Bora Bora Language

French Polynesia’s little island of Bora Bora is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and attractive scenery. The language and culture of the island are distinctive, blending French and Tahitian elements.


People buying fruits from a local vendorThe History of the Bora Bora Language

 It is thought that the languages used by the first Polynesian residents of the island are where the Bora Bora language, also known as Tahitian, got its start. These people are said to have come to the island some 4,000 years ago, bringing their distinct language and culture with them. The language changed and advanced over time, absorbing elements from various Polynesian languages and cultures.

After the French occupied Bora Bora in the 18th century, the language there started to borrow elements from French. This is seen in the numerous words that have been adapted from French, such as “bonjour” and “merci” (thank you). The island’s central Pacific Ocean location also meant that it was exposed to a variety of other cultures and languages, which further influenced the growth of the Bora Bora language.

The Bora Bora language has survived outside influences while retaining its distinctive personality and uniqueness. The majority of people on the island speak it, which is now recognized as one of French Polynesia’s official languages.

The Bora Bora Language and French and Tahitian Influence

The Bora Bora language combines Tahitian and French influences. Many English terms have been influenced by the French language, including “bonjour” (hello) and “merci” (thank you). The syntax and sentence construction of the Bora Bora language are also influenced by French.

Numerous words that have been adapted from the Tahitian language, such as “tahiti” (Tahiti) and “manu,” also reflect the Tahitian influence (bird). The Bora Bora language’s pronunciation and rhythm are influenced by the Tahitian tongue as well.

A unique and distinctive language that is different from the other languages spoken in French Polynesia has been created as a result of the blending of these influences. It is a language that captures the history and cultural legacy of the island.

The Importance of the Bora Bora Language in the Island’s Culture

The culture and way of life on the island are deeply rooted in the Bora Bora language. It is a key component of the island’s cultural history and is used in songs and dances like the “ote’a” and “himene,” among others. Additionally, the language is employed in religious rites such the “tau’a” and “pareo,” which are carried out in the numerous maraes on the island (traditional meeting places).

The preservation of the island’s culture and customs also depends on the Bora Bora language. Many residents take great delight in using the language and teaching the younger generations about it. It allows them to maintain a connection to their ancestry and cultural roots.

The Bora Bora language is important in this since a lot of island visitors are interested in discovering and experiencing the local culture. Locals are glad to assist tourists in learning the language, and many hotels and resorts provide language classes for their visitors.

Person writingStudying the language of Bora Bora

It might be tough but beneficial to learn the Bora Bora language. For people who are interested in studying the language, there are several resources accessible, including language schools, online classes, and language exchange programs. In addition, lots of people in the area like helping tourists learn the language, and lots of hotels and resorts provide language lessons for their visitors.

Structured training and a strong foundation in the language can be found in language institutions and online courses. Lessons in grammar, vocabulary, and conversation are frequently included. Additionally, a lot of educational institutions and online programs offer cultural context, which is useful for comprehending the island’s culture and customs.

Visitors get the chance to converse in the language with native speakers thanks to language exchange programs. These programs frequently link tourists with locals who are eager to pick up the visitors’ native tongue. Making friends with locals while learning the language in its natural environment is possible through this.

Although learning the Bora Bora language can be difficult, it can also be rewarding. It can facilitate contacts with locals on a regular basis and help tourists better understand and appreciate the island’s culture and customs. The process of learning a language can also be pleasurable and fun.

The Future of the Bora Bora Language

Because there are worries about the language’s decline, the future of the Bora Bora language is questionable. The usage of the language has decreased as a result of the rising use of French and English as well as the impact of other cultures. In addition, many young people might not perceive the benefit of studying the language since they do not think it is relevant to today’s society.

To preserve the language, nonetheless, there are efforts being undertaken. To teach the language to young people, the government has created language programs in schools. There are also initiatives to promote the language in the travel and tourism sector, as it might be a distinctive selling feature for the island.

Additionally, there are initiatives to record and document the language, such as the development of dictionaries and other language resources. This could aid in maintaining the language for upcoming generations.

Overall, the language of Bora Bora plays a significant role in the island’s tradition and culture. Although the language’s future is uncertain, attempts are being undertaken to preserve it for coming generations. Visitors can better understand and appreciate the island’s culture and customs by learning the language, which can be a difficult but rewarding experience. Book Far and Away Adventure’s latest packages today!

Our Top FAQ's

The Bora Bora language, also known as Tahitian, began with the arrival of Polynesian residents around 4,000 years ago. Over time, it absorbed influences from various Polynesian cultures and French, due to colonization.


French influence is evident in words like “bonjour” and “merci,” which have been integrated into the Bora Bora language. Additionally, sentence structure and syntax have been influenced by French.


The Bora Bora language is deeply intertwined with the island’s culture. It’s used in songs, dances, religious rituals, and traditional gatherings, playing a crucial role in preserving cultural heritage.


Visitors have several options for learning the Bora Bora language, including language schools, online courses, and language exchange programs. Many locals are eager to help tourists learn the language.


Learning the Bora Bora language can enhance interactions with locals, deepen cultural understanding, and provide a more immersive travel experience.

The Bora Bora language is at risk due to decreasing usage and the influence of other languages. Younger generations may not see its relevance in modern society.

Efforts to preserve the language include government language programs in schools, promotion within the travel sector, and the creation of language resources like dictionaries.

While the future of the Bora Bora language is uncertain, ongoing preservation efforts aim to maintain its significance for upcoming generations and to help visitors connect with the island’s unique culture.

Book your dream vacation here