Learn Samoan words for a selection of vegetables: tamato, aniani, kapisi and more, as well as some of our most useful prepositions: i luma, i tua, i luga, i lalo. Next, practice asking and answering simple questions in Samoan, then follow along with a conversation between Teine and Tama about this beautiful table of vegetables at a local farmer’s market.

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Samoan Words to Know

tamato (kamako) tomato
aniani (agiagi) onion
kapisi cabbage / leafy greens
kukama cucumber
fuala’au ‘aina vegetable
karoti (kaloki) carrot
i luma in front
i tua (i kua) behind
i luga above (up)
i lalo below (down)

Samoan Sentence Structures

O le ā le [fuala’au ‘aina] lale? 
What is that [vegetable]?
O le [fuala’au ‘aina] lale o le …
That [vegetable] is a …
O fea le …? 
Where is the …?
O le … e i [luma / tua / luga / lalo] o le …
The … is [in front / in back / above / below] (of) the …
O le ā le fa’asamoa o le …?
What is the Samoan (word) for …?
O le …
It is a …

A Samoan Conversation

Teine: E ‘ese le matagofie o nei fuala’au’aina
Tama: Ioe, aemaise lava tamato.
Teine: E i ai ni karoti?
Tama: Ioe, o karoti na e i luga o kukama.
Teine: O fea o i ai kukama?
Tama: Lae i ‘ole. O kapisi na e i lalo o kukama.
Teine: Oi, e sa’o oe. Ma onions o lo’o i luma o kapisi. O le ā le fa’aSamoa o le onion?
Tama: O le aniani.
Teine: Oi, e sa’o. Aniani. O le ā lena fuala’au’aina e i tua?
Tama: O fea?
Teine: Le fuala’au’aina lanu samasama i tua o karoti.
Tama: Oi, o le pi umῑ.
An English Translation
Girl: These vegetables are beautiful
Boy: Yes, especially the tomatoes
Girl: Are there any carrots?
Boy: Yes, the carrots are on top of the cucumbers
Girl: Where are the cucumbers?
Boy: Over there. The cabbage is under the cucumbers.
Girl: Oii, you are right. And the onions (in English) are in front of the cabbage. What’s the Samoan word for onion?
Boy: It’s aniani.
Girl: Oi, of course. Aniani. What is that vegetable at the back?
Boy: Which one?
Girl: The yellow vegetable behind the carrots.
Boy: Oi, that is a squash (long bean)

Tips for using this post:

  • Grab a voice recorder and record yourself saying these new Samoan words and sentences
  • Play back your recordings to check your pronunciations against our audio samples
  • Listen to the conversation several times while observing the photo/image
  • Try to get used to thinking the Samoan words for the items in the image
  • Use your new Samoan language knowledge to create your own sample conversations and practice them with a friend