Tahitian Language – 285

Tahitian is an Austronesian language spoken primarily in French Polynesia, particularly on the island of Tahiti. It is part of the Eastern Polynesian subgroup of the larger Austronesian language family. Tahitian serves as one of the official languages of French Polynesia and is widely used in both formal and informal settings, alongside French.

The Tahitian language uses the Latin alphabet, and its orthography was standardised by European missionaries in the 19th century. Tahitian has a relatively simple phonological system, characterised by a small set of vowels and consonants. The language is noted for its use of reduplication, a common feature in Polynesian languages, where words or parts of words are repeated to convey different meanings or grammatical functions.

Tahitian plays a significant role in the cultural identity of the Tahitian people. It is used in traditional ceremonies, songs, and dances, and there are ongoing efforts to promote and preserve the language through education and media. Despite the dominance of French, Tahitian remains a vital part of everyday life and cultural expression in French Polynesia. Initiatives to revitalise the language include Tahitian language courses, radio programmes, and the inclusion of Tahitian in school curricula.

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