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Samoan language lives on abroad

Samoan language lives on abroad

A new Samoan language coursebook written by Victoria University Senior lecturer Galumalemana Afeleti Hunkin shows the growing prominence of the Samoan language in New Zealand and the world.

Published by the University of Hawaii Press, the revised edition of Gagana Samoa: A Samoan language coursebook highlights the growing international dimension of the Samoan community.

The Samoan language is the third most spoken language in New Zealand, and in some areas such as Porirua, West and South Auckland, it is the second most spoken. Samoan is used in a number of government and community services, as well as being taught in New Zealand classrooms.

The challenge of answering the needs of many people eager to learn the Samoan language was recognised by Hunkin.

"I have people from all walks of life calling and asking where the language can be learned, from members of the police, other public servants, people with a personal connection to the Samoan community, and an increasing number of New Zealand-born Samoans." the Senior Lecturer says.

"Night classes and formal classes don't always suit people’s time tables; there needed to be an easily accessible, modern way for them to learn the language."

Hunkin describes the book as a "modern, up-to-date text". It features an optional supportive CD which can be downloaded from the University of Hawaii Press website, helping with pronunciation.

Approximately 225,000 Samoans live in Western and American Samoa, with another 500,000 Samoans living throughout the world.

As felt by the recent impact of the Samoan tsunami, the Samoan community have become an integral part of many countries and cities. The United States release of this Wellington-authored book on the Samoan language shows the new, international face of the Samoan language.

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