Tahitian (autonym Reo Tahiti, part of Reo Māꞌohi, languages of French Polynesia) is a Polynesian language, spoken mainly on the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It belongs to the Eastern Polynesian group.
As Tahitian had no written tradition before the arrival of the Western colonists, the spoken language was first transcribed by missionaries of the London Missionary Society in the early 19th century.
|Native to||French Polynesia|
|68,260, 37% of ethnic population (2007 census)|
When Europeans first arrived in Tahiti at the end of the 18th century, there was no writing system and Tahitian was only a spoken language. In 1797, Protestant missionaries arrived in Tahiti on a British ship called Duff, captained by James Wilson. Among the missionaries was Henry Nott (1774–1844) who learned the Tahitian language and worked with Pōmare II, a Tahitian king, to translate the English Bible into Tahitian. A system of five vowels and nine consonants was adopted for the Tahitian Bible, which would become the key text by which many Polynesians would learn to read and write.
Tahitian features a very small number of phonemes: five vowels and nine consonants, not counting the lengthened vowels and diphthongs. Notably, the consonant inventory lacks any sort of dorsal consonants.
Next follows a table with all phonemes in more detail.
|a||ꞌā||/a/, /ɑː/||a: opera, ā: father|
|e||ꞌē||/e/, /eː/||e: late, ē: same but longer|
|f||fā||/f/||friend||becomes bilabial [ɸ] after o and u|
|h||hē||/h/||house||becomes [ʃ] (as in English shoe) after i and before o or u|
|i||ꞌī||/i/, /iː/||as in machine||may become diphthong ai in some words like rahi|
|o||ꞌō||/ɔ/, /oː/||o: nought, ō: same but longer|
|p||pī||/p/||sponge (not aspirated)|
|t||tī||/t/||stand (not aspirated)|
|u||ꞌū||/u/, /uː/||u: foot, ū: moo||strong lip rounding|
|v||vī||/v/||vine||becomes bilabial ([β]) after o and u|
|ꞌ||ꞌeta||/ʔ/||uh-oh||glottal stop beginning each syllable|
The glottal stop or ꞌeta is a genuine consonant. This is typical of Polynesian languages (compare to the Hawaiian ʻokina and others). Glottal stops used to be seldom written in practice, but are now commonly written, though often as straight apostrophes, ꞌ, instead of the curly apostrophes used in Hawaiian. Alphabetical word ordering in dictionaries used to ignore the existence of glottals. However, academics and scholars now publish text content with due use of glottal stops.
Tahitian makes a phonemic distinction between long and short vowels; long vowels are marked with macron or tārava.
For example, pāto, meaning "to pick, to pluck" and pato, "to break out", are distinguished solely by their vowel length. However, macrons are seldom written among older people because Tahitian writing was never taught at school until one or two decades ago.
Finally there is a toro ꞌaꞌï, a trema put on the i, but only used in ïa when used as a reflexive pronoun. It does not indicate a different pronunciation. Usage of this diacritic was promoted by academics but has now virtually disappeared, mostly due to the fact that there is no difference in the quality of the vowel when the trema is used and when the macron is used.
Although the use of ꞌeta and tārava is equal to the usage of such symbols in other Polynesian languages, it is promoted by the Académie tahitienne and adopted by the territorial government. There are at least a dozen other ways of applying accents. Some methods are historical and no longer used. This can make usage unclear. See list. At this moment l'Académie tahitienne seems to have not made a final decision yet whether the ꞌeta should appear as a small normal curly comma (ʼ) or a small inverted curly comma (ʻ). (Compare ʻokina.) The straight apostrophe (Unicode U+0027) being the default apostrophe displayed when striking the apostrophe key on a usual French AZERTY keyboard, it has become natural for writers to use the straight apostrophe for glottal stops, though to avoid the complications caused by substituting punctuation marks for letters in digital documents, the saltillo (ꞌ) may be used.
