man talking into mic

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

Samoan Sentence Sample

Samoa English

O fea le maile?

Where is the dog?

'O fea le fasimoli?

Where is the soap?

'O fea se laumei?

Where is a turtle?

'O fea se nofoa?

Where is a chair?

'O fea pusi?

Where are the cats?

'O fea meata'alo?

Where are the toys?

'O fea ni lage?

Where are some frogs?

'O fea ni penitala?

Where are some pencils?

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