Tahitian is a Polynesian language spoken in French Polynesia by about 68,000 people. Most speakers of the language live in the Society Islands (Îles de la Société) and some islands in the Tuamotus including the Mihiroa group. It is also spoken in New Caledonia, New Zealand and Vanuatu, and is closely related to Rarotongan and Hawai'ian.
Until the early 19th century Tahitian was a purely oral language. A Tahitian spelling system using the Latin alphabet was developed by John Davis, a Welsh historian and linguist, and proposed on 8th March 1805. Davis produduced the first printed book in Tahitian, an ABC called Te Aebi no Tahiti, in 1810. Most of the written material published since has been of a religious or educational nature.