Tongan (/ˈtɒŋən/; lea fakatonga) is an Austronesian language of the Polynesian branch spoken in Tonga. It has around 187,000 speakers and is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO (verb–subject–object) language.
significant immigrant community in New Zealand and the United States
Official language in
Tongan is one of the multiple languages in the Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages, along with Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan and Tahitian, for example. Together with Niuean, it forms the Tongic subgroup of Polynesian.
Tongan is unusual among Polynesian languages in that it has a so-called definitive accent. As with all Polynesian languages, Tongan has adapted the phonological system of proto-Polynesian.
|Polynesian sound correspondences|
|Phoneme||Proto-Polynesian||Tongan||Niuean||Sāmoan||Rapa Nui||Tahitian||Māori||Cook Is. Māori||Hawaiian||English|
Tongan is written in a subset of the Latin script. In the old, "missionary" alphabet, the order of the letters was modified: the vowels were put first and then followed by the consonants: a, e, i, o, u, etc. That was still so as of the Privy Council decision of 1943 on the orthography of the Tongan language. However, C. M. Churchward's grammar and dictionary favoured the standard European alphabetical order, which, since his time, has been in use exclusively:
Note that the above order is strictly followed in proper dictionaries. Therefore, ngatu follows nusi, ʻa follows vunga and it also follows z if foreign words occur. Words with long vowels come directly after those with short vowels. Improper wordlists may or may not follow these rules. (For example, the Tonga telephone directory for years now ignores all rules.)
The original j, used for /tʃ/, disappeared in the beginning of the 20th century, merging with /s/. By 1943, j was no longer used. Consequently, many words written with s in Tongan are cognate to those with t in other Polynesian languages. For example, Masisi (a star name) in Tongan is cognate with Matiti in Tokelauan; siale (Gardenia taitensis) in Tongan and tiare in Tahitian. This seems to be a natural development, as /tʃ/ in many Polynesian languages derived from Proto-Polynesian /ti/.
Although the acute accent has been available on most personal computers from their early days onwards, when Tongan newspapers started to use computers around 1990 to produce their papers, they were unable to find, or failed to enter, the proper keystrokes, and it grew into a habit to put the accent after the vowel instead of on it: not á but a´. But as this distance seemed to be too big, a demand arose for Tongan fonts where the acute accent was shifted to the right, a position halfway in between the two extremes above. Most papers still follow this practice.
English, like most European languages, uses only two articles:
By contrast, Tongan has three articles, and possessives also have a three-level definiteness distinction:
There are three registers which consist of
There are also further distinctions between
For example, the phrase "Come and eat!" translates to:
The Tongan language distinguishes four persons: First person exclusive, first person inclusive, second person and third person. They appear as the four major rows in the tables below. This gives us 12 main groups.
In addition, possessive pronouns are either alienable (reddish) or inalienable (greenish), which Churchward termed subjective and objective. This marks a distinction that has been referred to, in some analyses of other Polynesian languages, as a-possession versus o-possession, respectively, though more Tongan-appropriate version would be ʻe-possession and ho-possession.
Subjective and objective are fitting labels when dealing with verbs: ʻeku taki "my leading" vs. hoku taki "my being led". However, this is less apt when used on nouns. Indeed, in most contexts hoku taki would be interpreted as "my leader", as a noun rather than a verb. What then of nouns that have no real verb interpretation, such as fale "house"?
Churchward himself laid out the distinction thus:
But what about those innumerable cases in which the possessive can hardly be said to correspond either to the subject or to the object of a verb? What, for example, is the rule or the guiding principle, which lies behind the fact that a Tongan says ʻeku paʻanga for ' my money' but hoku fale for 'my house'? It may be stated as follows: the use of ʻeku for 'my' implies that I am active, influential, or formative, &c., towards the thing mentioned, whereas the use of hoku for 'my' implies that the thing mentioned is active, influential, or formative, &c., towards me. Or, provided that we give a sufficiently wide meaning to the word 'impress', we may say, perhaps, that ʻeku is used in reference to things upon which I impress myself, while hoku is used in reference to things which impress themselves upon me.
ʻE possessives are generally used for:
Ho possessives are generally used for
There are plenty of exceptions which do not fall under the guidelines above, for instance, ʻeku tamai, "my father". The number of exceptions is large enough to make the alienable and inalienable distinction appear on the surface to be as arbitrary as the grammatical gender distinction for Romance languages, but by and large the above guidelines hold true.
