As we explain in the introductory chapters of the atlas, it is not so easy to provide a simple figure for the number of indigenous languages spoken in French Polynesia: this is due to the notorious difficulty of distinguishing between languages and dialects. That said, it appears reasonable to propose the figure of seven distinct languages in the country: Tahitian, Austral, Ra’ivavae, Rapa, Mangarevan, Pa’umotu, Marquesan.
Here is the reference map we propose for the languages of French Polynesia. (Click to enlarge.)
Among these seven languages, some – like Rapa, Mangarevan, Austral or even Pa’umotu – are particularly vulnerable: indeed, they feel the pressure of French but also of Tahitian, the dominant language in the country. The aim of our atlas is precisely to remind everyone of the linguistic wealth still alive across the territory, which cannot be just reduced to the language of Tahiti.