The Tongan community is the third largest Pacific population in Aōtearoa, however the use of the Tongan language is in decline. The benefits of people feeling connected to their heritage, whakapapa and culture are statistically proven, so what better time than Tongan Language Week to scrub up on your vocab?
Here are the basics if you’re starting from scratch:
Hello: Malo e lelei
Welcome: Malo e me'a mai
Goodbye: Me'a a / 'Ofa atu
Thank you: Faka'apa'apa atu
And if you want to delve deeper into the language and culture of Tonga, the Ministry of Pacific Peoples has an educational resource that includes plenty more useful phrases and tips on pronunciation, as well as a round-up of Tongan Language Week events and celebrations: