A few weeks ago I had to sit in a Samoan language class for evaluating purposes. The teacher explained that in the Samoan language susu is the word for ‘milk’. It is hence exactly the same word as in Indonesian.
Samoan and Malay—Two Austronesian Languages
Samoan and Malay (Indonesian) are both descendants of the same language family, which is called Austronesian (“The Southern Islands”). Essential and frequently used words tend to be conservative and do not change easily. So the words mata (eye), lima (five) are identical to Indonesian while other words have undergone slight phonetic changes. The Indonesian-Malay sepuluh (ten) has become sefulu in Samoan, and Malay words that have a final consonant, see that consonant lost in Samoan: langit (sky) became lagi (pronounced langi).
The fact that susu has the same meaning in Indonesian and Samoan is not surprising. But what really surprised me is, that the teacher explained further that the word susu, besides ‘milk’, also means ‘female breast’. This is again, exactly the same meaning as in Malay-Indonesian.
Other words for female breast are payudara, buah dada, and tetek.
‘To suck at the breast or udder, to suckle, breastfeed’ is either menyusu or menetek. ‘
To nourish at the breast, to nurse, breastfeed’ is menyusui or meneteki
Menetek and menyusu are intransitive words, that is, they cannot take an object:
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