Conversational Pronunciation

You may notice that whenever you see a Samoan word that starts with the letter T the audio clip says it with a K. This may seem odd at first but you will become acquainted with this very quickly. In a CONVERSATIONAL context, Samoan is spoken with the K sound for the letter T. A few exceptions for this would be songs, formal speeches, and prayers (if the singer, speaker, or person praying feels like it). Listening to Samoan spoken with the K sound will make it easier for you to hear, differentiate, and understand Samoan as it is spoken around you. However, written Samoan is predominantly written with the T.

The written Samoan in the lessons will use the Macron and Glottal Stop. Although these are rarely used in Samoan writing today it is still very helpful in aiding proper pronunciation.

The Macron

This is a straight horizontal line over a vowel. Whenever used the vowel is held longer than a normal vowel.

The Glottal StopThis is an inverted comma ( ‘ ). Its use gives the sound similar to the word mutton which is pronounced mu’un.

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