Guide: How to Say Monkey in Samoan

Greetings! In this guide, we will explore how to say “monkey” in Samoan. Samoan, known as Gagana Samoa, is an ancient Polynesian language spoken in the islands of Samoa and American Samoa. It is a rich language with its own unique vocabulary. Let’s delve into how to express the word “monkey” in both formal and informal contexts, along with a few regional variations. So, let’s get started!


When speaking formally, it is important to show respect. Here’s how to say “monkey” in a formal manner:

“To say monkey formally in Samoan, you would use the term ‘manu simi’.”

The Samoan language appreciates precise and descriptive terms. “Manu simi” directly translates to “bird with a long tail” in English, which beautifully reflects the unique features of monkeys.


When conversing casually with friends or family, it’s common to use informal slang or nicknames. In Samoan, an informal term for “monkey” is:

“Informally, you can say ‘pāpālā’ to refer to a monkey in Samoan.”

The term “pāpālā” is frequently used in informal situations, and it has a playful and affectionate touch to it.

Regional Variations:

Samoan is spoken in various regions, and as with any language, there can be regional variations. In some parts of Samoa, another informal way of referring to a monkey is:

“In certain regions of Samoa, you may hear the term ‘momōpō’ used to describe a monkey informally.”

While not as commonly used as “pāpālā,” “momōpō” adds a delightful regional touch to Samoan vocabulary.

Tips and Examples:

To help you understand how to incorporate these terms into conversations, here are a few tips and examples:

  • When visiting Samoa, it’s always appreciated to use formal terms until you’re invited to use informal speech.
  • Here’s an example of using “manu simi” in a sentence:
    “O le manu simi e tagata uma i le vao.” (The monkey is loved by everyone in the jungle.)
  • When having a friendly conversation, feel free to use the informal term:
    “E auā lava a’u i lou pāpālā. O lea la, e hoko mai ‘upu fa’amata’iti’i o le fa’alifu fagu.” (I really like your monkey. It’s so adorable when it eats bananas)

Incorporate these phrases into your conversations, and you’re sure to impress the locals with your knowledge of Samoan!

I hope this guide has helped you understand how to say “monkey” in Samoan. Remember to use “manu simi” for formal situations, “pāpālā” for casual conversations, and if you encounter a regional variation, embrace it as a delightful nuance of the language. Enjoy your exploration of Samoan language and culture!

Written by Gail Lynn

Alofa e! I'm Gail, a passionate enthusiast of Samoan language and culture. Between teaching the world 'How to say I Love You' in Samoan and guiding a comprehensive 'Samoan Translation', I'm feeding my obsession for cooking island cuisine and exploring the majestic Polynesian landscapes. As an avid lover of phraseology, I've used the magic of letters to help a multitude of readers embrace the unique affective expressions in Samoan - whether it's saying 'Angel', 'Butterfly', or simply 'Good Night'. Join me on my linguistic journey as I share the beauty of the Samoan Tongue. Fa'a Samoa, my friends!

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