Tahitian and co

Learn Tahitian with Tahitian and Co


The alphabet, writing and pronunciation in Tahitian

At first, starting our lesson. You want to learn more about the Tahitian alphabet or writing or pronunciation, you are in the right place!

We are still in our category to-get-started

So, let’s continue with this lesson: we will learn the alphabet, writing and pronunciation in Tahitian.

Compared to learning other languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Arabic… with particular characters, learning Tahitian has a definite advantage. Indeed, the letters used are the same as in English.

Some will say: What a chance ! Others will say: Phew!

Come on, let’s start !

The alphabet and writing in Tahitian

The Tahitian alphabet has 13 letters and 3 signs.

13 letters

  • 8 consonants: F, H, M, N, P, R, T, V pronounced [fa], [hé], [mo], [nou], [pi], [ro], [ti], [vi]
  • 5 vowels: A, E, I, O, U pronounced [a], [é] ,[i] ,[o] ,[ou]

3 signs

Sign title Use
tarava or taumi Only on vowels. The vowels are long.

‘eta or glottal occlusion Only in front of the vowels. No connection with the previous vowel.
^ Cumulative of the two

The pronunciation in Tahitian

  • “u” is pronounced as in “you”
  • “e” is pronounced as in “Helena”
  • “h” is pronounced as in “home”


  • “ae” as in “where”
  • “ao” as in “port”
  • “au” as in [a]-[ou] pronounced “a” then “ou”
  • “ou” as in [o]-[ou] pronounced “o” then “ou”
  • “ai” as in “pay” usually, when we should rather say “ai” as in “try
  • “ei” as in “pay

Many people in Polynesia pronounce “ai” or “ei” in the same way.

What’s next ?

Writing these lines, I remember primary school, where we had mnemotechnical techniques to learn consonants and vowels with Tahitian pronunciations only.

Well done! Another step done in your journey to learn the Tahitian language. Super!

We have just learned the alphabet, writing and pronunciation in Tahitian.

The next step on our journey is to tackle the two writing systems in Tahitian

Let’s meet at the next lesson.

Tip: To get an overview of all the lessons and to get a global view of your progress, go to the summary