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Pasifika pronunciation 101

Follow this guide to help with pronouncing Pasifika names and places. An honest and heartfelt attempt to pronounce a student’s name correctly would be a great way to build rapport, and would show the student that you care. Pacific names have meaning and history. Therefore showing respect in your attempt to pronounce their names will also show respect for who they are and where they come from.

Cook Islands Te reo Maori Kuki Airani is very similar to Te reo Maori of Aotearoa.
‘R’ Pronounced as a soft ‘rolled’ R.
Fiji B’ is pronounced ‘MB’
‘Q’ is ‘NG’ with a released G sound like finger
‘G’ is pronounced like NG in sing
‘C’ is ‘TH’ (‘then’) The word Moce would be pronounced ‘Mothe’
‘D’ is pronounced ‘ND’ for example Nadi would be pronounced Nandi
Tonga ‘NG’ is pronounced like the English ‘ng’ in “Sing”
‘T’ is pronounced with as little sibilant sound as possible almost like the
English ‘D’
Samoa Unlike the Tongan T the Samoan ‘T’ has a strong sibilant sound
‘G’ is pronounced like the English ‘NG’ in “Sing”
Tokelau F’ in Tokelau is pronounced like the English ‘W’
The ‘F’ sound pronounced in this way is accompanied by an ‘H’ quality.
This ‘H’ quality is more noticeable in front of the vowels A, O and U.
The Tokelauan H is a glottal fricative, and before the vowels ‘I’ and ‘E’ it
sounds the same as English.
An ‘H’ before an A, O or U is pronounced as if it were spelt with an HY. For
example the word Huke would be pronounced Hyuke or Heeyukeh.
Niue G’ is pronounced like the English ‘NG’ in “Sing”
‘T’ when followed by an E or an I is pronounced like an S. For example Mate
would be pronounced Mase.

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