Referring to a specific date in Samoan is the same as in English – we say the day, the month and the year. You just need to know your numbers then, of course, the Samoan words for each month. You also need to be prepared to say long words. For example, the ‘proper’ way to say 21 July, 2020, in Samoan is: o le aso luasefulu tasi o Iulai i le tausaga luaafe luasefulu.
Let’s break it down:
O le means ‘the’.
21 is luasefulu tasi, but because we’re talking about a date, we add the word aso (day) before the number, so: aso luasefulu tasi.
The Samoan word for July is Iulai (all of our words for months are coined from their English translations). O means ‘of’ in this case, so o Iulai is ‘of July’.
I le means ‘in the’, and tausaga is the Samoan word for year. If you know your numbers, you can figure out that 2020 is luaafe (two thousand) luasefulu (20).
Put all that together and you have: o le aso luasefulu tasi o Iulai i le tausaga luaafe luasefulu, which means ‘the twenty-first of July in the year two-thousand twenty’.
Or we can simplify it (slightly) by saying aso luasefulu tasi o Iulai, luaafe luasefulu.
The Months in Samoan
As mentioned above, all the Samoan words for months are ‘Samoan-ized’ from the English words for months.
Saying the Date in Samoan
Let’s look at a few more dates in Samoan. Listen carefully for the pronuncation of these words, and then practice saying them out loud:
|Aso luasefulu tasi o Iulai i le tausaga luaafe luaselau||21 July 2200|
|Aso luasefulufā o Tesema, luaafe sefulufitu||24 December 2017|
|Aso luasefulufā o Fepuari i le tausaga afe iva valu lima||24 February 1985|
|O le aso muamua o Iuni, afe iva ono lua||1 June 1962|
|Aso 4 o Mati, afe ivaselau iva fitu||4 March 1997|
|Aso muamua o Ianuari, luaafe||1 January 2000|
As you can see, we have a few variations in the list above.
When we talk about the first of something – like the first of the month – instead of saying tasi for ‘one’, we can say muamua, which means first.
Also, when we talk about a year, instead of saying it as a full number – with thousands and hundreds and tens, etc. – we can just say each number by itself. For example, if the year is 1975, instead of saying ‘one thousand nine hundred seventy-five’ or afe ivaselau fitusefulu lima, we can just say ‘one nine seven five’ or tasi iva fitu lima.