Tahitian syllables are entirely open, as is usual in Polynesian languages. In its morphology, Tahitian relies on the use of "helper words" (such as prepositions, articles, and particles) to encode grammatical relationships, rather than on inflection, as would be typical of European languages. It is a very analytic language, except when it comes to the personal pronouns, which have separate forms for singular, plural and dual numbers.
Today, macronized vowels and ꞌeta are also available for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. People can download and install mobile applications to realize the macron on vowels as well as the ꞌeta.
[*e mea marō te haꞌari – "Are thing dry the coconut", "The coconuts are dry"] [*e taꞌata pūai ꞌoia – "Is man strong he", "He is a strong man"]
The plural of the definite article te is te mau.
Also, te may also be used to indicate a plural;
The indefinite article is e
The article e also introduces an indefinite common noun.
In contrast, te hōꞌē means a certain. 
|’Ia ora na||hello, greetings|
|haere mai, maeva, mānava||welcome|
|māuruuru roa||thank you very much|
|e aha te huru?||how are you?|
|maita’i roa||very good|
|e ua||it's raining|
|ua to’eto’e||it's cold|
|ua here au ia ’oe||I love you|
|’ōrapa maha roa||rectangle|
In many parts of Polynesia the name of an important leader was (and sometimes still is) considered sacred (tapu) and was therefore accorded appropriate respect (mana). In order to avoid offense, all words resembling such a name were suppressed and replaced by another term of related meaning until the personage died. If, however, the leader should happen to live to a very great age this temporary substitution could become permanent.
In the rest of Polynesia tū means to stand, but in Tahitian it became tiꞌa, because the word was included in the name of king Tū-nui-ꞌēꞌa-i-te-atua. Likewise fetū (star) has become in Tahiti fetiꞌa and aratū (pillar) became aratiꞌa. Although nui (big) still occurs in some compounds, like Tahiti-nui, the usual word is rahi (which is a common word in Polynesian languages for 'large'). The term ꞌēꞌa fell in disuse, replaced by purūmu or porōmu. Nowadays ꞌēꞌa means 'path' while purūmu means 'road'.
Tū also had a nickname, Pō-mare (literally means 'night coughing'), under which his dynasty has become best known. By consequence pō (night) became ruꞌi (nowadays only used in the Bible, pō having become the word commonly in use once again), but mare (literally cough) has irreversibly been replaced by hota.
Other examples include;
Some of the old words are still used on the Leewards.
Aha Oe Feii? or Are You Jealous? is a painting by Paul Gauguin from 1892, based on a real-life episode during his stay on Tahiti which he later described in the diary Noa Noa: "On the shore two sisters are lying after bathing, in the graceful poses of resting animals; they speak of yesterday's love and tomorrow's conquests. The recollection causes them to quarrel, "What? Are you jealous?" Gauguin titled the painting in Tahitian language, Aha Oe Feii?, in the lower left corner of the canvas.
The painting evokes a sense of Pacific paradise in which sexual relations are playful and harmless. According to Professor Peter Toohey, "this jealousy is not the product of a threat to an exclusive sexual relationship or jilted love affair - it is the result of one of the sisters having enjoyed more sex than the other the night before". In a letter to his friend from 1892, Gauguin wrote about the painting: "I think this is the best of what I've made so far".The painting is housed in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia.Assembly of French Polynesia
The Assembly of French Polynesia (French: Assemblée de la Polynésie française, Tahitian: Te âpooraa rahi o te fenua Māòhi) is the unicameral legislature of French Polynesia, an overseas country of the French Republic. It is located at Place Tarahoi in Papeete, Tahiti. It was established in its current form in 1996 although a Tahitian Assembly was first created in 1824. It consists of 57 members who are elected by popular vote for five years; the electoral system is based upon proportional representation in six multi-seat constituencies. Every constituency is represented by at least three representatives. Since 2001, the parity bill binds that the number of women matches the number of men elected to the Assembly.