The cardinal pronouns are the main personal pronouns which in Tongan can either be preposed (before the verb, light colour) or postposed (after the verb, dark colour). The first are the normal alienable possessive pronouns, the latter the stressed alienable pronouns, which are sometimes uses as reflexive pronouns, or with kia te in front the inalienable possessive forms. (There is no possession involved in the cardinal pronouns and therefore no alienable or inalienable forms).
(I, we, us)
|preposed||u, ou, ku||ma||mau|
(one, we, us)
Examples of use.
Another archaic aspect of Tongan is the retention of preposed pronouns. They are used much less frequently in Sāmoan and have completely disappeared in East Polynesian languages, where the pronouns are cognate with the Tongan postposed form minus ki-. (We love you: ʻOku ʻofa kimautolu kia te kimoutolu; Māori: e aroha nei mātou i a koutou).
The possessives for every person and number (1st person plural, 3rd person dual, etc.) can be further divided into normal or ordinary (light colour), emotional (medium colour) and emphatic (bright colour) forms. The latter is rarely used, but the two former are common and further subdivided in definite (saturated colour) and indefinite (greyish colour) forms.
(his, her, its, their)
Examples of use.
(his, her, its, their)
Examples of use:
For 'simple' two-digit multiples of ten both the 'full-style' and 'telephone-style' numbers are in equally common use, while for other two-digit numbers the 'telephone-style' numbers are almost exclusively in use:
ʻOku fiha ia? (how much (does it cost)?) Paʻanga ʻe ua-nima-noa (T$2.50)
In addition there are special, traditional counting systems for fish, coconuts, yams, etc.
There are several weekly and monthly magazines in Tongan, but there are no daily newspapers.
Weekly newspapers, some of them twice per week:
Monthly or two-monthly papers, mostly church publications:
The Tongan calendar was based on the phases of the moon and had 13 months. The main purpose of the calendar, for Tongans, was to determine the time for the planting and cultivation of yams, which were Tonga's most important staple food.
|Name||Compared to Modern Calendar|
|Lihamuʻa||mid-November to early December|
|Lihamui||mid-December to early January|
|Vaimuʻa||mid-January to early February|
|Vaimui||mid-February to early March|
|Fakaafu Moʻui||mid-March to early April|
|Fakaaafu Mate||mid-April to early May|
|Hilingakelekele||mid-May to early June|
|Hilingameaʻa||mid-June to early July|
|ʻAoʻaokimasisiva||mid-July to early August|
|Fuʻufuʻunekinanga||mid-August to early September|
|ʻUluenga||mid-September to early October|
|Tanumanga||early October to late October|
|ʻOʻoamofanongo||late October to early November.|
The Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (Tongan: Paati Temokalati ʻa e ʻOtu Motu ʻAngaʻofa) is a political party in Tonga. The party's leader at its foundation was 'Akilisi Pohiva.
The party was launched in September 2010, and included several sitting People's Representatives who were part of the Human Rights and Democracy Movement. Its policies include government transparency and economic reform.The "Friendly Islands" are a name originally given to Tonga by Captain James Cook.Europe of Nations and Freedom
Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF; French: Europe des nations et des libertés, ENL) was a political group in the European Parliament launched on 15 June 2015. The group was the smallest within the European Parliament during the eighth European Parliament term at just 37 members. The largest faction in the group was the French National Rally with 17 MEPs. Twenty-eight members were part of the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENF), with the remaining nine MEPs being their ideological allies. The ENF was the parliamentary group of the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom although some MEPs were without any European affiliations.
The group was replaced for the ninth European Parliament on 13 June 2019 by the Identity and Democracy group.Grass skirt
A grass skirt is a costume and garment made with layers of plant fibres such as grasses (Poaceae) and leaves that is fastened at the waistline.Hawaiki
In Polynesian mythology, Hawaiki (also rendered as "Avaiki" (Society Islands), "Savai'i", (Samoa), "Havai’i" (Reo Tahiti)) is the original home of the Polynesians, before dispersal across Polynesia. It also features as the underworld in many Māori stories.
