Tahitian

Te Tamaiti Ari’i Iti — in Tahitian language.

Tahitian, known locally as Reo Tahiti, is an Austronesian language spoken primarily in Tahiti, one of the islands of French Polynesia in the South Pacific. It is part of the Eastern Polynesian language group, which also includes Hawaiian, Maori, and other Polynesian languages. Despite the influence of French due to colonial history and governance, Tahitian remains a vital component of cultural identity and daily life for the people of Tahiti and surrounding islands.

Tahitian has a relatively small phonemic inventory, with just ten consonants and nine vowels. It is known for its glottal stop, represented by the character ‘ (called ‘eta), which is considered a consonant in the language. The language features a predicate-initial word order, commonly VSO (verb-subject-object), though SVO is also possible. Tahitian uses prepositions rather than inflections to indicate grammatical relationships. It does not have grammatical tense in the same way that languages like English do; instead, it uses particles to indicate aspects and moods.

Tahitian is spoken by the majority of the population in French Polynesia but exists in a bilingual context with French, which is used in education, government, and formal settings. Tahitian is the language of home and community life, as well as cultural expression.