The official language of the Assembly is French. The most recent election was held in 2018 and resulted in a victory of the Tapura Huiraatira, which won 38 seats. Aside from passing legislation and scrutinising the government, the Assembly is responsible for electing the President of French Polynesia for a four-year term. The number of seats was changed from 49 to 57 on 23 May 2004, for the 2004 election. On 13 February 2005, by-elections for the Assembly were held in the constituency of the Windward Islands (circonscription des Îles du Vent). The next general election is scheduled in 2023.Austral Islands
The Austral Islands (French: Îles Australes, officially Archipel des Australes; Tahitian: Tuha'a Pae) are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, an overseas country of the French Republic in the South Pacific. Geographically, they consist of two separate archipelagos, namely in the northwest the Tupua'i islands (French: Îles Tubuaï) consisting of the Îles Maria, Rimatara, Rūrutu, Tupua'i Island proper and Ra'ivāvae, and in the southeast the Bass Islands (French: Îles basses) composed of the main island of Rapa Iti and the small Marotiri (also known as Bass Rocks or Îlots de Bass). Inhabitants of the islands are known for their pandanus fiber weaving skills. The islands of Maria and Marotiri are not suitable for sustained habitation. Several of the islands have uninhabited islets or rocks off their coastlines. Austral Islands' population is 6,965 on almost 150 km2 (58 sq mi). The capital of the Austral Islands administrative subdivision is Tupua'i.Close-mid front unrounded vowel
The close-mid front unrounded vowel, or high-mid front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨e⟩.
For the close-mid front unrounded vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ɪ⟩ or ⟨i⟩, see near-close front unrounded vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨e⟩, the vowel is listed here.
There is also the mid front unrounded vowel (listen ) in some languages, which is slightly lower. It is normally written ⟨e⟩, but if precision is required, diacritics may be used, such as ⟨e̞⟩ or ⟨ɛ̝⟩ (the former, indicating lowering, being more common).
For many of the languages that have only one phonemic front unrounded vowel in the mid-vowel area (neither close nor open), the vowel is pronounced as a true mid vowel and is phonetically distinct from either a close-mid or open-mid vowel. Examples are Basque, Spanish, Romanian, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Greek, Hejazi Arabic, Serbo-Croatian and Korean (Seoul dialect). A number of dialects of English also have such a mid front vowel. However, there is no general predisposition. Igbo and Egyptian Arabic, for example, have a close-mid [e], and Bulgarian has an open-mid [ɛ], but none of these languages have another phonemic mid front vowel.
Kensiu, spoken in Malaysia and Thailand, is claimed to be unique in having true-mid vowels that are phonemically distinct from both close-mid and open-mid vowels, without differences in other parameters such as backness or roundedness.Conquered lorikeet
The conquered lorikeet (Vini vidivici) is a species of parrot that became extinct 700–1300 years ago. It lived in islands of Polynesia. David Steadman and Marie Zarriello wrote its species description in 1987.
It was discovered in the oldest archaeological layer of 1000 AD and not recorded after 1200 AD.Ia Ora 'O Tahiti Nui
"Ia Ora 'O Tahiti Nui" is the territorial anthem of the overseas country of French Polynesia. It is sung during public or sport events alongside the French national anthem "La Marseillaise". The lyrics are entirely in Tahitian.
It was adopted on 10 June 1993 by the Assembly of French Polynesia with the Loi du Pays 1993-60. Outrage to the anthem is a serious offense, punishable by a fine of 894 950 XPF and six months in prison.La Coco-Dance
"La Coco-Dance" ("The Coco Dance") was the Monegasque entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, performed in French and Tahitian by Séverine Ferrer. This was the first - and to date, the only - occasion on which the Tahitian language was used at the Contest.
The song is inspired by island music - particularly that of the South Pacific. Ferrer, herself raised on Réunion island in the Indian Ocean, sings about the need to relax and let the world pass one by, as well as to "Let yourself go and come dancing". She then tells her listeners that when they feel "your luck below zero", they should join with her in the titular "coco dance", which is apparently related to the tamure of French Polynesia. The chorus itself is delivered in Tahitian, while the dance instructions are in French.
