Thursday, March 27, 2008

To Nathan

Am I writing this post to myself? No, I'm strictly Nate, but one of my readers named Nathan asked me if I'd suggest some Samoan language texts to help him learn the language before he moves to Samoa for work and while he's there. I don't have Nathan's email address and any other readers interested in learning Samoan should benefit from a general post in answer to Nathan's request.

For the neophyte, Galumalemana A. Hunkin's Gagana Samoa: A Samoan Language Coursebook is an excellent place to start. However, I couldn't find it in stock through or so you might check your local library.

If that doesn't work, then Samoan for Missionaries is an excellent resource if you can purchase one through the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. And for the diehard linguist, I suggest picking up Spencer Churchward's Samoan Grammar.

As far as dictionaries go, R.W. Allardice's Simplified Dictionary of Modern Samoan is a good start; it has a little bit of grammar instruction in one of its appendices. I prefer, however, G. B. Milner's Samoan Dictionary; it gives a lot more etymological information about each word and many example sentences using the words. Once you reach Samoa, you may want to find a copy of the Reverend George Pratt's Grammar Dictionary and Samoan Language. The beginner will find it a little musty and difficult to navigate, but it still remains one of the best possible resources.

Also, check out the online literature section on Samoan Sensation, there are some reads there that should prove enlightening.

Of course, if I had your email address, I could email you a nice Samoan language and culture packet that I've put together over the years. Alas....

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