Tahitian love poem
To 'oe hoho'a i roto i te hi'o hipa,
O ta'u pehepehe nehenehe roa a'e ia,
A ha'ape'epe'e ra no te mea te ma atu ra,
O ta'u tapa'o here hope'a te reira.
→ French poem ←
For you, my short love poem in its Tahitian version. Tahitian (Reo Tahiti), the official Polynesian language in French Polynesia, is spoken by 150,000 people.
Tahitian, like all Polynesian languages in the Pacific, is related (-5500) to the majority of languages spoken in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and to those of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, since they descend from the language of migrants from the south of China coming first to Taiwan. These original Chinese are not those of the present-day, the Han who come from the Yellow River region.
The Tahitian alphabet has only 13 letters including 5 vowels. The close languages are Marquesan, Tuamotu and Maori.
Before the annexation by France (1880), Tahitian was spoken by all the populations of the Society Islands. Since then it has become the Frankish language in French Polynesia.
Tahitian after having been put forward for evangelization, with the schools created by the missionaries, who even established it in writing ... after having banned in favor of French, since 1982 it must be part of school programs, but for actually the reality of this teaching at school is far from being what it should be.
However we teach in Tahitian at the university, and radio, newspapers and television practice it; and the language today has an academy to supervise its development.
We use some words from Tahitian, for example "tatoo" and "taboo" that come from "tatau" and "tapu".
Polynesia and Her
Dumont d'Urville will create the terms Melanesia (black islands), Micronesia (small islands) and Polynesia (many islands), which are geographical and cultural names, to name all these islands in the Pacific.
The surface area of French Polynesia and Europe are equivalent, and all these islands which constitutes it can be very far from each other, separated by the ocean and therefore isolated ... this is also one of the reasons for their linguistic separation, a separation which was further accentuated as regards contact with Europeans. It was necessary to create new words to describe the objects of a reality hitherto unknown.
Today the break-up of the family means that the oral tradition which was transmitted by the oldest is in total loss. Cultural centers try to preserve the tales the legends that the grandparents told, but can we replace a grandfather who taught to his to his grandson the ancestral fishing techniques.
The archaeological research seems to date the arrival of the first Polynesians between -1000 and -900. If these Austronesians came from the west, their exact provenance remains debated (China, India, Borneo). In the same way, did they first arrive in Tahiti towards the Marquesas Islands, or the reverse to then radiate to New Zealand.
Vahiné of sandy beaches, the ocean is your mirror. You are, in all the imagination of the metropolis. Gauguin and so many others have celebrated you. An airplane flies at sunrise to France, but tomorrow the blue waters of your lagoon await you ... So what will you choose?
In Tahiti, the islands are wonderful, as those which inhabit them. The sea then the sun, lick, then tenderly dry their pareos.