What Language Do They Speak in Bora Bora?

For those who want to know information about the main languages in Bora Bora or what language do they speak in Bora Bora, you are at the right page. Here we are going to share that information. Keep staying on this page.

The main languages in Bora Bora

The main languages in Bora Bora are French and Tahitian. But, you are going to find that there are many people also speak English, especially resort employees. French Polynesians move at a relaxed pace. They have a life philosophy called “`Aita pea pea,” that means “not to worry.” You will be able to try to go with the flow and enjoy life at a slower clip.

The main languages in Bora Bora

In Bora-Bora, many people speak in French and Tahitian. While in Tahiti, it is also French but they prefer Tahitian. We had a trip to Tahiti through Tahiti Surf Beach Paradise last time and we faced a bit of issue talking to the native people. Some people can understand English but almost of them were talking in the Tahitian language. We wish we had learned the Tahitian language a bit. Then, Bora Bora and Tahiti is a very beautiful place. Language is only a medium of exchanging our feelings. The local people are really friendly and helpful.

According to the research, Protestant missionaries who came to the island in the 19th century have influenced the religion in Bora Bora. Christianity continues to play a major role in the island’s culture. If you are interested, you are able to stop into the Eglise Protestante Maohi (Maohi Protestant Church) in Vaitape that has roots dating back to the late 1700. Since 1946, French Polynesia has been an overseas territory of the French Republic. But, French Polynesia has many autonomy that you will be able to see in everything from their currency to taxation. For your information, The French Pacific franc (CFP) is the currency of Bora Bora.

So, we are able to conclude that the language which is primarily and officially spoken in French Polynesia that includes Bora Bora and Tahiti is French. Secondarily is the Tahitian language, which is so unfortunate as it is the language native to the land. But, we also get information that there is another language do they speak in Bora Bora. That language is Chinese. In fact, there is a huge Chinese population in Tahiti. Many of the old Chinese families have assimilated, even their family names to be more French. We would not say that English is spoken in Tahiti at all. Probably by an store clerk in downtown Papeete to cater to the cruise ship tourists, but not anywhere the locals really frequent.

The Tahitian language

If you learn several Tahitian words from the Tahitian language you are going to make a good impression with the locals. Before you fly off on your Bora Bora vacation, you are able to learn and memorize a few useful Tahiti French phrases. On this page you are able to learn to speak Tahitian words, and French phrases and words, that will be most useful. Further down you are going to find some French words which will help you to read food items on a menu, so the surprises on your plate are good ones.

As we know that the official languages of Tahiti and her islands are French and Tahitian. Although French is used in business and schools, the Tahitian language is still preferred by most islanders in their homes. English is well spoken in the tourist areas and the resorts. But if you do several exploring on your own, and venture to the local’s hot spots, you are going to come across places where English is not understood. For instance, menus outside of hotel restaurants, or at roulettes, will frequently be in French so you need to understand some French words.

If you are going to eat at your Bora Bora resort, you are able to do pre-organized tours, and then relax around your resort’s beach or on your over water bungalow. Probably, you are able to get away with only learning the first Tahitian word we learnt, “mauru’uru”!

For your information, the Tahitian language has a melodic intonation like a siren’s song and is really simple with only 16 letters and 1,000 words. There are five vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and 11 consonants (b, f, g, h, k, m, n, p, r, t, v). Learning the Tahitian language is easy enough. For note: An apostrophe indicates a short pause and most vowels are pronounced. In the text below, we have collected some words and phrases which are commonly used in Tahiti. Here are some useful Tahitian words and phrases:

  • Hello: Ia Orana (yo-rah-nah)
  • Welcome: Maeva (mah-yeh-vah)
  • Thank you: Maururu (mah-roo-roo)
  • Man: Tane (tah-nay)
  • Woman: Vahine (vah-he-nay)
  • Child: Tamarii (tah-ma-ree-ee)
  • Bye/See you later: Nana (nah-nah)
  • Cheers: Manuia (mah-nwee-ah)
  • Good: Maitai (my-tie)
  • Yes: E (ay)
  • No: Aita (eye-tah)
  • Morning: Poipoi (poy-poy)
  • Evening: Ahiahi (ah-hee-ah-hee)
  • Island: Motu (moh-too)
  • Look: A hi’o (ah-hee-oh)
  • Ocean: Moana (mo-ah-nah)
  • How are you? Maita’i oe? (may-tay oh-ay)
  • I am fine: Maita’i roa (may-tay ro-ah)
  • What? Eaha? (ey-ah-hah)
  • Why? – No te aha? (noh-tay ah-hah)
  • No problem: Aita pe’a pe’a (eye-tah pay-ah pay-ah)
  • Bread: Faraoa (fah-rah-o-ah)
  • Water: Pape (pa-pay)
  • Pearl: Poe (po-ay)
  • Black pearl: Poerava (po-ay ra-vah)
  • Flower: Tiare (tee-ah-ray)
  • Beer: Pia (pee-ah)
  • Let’s go: Haere tatou (ha-ay-ray tah-taw)
  • Cloth wrap: Pareu (pa-ray-oh)

Here are the different types of meat, as well as some other food items in French:

  • steak – le bifteck
  • turkey – la dinde
  • snails – les escargots (m)
  • ham – le jambon
  • rabbit – le lapin
  • fish – le poisson
  • pork – le porc
  • chicken – le poulet
  • roast beef – le rosbif
  • sausage – le saucisson
  • veal – le veau
  • duck – le canard
  • bread stick – baguette
  • café au lait – coffee with milk
  • fish – du poisson
  • vegetables – de légumes
  • seafood – des fruits de mer
  • potato – des pommes de terre
  • soup – de la soupe
  • cheese – fromage
  • Bread – du Pain 

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