Samoan is a Polynesian language spoken mainly in Western
Samoa and American Samoa by about 420,000 people. There are also
speakers of Samoan in Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia
and the USA. Samoan is closely related to the other languages of
Polynesia, particularly to Tongan.
Vowels can be long or short. Long vowels are marked with a macron (ā).
The letters K [k], H [h] and R [l] are also used, but only in foreign loanwords.
Syllables consist of a vowel or a consonant plus a vowel. Consonants never
appear together or in syllable final position.
L is pronounced [ɾ] following the back vowels a, o and u
and preceding i.
In colloquial speech N is sometimes pronounced [ŋ]
and T is sometimes pronounced [k].
U is pronounced [w] when followed by a vowel.
Sample text in Samoan
O tagata soifua uma ua saoloto lo latou fananau mai, ma e tutusa o
latou tulaga aloaia faapea a latou aia tatau. Ua faaeeina atu i a latou
le mafaufau lelei ma le loto fuatiaifo ma e tatau ona faatino le agaga
faauso i le va o le tasi i le isi.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)