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I want to learn Tahitian

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I want to learn Tahitian


I'm a French teacher, and I, of course, speak French fluently. However, I would LOVE to take a lesson in Tahitian.

Can anyone pass along the name of a program for a day (or two), price, etc?

I'm leaving tomorrow!

santa barbara,CA
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for French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti
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1. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

Shouldn't be too hard as there are only 8 consonants (f, h, m, n, p, r, t, v) and 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). not counting the lengthened vowels, diphthongs and the glottal stop of course, lest I be corrected :) Now if you can just learn lickty split how to pronounce everything.........................

LOL! Sorry I couldn't resist.

Have a great trip!

sunny regards,


Mesa, Arizona
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2. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

There is an online Tahitian-English dictionary at www.freelang.net/dictionary/tahitian.php to help you get started!

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

Ia Orana!

It might be too late or too much information for what you want, but just in case you come back from Tahiti and want to learn more (like me!), there are a couple of books you can get on Amazon France (not available on US sites). The lessons are French/Tahitian, so you need to have a knowledge of French to follow the lessons, otherwise you don't understand what you are learning.

- Parler Tahitien en 24 leçons, de P. Montillier

- Tahitien/Ia Ora Na: Méthode de langues, de Jacques Vernaudon

I'm French myself so it's easy to understand, BUT beware!!! Tahitian is not an easy language to learn despite only 13 letters in the alphabet. The same word can be used in different contexts and mean something totally different. Many words are spelled the same with slight variations, but pronounced differently, thus a different meaning. Building sentences is also tricky. The subject, verb and complement are placed differently.

I try to learn one lesson per week, but it usually turn out to one lesson per month or more...So I have to review the lesson before because I forgot...! If nothing else, it will get your noodle working!! There are quite a bit of information on the Internet.

Fa'aitoito ! Courage!


Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

I forgot to mention that the second book, Tahitien/Ia Ora Na from Jacques Vernaudon, comes with 4 CDs. I purchased it through Amazon.fr (not cheap, about $100) and I got the other one from a Tahitian friend, along with a dictionary. The CDs are very practical because to can hear and learn the pronounciation.


Los Angeles...
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5. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

Ia orana,

First response is to find a fine Tahitian Tane on the island... easiest way to learn the language ( as the japanese would say on the pillow)

Other wise from a previous post :

From our friends at polynesian islands:


Although the official language of French Polynesia is French, the "unofficial" language, Tahitian, is spoken as much, if not more. It is not uncommon to hear locals speaking a combination of Tahitian and French. Because of the way the Tahitian language is pronounced, it is generally easier for Americans to pronounce Tahitian words than it is for them to pronounce words in French. Unlike French (or even English), there are no confusing rules about how words are pronounced. In Tahitian, each letter has a certain sound and that sound remains the same, no matter what the combination of letters.

Before the arrival of the missionaries in the 1700's, the Tahitian language had never been written. The missionaries took the sounds of the language and matched them to letters in our alphabet. As a result, only 16 letters are used: five vowels, A, E, I, O, U; and eleven consonants, B, F, G, H, K, M, N, P, R, T, V. The letters B, G, and K were not originally used when the language was transcribed. The tahitian word for forbidden is now tabu, but 200 years ago, it was tapu.

The vowels follow these rules for pronunciation.

A - pronounced ah as in father

E - pronounced ay as in may

I - pronounced ee as in be

O - pronounced oh as in no

U - pronounced oo as in rude

Pronunciation of the consonants is that same as for English.

Every syllable in the Tahitian language ends in a vowel. There are no silent letters. There are never two consonants together without a vowel between them, but it is quite common for 2 or 3 vowels to be grouped together. In this case, each vowel would be a separate syllable and would be clearly pronounced. There are times when it sounds as though each syllable isn't being pronounced for some words because, as in most languages, syllables are frequently slurred together.

The only difficult part of pronunciation in Tahitian is the glottal catch. This is when two vowels are separated by an apostrophe, such as in the name of the town, Faa'a. It is the only characteristic that people seem to have trouble with. But it is an important characteristic, because the break can change the meaning of a word entirely.

Take, for example, the Tahitian word hoe, which means paddle or row. By adding an apostrophe, ho'e, the word becomes one, as in the number. Hoe would be smoothly pronounced ho-ay. Ho'e would be pronounced the same way, phonetically, but with a hesitation after the first syllable, kind of like having someone lightly punch you in the stomach at the end of the ho.

Another aspect of the language comes from the early contact with the missionaries. There are many Tahitian words that sound very similar to English, such as Tenuare, pronounced ten-oo-ah-ray, which means January, or Fepuare (feh-poo-ah-ray), which is February.


Some Tahitian Phrases

Hello (general greeting) ---> Ia Orana (yo-rah-nah)

How are you? ---> Maita'i oe? (my-tie oh-ay)

I am fine. ---> Maita'i vau. (my-tie vah-oo)

Thank you. ---> Mauruuru. (mah-roo-roo)

Bye bye. ---> Nana. (nah-nah)

What's new? ---> Eaha te parau api? (ay-ah-ha tay pah-rah-oo ah-pee)

Do you speak English? ---> Ua ite oe i te parau Marite? (oo-ah ee-tay oh-ay ee tay pah- rah-oo mah-ree-tay)

I don't understand. ---> Aita i papu ia'u. (eye-tah ee pah-poo ee-ah-oo)

Please speak slowly. ---> Faa taere te parau. (fah-ah tah-ay-ray tay pah-rah-oo)

Repeat please. ---> Tapiti. (tah-pee-tee)

