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Visiting Tahiti – 2 of 3

Your Virtual Tour of Tahiti continues…

So many of you have requested more Tahiti information and presentation after admiring Philippe Bacchet’s stunning visual display of his beloved islands on Visiting Tahiti, also visit Page 1.

Complying with your popular request, we are continuing our French Polynesia presentation for you here:

More Tahiti Travel Tips

Languages Spoken on the Islands

As mentioned, French is the official language of the Islands of Tahiti. However, islanders often speak Tahitian in their homes. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, resorts, restaurants, and commonly understood in general. 

Cook's Bay, Moorea
Cook’s Bay in Moorea. © Philippe Bacchet

The Tahitian language

The Tahitian language is a beautiful language, sounding like a siren’s song. Being a simple language, it only has 16 letters and 1,000 words.

Learning the language is fairly easy for most. Tahitian Polynesian has five vowels: a-e-i-o-u. The eleven consonants of the language are: b-f-g-h-k-m-n-p-r-t-v.

Most vowels are pronounced, and an apostrophe indicates a short pause.

A commonly asked question: Air Tahiti Nui is the main airline of Tahiti. What does the word “Nui” mean?

The word “nui” means “big”.

Another word for “big”, however, is more used…

The common word for big is “rahi” (large), which is a common word in the Polynesian languages.

Ua Pou - Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou – Marquesas Islands. © Philippe Bacchet

Useful phrases you may wish to know for your Tahiti-trip

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Arranged in alphabetical order:

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

What souvenirs do you recommend getting in Tahiti?

Black Pearls
Tahitian black pearls
Tahitian black pearls © Philippe Bacchet

If you have money to burn, then the natural black pearls of Tahiti are the most sought after pearls in the world.

You can plan on spending about $100 USD for a small pearl of average quality. 

An 18 millimeter diameter round pearl of perfect quality will set you back about $10,000 USD.


Monoi Tiki Tahiti Fragrance
Monoi Tiki Tahiti Fragrance
Monoi Tiki Tahiti

If you are a man, forget the diamonds… If you want your girlfriend to love you forever, then Monoi Tiki Tahiti fragrances, perfumes & oils will do the trick! 

For a very cheap price, the fragrance comes in all sorts of scents. 

With a  unique scent of pure Paradise, the scents include Tiare (Tahitian Gardenia), coconut, vanilla, and more. It even comes as bars of soap. They are easily found everywhere in stores in Tahiti.


Tiare Tahiti

This is the Tiare,
a Tahitian Gardenia,
the National Flower of Tahiti


Hiva Oa - Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa – Marquesas Islands. © Philippe Bacchet
Photo credit Air Tahiti Nui cabin: SamChui.com

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