The Samoan Archipelago

The Samoan Islands form an archipelago in the central South Pacific. The population of the Samoan Islands is approximately 250,000, sharing a common language, Samoan, a culture, known as fa'a Samoa and an indigenous form of governance called fa'amatai.

Malo Tuto'atasi o Samoa

The flag of the Independent State of Samoa contains fie stars which represent the Southern Cross constellation, a reference to Samoaʻs Christian foundation. The red color signifies blood and courage, the blue color freedom, and the white symbolizes purity. National Motto: Faʻavae i le Atua Sāmoa - Samoa is Founded on God

'O le Teritori o 'Amerika Samoa

The flag of the unincorporated US Territory of American Samoa consists of an American eagle which symbolizes the history and friendship between the U.S. and Samoa. The eagle is hoding the traditional Samoan symbols for wisdom (the fue or fly whisk) and strength (the uatogi or war club). National Motto: Samoa, Muamua le Atua - Samoa, Let God Be First

Samoan Culture

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The Samoan Language

Samoan (Gagana fa'a Sāmoa) is closely related to other Polynesian languages including Hawaiian, Tahitian, Tongan, and Maori, which are also taught in our Department.

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Study the Samoan language in the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures

Four Reasons to Study Samoan!

Heritage Language

Samoan is the heritage language of more than 20,000 Samoans living on the island of Oahu alone.

Polynesian Language

Learning Samoan is a great way to sharpen, refine and deepen your learning and knowledge of other Polynesian languages and cultures.

Back Credits

University of Hawaii students with prior knowledge of the Samoan language may be awarded as many as 16 back credits of Samoan language coursework upon completion of a single non-introductory course in Samoan.

Study Your Heritage

Samoan heritage students may study their home language and culture for the first time in an academic environment through the longest established university Samoan language program in the world.