31 Mar 2010

40 years work behind new Samoan-English dictionary

8:46 pm on 31 March 2010

A new bilingual Samoan-English Dictionary has been published as a result of forty years work.

The book, Tusi'upu Samoa, was born out of a medical doctor's frustration at not being able to communicate with his Samoan patients in New Zealand.

Now retired, Dr Papali'i Semisi Ma'ia'i is happy that the book has finally been published.

"One of the reasons I did it was while I was working in Kumeu West Auckland I had to see a lot of patients mostly Samoans who couldn't speak English. And I discovered that the Samoan language was very insufficient compared to English. You can't get the word to word equivalent."

Dr Papali'i Semisi Ma'ia'i says he is still working on another project: a monolingual dictionary for Samoans.

The book has been published by Little Island Press in Wellington.