3 Jun 2011

Concern about loss of language among Samoans in US

1:29 pm on 3 June 2011

Concerns are being raised about the decline of the Samoan language among Samoan youths in the United States.

Samoan groups on the US mainland are the latest to join celebrations of Samoan Language Week, after being inspired by efforts in New Zealand.

A San Francisco Samoan, Manufou Anoa'i, says while she grew up in a home where Samoan was widely spoken and many aoga samoa schools teaching the language, that's changed.

"Well we've seen the shift in the language in the past ten to 15 years. And also seen the loss of the culture, and I think of course that stems from the loss of language. So there is a huge breakdown. Ten years ago a lot of people could understand the language. Now they barely understand the language at all. So this movement is tremendous, but it's very important."

Manufou Anoa'i says Samoans in the United States organised their own language focussed events within weeks and their own Facebook page.