "for", depending on the context.

The preposition "with" is ma, which in fact means "and". i can also be used as "with".

The preposition "from" is mai (T. mei).

fa'alogologo = listen
fa'i = give
iloa = know
Last edited by ego on 2007-09-22, 22:25, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Nero » 2007-09-22, 21:39

It seems that both "in" and "to" are expressed by the same preposition in Samoan: i


This happens in Hawaiian too, at an extent. Basically for many object (whether directs object or resulting from motion) the particle "i" is used

Hele au i ka moana = I go to the sea
Ua ola no i ka pane a ke aloha = There is life in a kind reply.
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Postby ego » 2007-09-22, 22:25

te moana? I thought Hawai'ian has no t. Is it ke moana maybe?

I really have troubles understanding the Samoan tense markers.. :(

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Postby Aleco » 2007-09-22, 22:28

Nero wrote:
It seems that both "in" and "to" are expressed by the same preposition in Samoan: i


This happens in Hawaiian too, at an extent. Basically for many object (whether directs object or resulting from motion) the particle "i" is used

Hele au i te moana = I go to the sea
Ua ola no i ka pane a ke aloha = There is life in a kind reply.


Almost Niuean as well; in, at and from

Ne mohe a ia i loto he motokā = He slept in (lit.: in inside) the car
Kua hiki e ia e vaka haana i Nukututaha = He landed his canoe at Nukututaha
Ne hau a ia i Niu Silanu = He came from New Zealand
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Postby ego » 2007-09-22, 23:01

How far have you gone with Niuean Aleco? Perhaps you can find some Niueans on skype and practice..

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Postby ego » 2007-09-23, 0:25

Wow, I have just found online Samoan courses!

They are not so good, they don't even use accents and macrons, but they explain some things.. at least I got some info about the tense markers.. it says for example that "na" and "sa" are both past tense markers with little or no difference in meaning.

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Postby Nero » 2007-09-23, 1:50

ego wrote:te moana? I thought Hawai'ian has no t. Is it ke moana maybe?

I really have troubles understanding the Samoan tense markers.. :(


sorry, my fault - it should've been ka moana - te moana is the Maori way of saying it.
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Postby Aleco » 2007-09-23, 7:27

ego wrote:How far have you gone with Niuean Aleco? Perhaps you can find some Niueans on skype and practice..

Trust me, I have requested help at forums, Niuean companies ( :P ) and even asked the government! :lol:
I... I dunno... That's a good idea, ego!

ego wrote:I really have troubles understanding the Samoan tense markers... :cry:

Once again: Trust me! I have the very same problems in Niuean. It seems like you cna use whichever you want! You can see that in my example sentences as well - all fo them are in past tense, but there are different tense markers... :(

How is the Samoan going except the tenses?

OT: Isn't this shop temptating? :D

Pacific Language Books and Resources
Cook Island Maori Books and Resources
Fijian Books and Resources
Niuean Books and Resources
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YAY! EGO YOU ARE SO GREAT I COULD KISS YOU! I GOT IN CONTACT WITH A NIUEAN!!
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Postby ego » 2007-09-23, 9:02

I don't know how seriously I'm going to study Samoan.. I don't have enough patience..

What shop are you talking about?

Happy Niuean practising!! :lol:

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Postby ego » 2007-09-23, 10:37

The new source is not less of a mess, so I'll make a synopsis:


Pronouns

Personal pronouns are divided into preposed and postposed, like in Tongan. Postposed ones are more emphatic.

1st. p. sg.


'ou (prep.)
a'u (postp.)

2d p. sg.

'e (prep.)
'oe (postp.)

3d p. sg.

na, ia (prep.)
'o ia (postp.)

1st. p. dual excl.

(prep.)
mā'ua (postp.)

1st p. dual incl.

(prep.)
tā'ua (postp.)

2d p. dual

lua (prep.)
'oulua (postp.)

3d p. dual

(prep.)
lā'ua (postp.)