Anne Salmond states Havai'i is the old name for Raiatea, the homeland of the Māori. When James Cook first sighted New Zealand in 1769, he had Tupaia on board, a Raiatean navigator and linguist. Cook's arrival seemed to be a confirmation of a prophecy by Toiroa, a priest from Mahia. At Tolaga Bay, Tupaia conversed with the priest, tohunga, associated with the school of learning located there, called Te Rawheoro. The priest asked about the Maori homelands, 'Rangiatea' (Ra'iatea), 'Hawaiki' (Havai'i, the ancient name for Ra'iatea), and 'Tawhiti' (Tahiti).Jonathan (name)
Jonathan (Hebrew: יְהוֹנָתָן/יוֹנָתָן, Standard Yonatan / Yəhonatan Tiberian Yônāṯān) is a common male given name meaning "YHWH has given" in Hebrew. The earliest known use of the name was in the Bible, one Jonathan was the son of King Saul, a close friend of David.
Variants of Jonathan include Jonathon, Johnathan, Jonothon, Jonothan, Johnathen, Johnathon, Jhonathan, Jonatan and Jhonnathan. Biblical variants include Yehonathan, Y'honathan, Yhonathan, Yonathan, Yonatan, Yonaton, Yonoson, Yeonoson or Yehonasan. In Israel, "Yoni" is a common nickname for Yonatan (Jonathan) in the same way Jonny is in English.The name was the 31st most popular boys' name in the United States in 2011, according to the SSA.Nicknames include Jonny, John, Jon, Jono, Jon Boy and Jona. In the past, Jo and Jonty were common diminutives of Jonathan in the United Kingdom but this is much rarer now.
Names with similar meanings include Theodosius in Greek, Khodadad in Persian and Bozhidar or Bogdan in Slavonic.
In the English-speaking world, the name saw its first popularity with the Puritans during the English Civil War. Following Puritan migration to North America, the name became synonymous with New England and the United States as a whole, with the character Brother Jonathan becoming a personification of the country during the American Revolutionary War.LGBT rights in Tonga
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Tonga face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Homosexuality is illegal in Tonga, with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, but the law is not enforced.Tongan society is very socially conservative and highly religious. The Tongan Government requires all religious references on broadcast media to conform to mainstream Christian beliefs. The mixture of conservative values and colonial-era laws has resulted in a climate of fear, discrimination and homophobia for LGBT people. Along with Kiribati, Tonga is the only Polynesian country to not have signed or expressed support for the 2011 "joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity" at the United Nations, which condemnes violence and discrimination against LGBT people.Many gay and lesbian Tongans emigrate to Australia or New Zealand in order to live a more open life that they may not get to experience in their native land.Legislative Assembly of Tonga
The Legislative Assembly (Tongan: Fale Alea) of Tonga has 25 members in which 17 members elected by majority of the people for a 5-year term in multi-seat constituencies via the single non-transferable vote system. There are 8 members elected by the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga. The Assembly is controlled by the speaker of the House who is elected by majority of the elected members of Parliament and constitutionally appointed by the king.List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Oceania
This is a list of sovereign states and dependent territories in Oceania. Although it is mostly ocean and spans many continental plates, Oceania is often listed with the continents.
This list follows the boundaries of geopolitical Oceania, which includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. The main continental landmass of Oceania is Australia.The boundary between Asia and Oceania is not clearly defined. For political reasons, the United Nations considers the boundary between the two regions to be the Indonesian–Papua New Guinean border. Papua New Guinea is occasionally considered Asian as it neighbours Indonesia, but this is rare, and it is generally accepted to be part of Oceania. Geographically, Papua and West Papua provinces are part of Oceania.Marae
A marae (in New Zealand Māori, Cook Islands Māori, Tahitian), malaʻe (in Tongan), meʻae (in Marquesan), and malae (in Samoan) is a communal or sacred place that serves religious and social purposes in Polynesian societies. In all these languages, the term also means "cleared, free of weeds, trees, etc". Marae generally consist of an area of cleared land roughly rectangular (the marae itself), bordered with stones or wooden posts (called au in Tahitian and Cook Islands Māori) perhaps with paepae (terraces) which were traditionally used for ceremonial purposes; and in some cases, a central stone ahu or a'u. In the Rapa Nui culture of Easter Island, the term ahu has become a synonym for the whole marae complex.
