29 Jan 2014

Samoan families abroad to benefit from language commission

9:44 pm on 29 January 2014

An early childhood Samoan immersion centre in New Zealand, says the Samoan government's move to declare Samoan its official language, will have a positive effect on Samoan families living abroad.

The Samoan government passed the official language law last week as part of an effort to protect and preserve the Samoan language for future generations.

The manager of A'oga Fa'a Samoa early childhood centre in Auckland, Jan Taouma, says this will reinforce to Samoan families living outside of Samoa, that their language is valuable.

"Because of the colonisalisation of Samoa and the difrerent regimes that have been there, English has been held up as more important often, especially you notice in sign-posts and different things when you go to Samoan, whereas now, I feel families coming over will know that their language is really important and it needs to be preserved and hopefully they will use it more at home and encourage the children to continue using it."

Jan Taouma says she hopes this also will encourage the New Zealand government to make resources available in Samoan for children here.