In keeping with the theme of the song, Ferrer (wearing a tight multicoloured dress) was joined onstage by five dancers (some of whom also doubled as backing singers) wearing grass skirts and performing a more energetic version of the dance she was instructing her listeners in. The Tahitian-language shouts of "Join us in our dance" were performed by the male members of this group.
At the close of the song, Ferrer was lifted onto the shoulders of her male dancers, delivering the spoken line "Coco-Dance" a cappella.
The uncharacteristic style and performance (Monaco and France both being known for entering gentle ballads) was remarked upon by the BBC commentator immediately following the performance, who said " - Who knew Monaco was so versatile?"
As Monaco had not competed in the final at the 2005 contest, the song was performed in the semi-final. Here, it was performed tenth (following Cyprus' Annette Artani with "Why Angels Cry" and preceding Macedonia's Elena Risteska with "Ninanajna"). At the close of voting, it had received 14 points, placing 21st in a field of 23.
This is Monaco's last Eurovision entry to date, the principality did not participate in the 2007 Contest and has yet to return.Leeward Islands (Society Islands)
The Leeward Islands (French: Îles Sous-le-vent; Tahitian: Fenua Raro Mata’i, literally "Islands Under-the-Wind") are the western part of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific. They lie south of the Line Islands (part of Kiribati), east of the Cooks and north of the Austral Islands (also part of French Polynesia). Their area is 395 km² with a population of over 33,000. The islands to the west comprise a three atoll group: Manuae (also known as Scilly Atoll), Motu One atoll (also known as Bellinghausen), lying most northerly of the Leeward Islands, and to the southeast Maupihaa atoll (also known as Mopelia). More to the east lies a mainly high island cluster consisting of Maupiti (Tahitian name: Maurua), Tupai atoll, Bora Bora (Tahitian name: Vava'u), the most known of the Leeward Islands in the western world due to its World War II United States naval base and subsequent tourism industry, Tahaa (Tahitian name: Uporu), lying just north of the largest island of the group, Raiatea (Tahitian names: Hava'i, Ioretea) which possesses the largest city and local capital of the Leeward Islands, namely Uturoa, as well as the highest elevation, the just over 1,000 m mount Tefatua, and finally the easternmost island of the group, Huahine (Tahitian name: Mata'irea) which at high tide is divided into two: Huahine Nui ("big Huahine") to the north and Huahine Iti ("small Huahine") to the south.Maohi
"Maohi" can also refer to the indigenous people of French Polynesia, also known as Tahitians.In Tahiti and adjacent islands, the term Maohi (Mā’ohi in Tahitian language) refers to the ancestors of the Polynesian peoples.
The term can also be a reference to normal, everyday people, just as Māori is accepted among native or indigenous people in New Zealand or the Cook Islands as the way they describe themselves. Te Ao Maohi – the Maohi world – as an expression coined by Oscar Temaru gives an example of this.Marae
A marae (in New Zealand Māori, Cook Islands Māori, Tahitian), malaʻe (in Tongan), meʻae (in Marquesan), and malae (in Samoan) is a communal or sacred place that serves religious and social purposes in Polynesian societies. In all these languages, the term also means "cleared, free of weeds, trees, etc". Marae generally consist of an area of cleared land roughly rectangular (the marae itself), bordered with stones or wooden posts (called au in Tahitian and Cook Islands Māori) perhaps with paepae (terraces) which were traditionally used for ceremonial purposes; and in some cases, a central stone ahu or a'u. In the Rapa Nui culture of Easter Island, the term ahu has become a synonym for the whole marae complex.