1st p. pl. excl.

mātou


1st p. pl. incl.

tātou

2d p. pl.

tou (prep.)
'outou (postp.)

3d p. pl.

lātou

It seems that the 2d p. plural isn't distinguished into exclusive and inclusive and the 3d p. pl. isn't distinguished into preposed and postposed


Tense markers


Present tense

te: after a preposed pronoun

Te is a tense marker for both the present and the future. It comes after the preposed pronouns:

'Ou te inu = I am drinking
'E te inu = You are drinking (sg.)
Na (ia) te inu = He is drinking
mā/tā te inu = We two are drinking
lua te inu = You two are drinking
lā te inu = They two are drinking
mātou/tātou te inu = We are drinking
tou te inu = You are drinking (pl.)
lātou te inu = They are drinking


e: placed before the verb (at the beginning of the sentence) when a postposed pronoun (emphatic) follows the verb:

E inu a'u
E inu 'oe
E inu 'o ia
E inu i mā'ua/tā'ua
E inu 'oulua
E inu i laua
E inu i mātou/tātou
E inu 'outou
E inu i lātou

E is sometimes preferred to denote the quality of something:

E lelei 'o le tama = the boy is good (lit. is good the boy)

Also e is preferred to denote that something is and has always been in a certain state (no time reference):

E silisili le Atua = God is greatest


'ua: perfect continuous tense

It is sometimes used like English "have been.." to denote a past action still going on. See below


Perfect tense

'Ua: placed before the pronoun:

'Ua 'ou sau = I have come / I have been coming
'Ua 'e sau = Thou hast come / Thou hast been coming
'Ua ia/na sau = He/she/it has come / has been coming
etc.

With emphatic postposed pronouns:

'Ua sau a'u
'Ua sau 'oe
'Ua sau ia
etc.


Past tense

Na: placed before the pronoun:

Na 'ou sau = I came
Na 'e sau = Thou came
Na ia sau = He/she/it came
etc.

Sa: Same as na


Future tense

It seems that the same tense markers as for the present tense are used


Future immediate

'O le a
followed by a the pronoun (a'u, 'e etc):

'O le a a'u alu = I'm about to go
'O le a 'e alu / 'o le a alu 'oe = Thou art about to go
'O le a alu 'o ia = He/she/it is about to go
etc.


The negation is formed with the particle immediately before the verb. For the past tense it turns to le'i (not yet)

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Postby ego » 2007-09-23, 13:13

Plural

To form the plural in Samoan, just omit the article:

'o le fale = a house, the house
'o fale = houses, the houses

Another way is to use preposed markers, which are:

vao, motu o for human beings
'au for animals
mou for things

When the above are used, the article is included:

'o le vao tagata = 'o le motu o tagata = many men/people

Articles

Le is both definite (the) and indefinite (a) article. I'm not sure if dropping the stress is the way to denote definite nouns like it happens in Tongan.. :?

There is also the indefinite article se, which is similar to the English "some" (more indefinite than le)

Vocabulary

fesoasoani, mafai, lava = can
fiafia i = to like

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Postby Aleco » 2007-09-23, 14:09

What are preposed and postposed pronouns?

And thanks :P I just got so happy about the Niuean guy! Now I can asnwers to msany things that I wonder!
Perhaps I won't learn it fluently, but I am fascinated by these language anyway :wink:
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Postby ego » 2007-09-23, 19:07

Aleco wrote:What are preposed and postposed pronouns?


Preposed are the ones placed before the verb and postposed after. The postposed are more emphatic and they are used specially in contrast:

Tongan: 'E 'alu au kae nofo koe = I will go but you, will stay

The postposed are more used than you think though..

In Tongan one can use both in the same clause, I'm not sure if it happens in other Polynesian languages:

Te u mohe au = I will sleep

Often they're used indiscriminately.

I apologize for not explaining further but as I've said, I am not making a course of Samoan here.. I just write a synopsis, a reference, mainly for my own use, or others who already have a knowledge of Polynesian languages.


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