A new Tahitian, English and French dictionary

The government of French Polynesia published the first trilingual dictionary of the local Tahitian language. 17 000 Polynesian words, both old and new, are translated into English and French as a bid to open the French territory to its English-speaking neighbors.

Yan Peirsegaele, head of the Interpreting Department of French Polynesia, explains why this work was important after a first French/Tahitian dictionary published in 2015: “The trilingual dictionary was needed. We are a small French-speaking island in the middle of an English-speaking ocean, so developing English will be useful to multiply exchanges between the local people, but also with the populations of neighboring islands. English is also the third most spoken language in the world and the official language of trade, so English was the obvious choice.”

The dictionary is almost 1000 pages and sold in French Polynesia for around 23 USD. But a free website and mobile app are in the work to bring this knowledge to the world.

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