New meteorological glossary a regional first

The Samoa Meteorology Service has produced a Samoan-language glossary of meteorology terms, the first of its kind to be produced in the Pacific.

The 19-page booklet, produced last month and now being distributed, establishes official local Samoan terms for commonly used English meteorological terms such 'cold front' and 'convection'.

The Service says the idea has been in the making for over two decades and part of a desire to translate the science of meteorology - mostly conducted in English - into local lingo. 

The head of the Samoa Meteorology Services, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, said the production of the booklet followed wider consultation within Government and among different Ministries who all had input into its creation.

But he also said that the glossary would be a living document and one that grows along with the science of forecasting. 

“So after every five years when we have new words that we’ve found out during our consultations, we will record them," he said.

"And then we will review them again in the next five years from now.” 

The glossary was produced over the past year and in association with the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

Mulipola said that in its next review the Service will throw consultations open to the wider public to share their response to the booklet but also suggest new terms for inclusion.

The result, he says, will not only benefit the Met. Service but the nation as a whole. 

Meanwhile, the expected passage of new legislation later this year is expected to strengthen the legal position of the Met. Office allowing it to charge for specialised use of its services by aviation companies but also allow for it to take legal action over "inaccurate" media reporting.  

The glossary aligns English original words for weather phenomenon with newly formed or translated Samoan words. A description of each definition is also included.

A Samoan glossary of Meteorology

Some of the words translated in the booklet include the following:

Convergence Fe’taiaiga o Savili

Mudflow Palapala tafe

Evapotranspiration Vai lelea

Tuff Papa pῡpῡ

Ocean Acidification  Fa’availaau-o’onaina ole Atu Vasa 

Waterspout Asiosio sami

X-Band Ituaiga masini Reita 

Zodiac  Tulaga ole La e feagai ma se vaega tele o fetu

Intensify  Fa'atuputupulaia

Basalt  Papa uli

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?