Is it Taha'a or Tahaa?

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A land of many names...

It’s not a mistake! The true Tahitian spelling of Tahaa is with an apostrophe but it might lead to some confusion for those unfamiliar with the sometimes tongue-tying Tahitian language. There are actually a lot of apostrophes in the Tahitian language and, as with the case of Tahaa, these words should be pronounced with a slight pause between vowels to represent the glottal stop. Think of it as the similar break between “Uh-oh” in English. Nevertheless, and perhaps more widely accepted by English speakers, the spelling of Tahaa sans the apostrophe can be found frequently throughout the internet and beyond.

Further research on the name Tahaa will turn up the alternate names of “Uporu Island”, “Oataha” and perhaps most famously “The Vanilla Island”. The latter of these names of course refers to the Island’s global status as a major producer of Vanilla; estimated at 25 tons a year and accounting for more than 70% of all the vanilla produced in French Polynesia.

So, whether you say Taha’a, Tahaa, or the Vanilla Island, this beautiful and fragrant little island is definitely worth a visit!

 







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