We meet again for our first grammar lesson. The goal is to learn how to introduce yourself in Tahitian (say: I am …(my name)).
In addition, we will take the opportunity to learn the personal pronouns subjects (I, you, he/she/it …) and the difference between “vau” and “au”.
Introduce yourself in Tahitian
To begin with, I propose a very short dialogue to understand the vocabulary.
|Who are you?||‘O vai ‘oe?|
|I am Hina||‘O Hina vau|
|I am Mere||‘O Mere au|
So we notice the following keywords in the sentence construction :
|I||Vau / Au (depending on the case)|
|I am ….||‘O …. vau / ‘O …. au (depending on the case)|
Also, in Tahitian, when a first name or surname is mentioned, it is preceded by ‘O.
Personal pronouns subjects (I, you, he/she/it…)
Let’s recap, we’ve just learned how to say “I” and “you” in Tahitian. Great!
What about the others (he/she/it, we, you, they)? Here they are.
In addition to the singular and the plural, the Tahitian has an another category: the dual (which includes 2 people: you and me for example). Therefore, the plural is used starting 3 people.
|Vau / au I
‘U after a particle
|Tāua you and me
Māua he / she / it and me
|Tātou you and me
Mātou them and me
|‘Oe you||Ôrua both of you||‘Outou you|
|‘O na, ‘O ia he / she / it
Na after a particle
|Rāua both of them||Rātou they|
Little cultural note :
The plural personal pronoun termination [tou] comes from “toru” which means Three.
It’s okay, you’re still following? If so, we can continue, otherwise, take your time to learn this vocabulary.
Vau / au
In the second table of the lesson, we concluded that “I” translation is “vau” or “au” depending on the case.
Here is the associated grammar rule:
|Grammar Rule: Vau / au|
|To translate “I,” if the previous word ends with “e” or “i,” we use “au.” Otherwise (in all other cases), we use “vau.”|
Here’s an example:
|‘O Hina vau||I’m Hina|
|Tē haere nei au i te haapiiraa||I’m going to school.|
Let’s comment this table:
- With the first sentence: we use “vau” because “Hina” ends with “a”
- In the 2nd sentence: we use “au” because “nei” ends with “i”
- In both cases (1st and 2nd sentence), it is the same person talking.
- On the other hand, just because my first name ends with “a” doesn’t mean I use “vau” every time to translate “I.”
What’s our level now ?
Finally, you’ve just learned 18 words or sentences. Not bad for a first grammar lesson.
To sum up, we’ve learned how to introduce ourselves, how to say I, you, he/she/it… and tell the difference for “I” between “vau” and “au.”
See you soon for a new lesson. The next one is : My name is in Tahitian – My, your, his – To’u, ta’u