Last Sunday marked the beginning of Samoan Language Week celebrating the language and culture of Samoan people across New Zealand. With 144,000 people identifying as Samoan according to the 2013 Census, Samoan is now the third most spoken language in New Zealand, and the second in Auckland. Pacific peoples make up almost 8 percent of the population with just under half of those Samoan. Unsurprisingly, government agencies and other stakeholders publishing brochures and pamphlets aimed at ethnic communities in New Zealand very frequently request their translation into Samoan.

Poster of Samoan Language Week 2015
Photo: Ministry Of Pacific Island Affairs

The first of seven Pacific language weeks to be celebrated this year, Samoan Language Week 2015 is looking at the future, with its theme “Tautua nei mo sou manuia a taeao – Serve now for a better tomorrow”. Many events and performances are being held throughout the country, including at the National Library, where they’re having a look at some old Samoan newspapers. Click here for a calendar put together by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.

You can also show your support by learning and using Samoan, including the following key phrases:

Good morning – Manuia le taeao
Have a great day – Ia manuia le aso
Have a great week – Ia manuia le vaiaso
Have a great evening – Ia manuia le afiafi
Take good care of your health – Vaai fa’alelei lou soifua

Finally, a contestant of X Factor NZ, Nyssa Collins, sang her Samoan version of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ to celebrate Samoan Language Week. Happy listening, happy learning, and happy speaking!

Ia manuia le aso!