What's your name? ---> O vai to oe i'oa? (oh vah-ee toh oh-ay ee-oh-ah)

My name is Chris. ---> O Chris to'u i'oa. (oh kris toh-oo ee-oh-ah)

Where do you live? ---> Ihea oe e faeia ai? (ee-hay-ah oh-ay ay fah-ay-ee-ah ah-ee)

I live in California. ---> I California vau e faeia ai. (ee California vah-oo ay fah-ay-ee-ah ah-ee)

Where are you from? ---> Nohea mai oe? (noh-hay-ah my oh-ay)

I am from America. ---> No te Fenua Marite mai vau. (noh tay feh-noo-ah mah-ree-tay my vah-oo)

Show me the way to ... ---> Fa'aite mai ia'u ite e'a ... (fah-eye-tay my ee-ah-oo ee-tay ay-ah)

Let's go! ---> Haere tatou! (ha-ay-ray tah-toh-oo)

Come here! ---> Haere mai! (ha-ay-ray my)

Turn right. ---> Na te pae atau. (nah tay pah-ay ah-tah-oo)

Turn left. ---> Na te pae aui. (nah tay pah-ay ah-wee)

Please take me to ... ---> Arave ato'a ia'u ... (ah-rah-vay ah-toh-ah ee-ah-oo)

I want to speak to Chris. ---> Hina'aro vau e parau ia Chris. (hee-nah-ah-roh vah-oo ay pah-rah-oo ee-ah kris)

Who is this? ---> Ovai te ie? (oh-vie tay ee-ay)

What is the name of this? ---> Eaha tei'oa ote'ie? (ay-ah-ha tay-ee-oh-ah oh-tay-ee-ay)

What is the price of this? ---> Ehia moni te'ie? (ay-hee-ah moh-nee tay-ee-ay)

What's wrong? ---> Eaha te tumu? (ay-ah-ha tay too-moo)

Look! ---> A hi'o! (ah hee-oh)

Hurry up! ---> Ha'a viti viti! (ha-ah vee-tee vee-tee)

Take it easy! ---> Haere maru! (ha-ay-ray mah-roo)

To your health! ---> Manuia! (mah-nwee-ah)

This is very good. ---> E mea maita'i roa teie. (ay may-ah my-tie roh-ah tay-ee-ay)

Do you want a drink? ---> Hina'aro oe e inu? (hee-nah-ah-roh oh-ay ay ee-noo)

Are you hungry? ---> Ua poia anei oe? (oo-ah poh-ee-ah ah-nay-ee oh-ay)

Yes ---> E (ay)

No ---> Aita (eye-tah)

What? ---> Eaha? (ay-ah-ha)

Why? ---> No te aha? (noh tay ah-ha)

I love you. ---> Ua here vau ia oe. (oo-ah hay-ray ee-ah oh-ay)

Merry Christmas. ---> Ia orana no te noere. (yo-rah-nah noh tay noh-ay-ray)

Happy New Year. ---> Ia orana i te matahiti api. (yo-rah-nah ee tay mah-tah-hee-tee ah-pee) >>


Also from our friends at Tahiti1 :

English - Tahitian Vocabulary


to do, to make, e hamani

to know, e ite

to sing, e himene

to dance, e ori

to give,e horoa

to speak, e parau

to ask, e ani

to walk, e haere

to take, e rave


one, hoe

two, piti

three, toru

four, maha

five, pae

six, ono

seven, hitu

eight, vau

nine, iva

ten, ahuru

a hundred, hoe hanere

a thousand, hoe tauatini


red, uteute

white, teatea

blue, ninamu, moana

green, matie

black, ereere

yellow, rearea

orange, anani


the rainbow, te anuanua

the sky, te rai

the sun, te r5, te mahana

the moon, te avae

the star, te fetia

the wind, te matai

the sea, te miti

the rain, te ua


France, Farani

Japan, Tapone

China, Taine

U.S.A., Marite

Germany, Purutia Heremani

England, Peretane

Russia, Rutia

The family

the father, te metua tane

the mother, te metua vahine

the son, te tamaiti

the daughter, te tamahine

the boy, te tamaroa

the girl, te potii

the relative, te fetii

grandchildren, te mau motua

adoptive parents, metua faaamu

adopted children, tamarii faaamu


day, te ao

night, te p6, te rui

morning, te poipoi

evening, te ahiahi

tomorrow, ananahi

yesterday, inanahi

year, te matahiti

Monday, monire

Tuesday, mahana piti

Wednesday, mahana toru

Thursday, mahana maha

Friday, mahana pae

Saturday, mahana maa

Sunday, tapati

January, tenuare

February, fepuare

March, mati

April, eperera

May, M6

June, tiunu

July, tiurai

August, atete

September, tetepa

October, atopa

November, novema

December, titema '


Ok since you have asked for these, there will be an oral test before the agent can give you the boarding pass for your flight to Papeete!


Mauru uru roa !



Los Angeles...
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6. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

Ps the CD/ Tapes would indeed be the best way to prepare yourself with the sounds/ intonations and rythm of the language before the trip.

Living there would be the best.,.


Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

I agree Meherio...Finding a nice tane and/or living there would be the best. However, my husband may object...!!

Another way to familiarize your ear to the language is to tune in to Radio Polynésie through the internet. They have bilingual programs, French and Tahitian. I chuckle at the traffic report...How bad can it be? Let's say that I'd rather be stuck in traffic there). I can recognize some words...but I usually have an idea of what they're talking about because the French comes before or after!! Here's the link.



8. Re: I want to learn Tahitian

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