The app designed to foster the Samoan language was created by couple Canon Taito and his wife Tracey Collins who reside in Brisbane, Australia. The idea was sparked after having their children.
“We have young children ages four, six and eleven who don’t understand or speak Samoan and we want them to understand and speak as it’s a part of their identity and who we are,” says Canon.
Since the app was launched late last year, the pair have had over 3500 downloads on iOS and 500 on Android with most downloads from America and Australia and New Zealand coming third – followed by Samoa and Europe.
Canon’s work as a programmer for a living has been beneficial in creating the app and he enjoys the productiveness.
“We first released the app in October 2014 on the Apple app store, since I’ve only previously created iOS apps and straight away there was a lot of feedback to create an android app; so we saw it as a challenge and learned how to create the Android version which was released in December last year.”
He says like many businesses starting out, self discipline is key especially when juggling their busy lifestyles.
“We both have full time jobs but after hours we work on the Fa’a Samoa app.
“Tracey does the voice over recordings for the Samoa words and phrases and I will do all the coding required to tie it all together and then release to the Apple app store and Android Google Play store accordingly.”
With Samoan language week approaching in May, their innovation is a cause for celebration in keeping the Samoan language alive.
Twitter followers have tweeted their delight:
Fa’afetai Jr Brown @realteejaaybrwn tweeted, “Downloaded the #FaaSamoa app #KeepMyGaganaAlive.”
Monty Betham @MontyBetham13: “@FaaSamoaApp, I’ve downloaded too thanks. Just what I need.”
Iafeta Paleaaesina @Fex_P: “Thanks for creating the @FaaSamoaApp guys. Learn Samoan worldwide. Keep up the great work! #FaaSamoa.”
The app can be purchased and downloaded at the Apple app store and Google play for $1.28.