Views #634 | Intermediate 5

Island Language

Patricia discusses what languages she speaks on her island of Samoa.

Joel: So I don't think we've met yet, what is your name?

Patricia: Patricia. It's a pleasure to meet you.

Joel: You too. Where are you from?

Patricia: I'm from Samoa.

Joel: Samoa? Where is that?

Patricia: It's in the South Pacific north of New Zealand.

Joel: Ok. Samoa. We call it Samoa in the United States. How do you pronounce it?

Patricia: Samoa.

Joel: Samoa. Ok. Yeah, I've met a couple of people from Samoa.

Patricia: Oh, really.

Joel: They are very large people. Is that pretty typical?

Patricia: Samoa consists of 2 islands, there's American Samoa and Western Samoa which is now called Samoa where I'm from. The American Samoan people or more of the big physique than the Samoans on my island. So perhaps you might have met the American Samoans and mixed them up perhaps.

Joel: It must be. But you're English is very good so is English your native language?

Patricia: Yes. The thing with me is that I am "Halfcast" which means that I'm European-blooded and Polynesian-blooded which means that most of the halfcasts individuals or families on the island, they should have 2 languages, speak two language or more. So probably our first language is English and then Samoan.

Joel: Ok. And what is the Samoan language--is it related to any other language like is it similar to Hawaian?

Patricia: Spanish, Hawaian, Malaysian. It's probably more closer to the Malaysian traditional...more...let's's closer to the Indonesian and Malaysian language because we are supposed to be from Southeast Asia which is around the Indonesian and Malaysian area.

Joel: So you speak that language as well?

Patricia: Yes.

Joel: And what did you learn in school though?

Patricia: In school I learned-- you mean by language-wise?

Joel: Yes.

Patricia: Ok, we have 2 sets of language courses. One is you take the Samoan your traditional or your native language as a second language itself while you're still a Samoan citizen or you take Samoan as a pure Samoan which is local pure but not Halfcast. And the course I took was Samoan as a second language which teaches you basically more conversation and more oral form of Samoan.

Joel: And when do you have a chance to use that. Do you use that when you go shopping or in the home or...?

Patricia: Oh yes. Often. We can, at home, my parents speak both English and Samoan so we use Samoan only when you really want to make a point and English is more on a basis of everyday relaxing sort of thing.

Joel: I see. That's very interesting. Thanks Patricia.

Patricia: No worries.


Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

it's a pleasure to meet you

I haven't made any friends here yet, so it's a pleasure to meet you.

'It's a pleasure to meet you' is another way to say 'it's nice to meet you,' and it is a polite way of greeting someone the first time you meet. Notice the following:

  1. I know we've talked a few times on the phone, but it's a pleasure to meet you in person.
  2. I've heard so much about you. It's a pleasure to finally meet you.

consists of

Samoa consists of two islands: the American Samoa and the Western Samoa.

What something 'consists of' is what it is made up of or what it includes. Notice the following:

  1. What focus areas does this class consist of?
  2. This dessert really just consists of eggs, sugar and butter.

the thing with me is that

The thing with me is that I'm half-cast, meaning I have European and Polynesian blood.

You can use the phrase 'the thing with me is that' before you state something interesting or unusual about yourself. Notice the following:

  1. The thing with her is that her mood is so different every day.
  2. The thing with me is that I can tell when I'm going to get sick.

related to

Is the Samoan language related to any other language?

Here, 'related to' is like 'similar to.' Joel is asking if the Samoan language is similar to any other language that he might know. Notice the following:

  1. I think Italian would be easier for a Spanish-speaker to learn, because they are related.
  2. Math and science are related to each other in many ways.

oral form

I took a Samoan course which teaches more oral form of Samoan.

An 'oral form' of a language is the one that is spoken. This might be different from the one that is written. Notice the following:

  1. One of the reasons that many languages were lost is that they were used most frequently in their oral form.
  2. When you learn a language in its oral form, you may not learn correct grammar.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

pleasure • consists • thing
related • oral form
  1. The five-day trip of mostly walking during the day and relaxing at night.
  2. Your weight is to the amount of food you eat and the exercise you do.
  3. Studying written literature is very different from learning a language in its .
  4. Your wife has been a good friend for a long time, so it's a to finally meet you.
  5. The with him is that he is really good at getting what he wants.

More Lessons

Free Courses from ELLLO

One Minute English Videos

Free Courses from ELLLO