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By Gina Magele

APIA, Samoa (January 29, 2001 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---The first dictionary to be written solely in the Samoan language was launched at the National Teachers Conference at Malifa.

The dictionary, Utugagana, is aimed at students in grades seven and eight.

The ceremony was attended by Education Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Youth Sports and Culture Minister Leota Lu II, and Ed Peek of AusAID (Australian Aid).

Mr. Peek said the dictionary marks a cornerstone in the production of educational materials in Samoa.

Mr. Peek singled out Ainslie Soo, who has a Master of the Arts in Linguistics, for playing a major part in the production of the dictionary.

Fiame spoke on the rapid progression that the project has taken over the last five years. She said the dictionary would secure a better academic future and take education standards higher for the children of Samoa.

Developments now are under way for a Samoan dictionary focused at the older learning generation.

Fiame gave special thanks to Mr. Peek for the continual financial contribution throughout the project.

Minister Leota Lu II was also thanked for his department’s participation in the project.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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