Tahitian and co

Learn Tahitian with Tahitian and Co

Learn prefixes and suffixes in Tahitian with a cup of coffee in front of nice mountain view

Prefixes and suffixes in Tahitian – Faa, Haa, Raa, Hia – Tei hea

In this lesson, we will learn prefixes and suffixes in Tahitian: Faa, Haa, Raa, Hia.

Prefixes and suffixes in Tahitian?

In this first chapter, let’s start from the beginning: as in English, words can have:

  • prefixes: positioned at the beginning of the word
  • suffixes: positioned at the end of the word

The base word (the base of the word) is a noun, a verb, or an adjective.

We then have the construction: PREFIX – BASE – SUFFIX. The, the whole forms a new word.

For example :

Tahitian English
Haapii Learn
Te haapiiraa The school, the teaching, the lesson

Haapii is the base word which is here a verb. Be careful, the base word is not pii (to which we would have added a prefix haa).

Raa is the suffix for Haapiiraa. With Raa, Haapii becomes a noun: Te haapiiraa.

I repeat to be clear: affixing a prefix or a suffix creates a new word.

The main suffixes and prefixes in Tahitian

These are :

  • Faa prefix
  • Haa prefix
  • Raa suffix
  • Hia suffix

Come on, let’s meet these new friends!

Detail Grammatical construction
Create a verb Transform the base word into a verb:

  • make …
  • make sure to make …

The base being the result of the action described by the verb.

The base starts with a vowel or with t, n, r, h

Faa – Base
Create a verb Same. The base starts with f, v, p, m Haa – Base
Create a noun Transform the base word into a noun, into a notion Base – Raa
Change the point of view Transform the verb (in the active form) into:

  • passive form
  • or past participle
  • or adjective

The point of view changes: In the active form, it is the point of view of the subject.

Base – Hia

This chapter is the heart of the lesson, if you need to read it over and over again, now is a good time!

Familiarize yourself with examples

We learned the theory in the previous chapter. Let us illustrate with examples to understand and assimilate. We take the opportunity to learn vocabulary too.

Faa – To build a verb with a base starting with a vowel or with t, n, r, h

Tahitian English Tahitian English
Ora To live Faaora To save, to make live, to heal
Te itoito The courage, the perseverance, the energy Faaitoito To encourage, to give yourself courage, to persevere. Good luck
Amu To eat, to consume Faa’amu To feed, to raise, to adopt
Nehenehe Pretty, beautiful Faanehenehe To embellish, to decorate
Ineine Ready, in good order Faaineine To prepare

Haa – To build a verb with a base starting with f, v, p, m

Tahitian English Tahitian English
Maita’i Good, well, nice Haamaita’i To improve
Māuruuru Thank you Haamāuruuru To thank
Te pe’ape’a The worry Haape’ape’a To worry, to disturb
Pārarai Thin Haapārarai To go on a diet
Fifi Difficult, problematic Haafifi To complicate
Māu’a Wasted Haamāu’a To waste

Raa – To build a noun

Tahitian English Tahitian English
Tāmāa To have a meal, to lunch, to dinner Te tāmāaraa The feast
Haapii To teach (haapii atu)To learn (haapii mai) Te haapiiraa The school, the teaching, the lesson
Te ora The life Te oraraa The existence, the everyday life, the life at home
‘Amu To eat, to consume Te ‘amuraa māa The meal, the dining table
Pārahi To sit, to be seated Te pārahiraa The place, the seat, the chair

Hia – To build a passive form, a past particle, an adjective

Tahitian English Tahitian English
Te ma’i The disease, the sick Ma’ihia Sick
Fānau To give birth, to bring into the world, to give birth, to beget, to procreate Fānauhia Born
‘Ite To see, to know ‘Itehia Seen
‘Amu To eat, to consume ‘Amuhia Eaten
Pārahi To sit, to be seated Pārahihia Sat

A little grammar

By now, we know Faa, Haa, Raa, Hia quite well. In this part, we will learn more about the adjoining grammatical constructions.

Translate when, while doing with Raa

Grammar rule: Te… raa, te… raa ia
1 / To translate: when, while doing, we use the construction:Te … raa, te … raa ia

The triggering of the 2nd part of the phrase coincides with the 1st.

2 / The 1st part of the sentence may not be specified. In this case, the trigger is done with the last event mentioned.

For example :

Tahitian English
To’u taeraa mai i Tahiti, te haapiraa mai ia vau i te reo tahiti It was when I arrived in Tahiti that I started to learn Tahitian
Te ‘iteraa vau ia’ oe, te taaraa ia vau i to ‘oe hinaaro When I saw you, I understood what you wanted
Te taaraa ia vau i to ‘oe hinaaro I understood what you wanted.Example for case 2 /

The new vocabulary:

Tahitian English
Taa To be separate, to be distinct, to be understood
Hinaaro To desire, to want, to wish

The different uses of hia

We saw previously that Hia allows to transform the verb (in the active form) into:

  • passive form
  • or past participle
  • or adjective

The point of view changes.

For example :

Function Tahitian English Explanation
Active form Ua ‘amu’ o Mere i te âpara Mere ate the apple Mere does the act of eating the apple.In the active form, it is the subject’s point of view. It was Mere who ate the apple.
Passive form Ua ‘amuhia te âpara The apple has been eaten The apple which was in function of complement of the sentence in the active form becomes subject.In the passive form, it is the complement point of view. It is the apple that has been eaten.
Adjective (impersonal form) – Tei hea te âpara?- Ua ‘amuhia

– Ua parauhia mai au e, ua ‘amuhia

– Where’s the apple?- Someone ate it

– Someone told me that someone ate it

The idea is not to cite the subject. We translate into Rnglish by someone …We encounter a construction of relative proposition: that someone ate it.
Past participle – Te âpara e ‘amuhia- Te âpara i ‘amuhia

– Ahea ra te âpara e ‘amuhia?

– Ahea te âpara i ‘amuhia?

– The eaten apple- The eaten apple

– When the apple was eaten?

– When the apple was eaten?

We see here that we use the particles i and e. These are constructions for relative propositions. We will see this in a future lesson.

Tei hea = where?

We saw in the previous lesson the use of Tei: Locate in space in Tahitian – Locatives (Front, behind) – Tei

So Tei hea means where.

Tahitian English
Tei hea Where

Short dialogue

Let us review the points of the lesson thanks to this short dialogue.

Tahitian English
Te taeraa ‘o Pāpā i te fare, When daddy came home,
Te haapihaaraa ia Māmā i te pape no te taofe. Mom was boiling water for coffee.
Ua mānii ‘o Māmā i te taofe i roto i te âu’a Mom poured the coffee in the bowl.
Ua faano’ano’a ‘o na i te taofe mā te û haari. She flavored the coffee with coconut milk.
E au rāua i tera taofe inuhia ra. They enjoyed this coffee they drank.

The already known vocabulary

The vocabulary already encountered in the previous lessons is as follows:

Tahitian English
Tae To arrive, to reach, to achieve
Pihaa To boil
Te pape The water
Te taofe (from English, coffee) The coffee
Mānii To pour
I roto Inside, in
Te âu’a The bowl, the cup
Au To like, to apreciate

The new vocabulary

The new words are:

Tahitian English
Te no’ano’a The perfume
Clean, pure, accompanied by, and the others
Te û The milk
Te haari The coconut
Te û haari The coconut milk

To sum up

With this lesson, we have just learned how to construct new words by juxtaposing prefixes and / or suffixes to a base word in Tahitian. The prefixes are faa, haa and the suffixes are raa and hia. We also learned 48 vocabulary words and expressions. Yippee!