In some modern Polynesian societies, notably that of the Māori of Aotearoa New Zealand, the marae is still a vital part of everyday life. In tropical Polynesia, most marae were destroyed or abandoned with the arrival of Christianity in the 19th century, and some have become an attraction for tourists or archaeologists. Nevertheless, the place where these marae were built are still considered tapu (sacred) in most of these cultures.Mo'orea
Mo'orea (English: or ; Tahitian: /moʔore(ʔ)a/), also spelled Moorea, is a high island in French Polynesia, one of the Windward Islands, part of the Society Islands, 17 kilometres (11 mi) northwest of Tahiti. The name comes from the Tahitian Mo'ore'a, meaning "yellow lizard": Mo'o = lizard ; Re'a (from re'are'a) = yellow. An older name for the island is 'Aimeho, sometimes spelled 'Aimeo or 'Eimeo (among other spellings given by early visitors before Tahitian spelling was standardized). Early Western colonists and voyagers also referred to Mo'orea as York Island.Raiatea
Raiatea (Tahitian: Ra'iātea), is the second largest of the Society Islands, after Tahiti, in French Polynesia. The island is widely regarded as the 'centre' of the eastern islands in ancient Polynesia and it is likely that the organised migrations to Hawai'i, New Zealand and other parts of East Polynesia started at Raiatea.
A traditional name for the island is Havai'i, homeland of the Māori people.Situated on the southeast coast is the historical Taputapuatea marae which was established by 1000 AD.
The main township on Raiatea is Uturoa, the administrative centre for the Leeward Islands (French Îles Sous-le-vent). There are also colleges which serve as the main educational location for secondary schools for students from the regional islands of Bora Bora, Tahaa, Huahine and Maupiti.Same-sex marriage in France
Same-sex marriage in France has been legal since 18 May 2013. It became the thirteenth country worldwide to allow same-sex couples to marry. The legislation applies to metropolitan France as well as to the French overseas departments and territories.A bill granting same-sex couples the right to marry and jointly adopt children was introduced to the National Assembly by the Socialist Government of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on 7 November 2012, with the support of President François Hollande, who declared his intent to support the legislation during his campaign for the presidency. On 12 February 2013, the National Assembly approved the bill in a 329–229 vote. On 12 April 2013, the Senate approved the bill with amendments in a 171–165 vote, followed by the approval of the amended bill by the National Assembly on 23 April 2013 in a 331–225 vote. However, a challenge to the law by the conservative UMP party was filed with the Constitutional Council following the vote. That same day, the Council ruled that the law is constitutional. On 17 May 2013, President Hollande promulgated the bill, which was officially published the next day in the Journal Officiel. The first official same-sex ceremony took place on 29 May in the city of Montpellier.Society Islands
The Society Islands (French: Îles de la Société, officially Archipel de la Société; Tahitian: Tōtaiete mā) are an archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean. Politically, they are part of French Polynesia, an overseas country of the French Republic. Geographically, they form part of Polynesia.
The archipelago is believed to have been named by Captain James Cook during his first voyage in 1769, supposedly in honour of the Royal Society, the sponsor of the first British scientific survey of the islands; however, Cook stated in his journal that he called the islands Society "as they lay contiguous to one another."Tahitian
Tahitian or Tahitians may refer to:
someone or something from or associated with the island of Tahiti
Tahitians, people with an indigenous Tahitian or ethnic identity
Tahitian language, an Eastern Polynesian language used as a lingua franca in much of French Polynesia
Tahitian mythology, their ancient folk religionVoiceless bilabial fricative
The voiceless bilabial fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɸ⟩.When Will You Marry?
When Will You Marry? (French: Quand te maries-tu ?, Tahitian: Nafea faa ipoipo) is an oil painting from 1892 by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin. On loan to the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland for nearly a half-century, it was sold privately by the family of Rudolf Staechelin to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, in February 2015 for close to US $210 million (£155 million), one of the highest prices ever paid for a work of art. The painting was on exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, until 28 June 2015.ʻOkina
The ʻokina, also called by several other names, is a unicameral consonant letter used within the Latin script to mark the phonemic glottal stop, as it is used in many Polynesian languages.