In some modern Polynesian societies, notably that of the Māori of Aotearoa New Zealand, the marae is still a vital part of everyday life. In tropical Polynesia, most marae were destroyed or abandoned with the arrival of Christianity in the 19th century, and some have become an attraction for tourists or archaeologists. Nevertheless, the place where these marae were built are still considered tapu (sacred) in most of these cultures.Māhū
Māhū ('in the middle') in Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) and Maohi (Tahitian) cultures are third gender persons with traditional spiritual and social roles within the culture, similar to Tongan fakaleiti and Samoan fa'afafine, Kāne (men) who have sexual relationships with men are Aikāne.
According to present-day māhū kumu hula Kaua'i Iki:
Māhū were particularly respected as teachers, usually of hula dance and chant. In pre-contact times māhū performed the roles of goddesses in hula dances that took place in temples which were off-limits to women. Māhū were also valued as the keepers of cultural traditions, such as the passing down of genealogies. Traditionally parents would ask māhū to name their children.Nicholas
Nicholas, Nickolas, Nikolas, Nikolaus or Nicolas is a male given name, derived from the Greek name Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), a compound of νίκη nikē 'victory' and λαός; laos 'people'. The name became popular through Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, the inspiration for Santa Claus. The Greek word laos originates from the word root -las, as found in the word λα-τομεῑο la-tomeio meaning "stone" or "rock" (as in Greek Mythology, Deucalion and Pyrrha recreated the people after they had vanished in a catastrophic deluge, by throwing stones behind their shoulders while they kept marching on) and the name can be understood to mean victory of the people. The name Nikolaos (Νικόλαος) pre-existed the Bishop of Myra who became Saint Nicholas, by several centuries. The Athenian historian Thucydides mentions that in the second year of the Peloponnesian war (431 to 404 BC) between Sparta and Athens, the Spartans sent a delegation to the Persian king to ask for his help to fight the Athenians; Nikolaos was one of the delegates. The customary English version of spelling "Nicholas", using an "h", first came into use in the 12th century and has been firmly established since the Reformation, though "Nicolas" is occasionally used.
In the United States, Nicholas – and its variations – was the 17th most popular male name given to babies in 2006. Roughly 0.7151% of the baby boys born that year, or 15,414, were given that name. It is decreasing in popularity, from a high in 1997, when 27,248 males in the United States were given the name Nicholas. That year was the most popular year for Nicholas since 1880, when U.S. records were kept for given names.The Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican Churches celebrate Saint Nicholas every year on December 6, which is the name day for "Nicholas". In Greece, the name and its derivatives are especially popular in maritime regions, as St. Nicholas is considered the protector saint of seafarers.Niuean language
Niuean (; ko e vagahau Niuē) is a Polynesian language, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian languages. It is most closely related to Tongan and slightly more distantly to other Polynesian languages such as Māori, Sāmoan, and Hawaiian. Together, Tongan and Niuean form the Tongic subgroup of the Polynesian languages. Niuean also has a number of influences from Samoan and Eastern Polynesian languages.Pākehā
Pākehā (or Pakeha; , Māori pronunciation: [ˈpaːkɛhaː]) is a Māori-language term for New Zealanders primarily of European descent (a distinct Pakeha lineage has formed due to interbreeding between settlers and Maori over the course of New Zealand's colonized history). The term is also applied to fair-skinned persons, or to any non-Māori New Zealander. Papa'a has a similar meaning in Cook Islands Māori.Its etymology is unclear, but the term pākehā was in use by the late 18th century. In December 1814, the Māori children at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands were "no less eager to see the packaha than the grown folks".
In Māori, plural nouns of the term include ngā pākehā (the definite article) and he pākehā (the indefinite article). When the word was first adopted, the usual plural in English was "pakehas". However, speakers of New Zealand English are increasingly removing the terminal "s" and treating the term as a collective noun.
Opinions of the term vary amongst European New Zealanders. Some reject it on the ground that they claim it is offensive, or they object to being named in a language other than their own. A sample of 6,507 New Zealanders found no support for the claim that the term "Pākehā" is associated with a negative evaluation, and a great many Pākehā take pride in the name as a symbol of their connection to Aotearoa.In 2013, the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study carried out by the University of Auckland found no evidence that the word was widely considered to be derogatory; however, only 12 per cent of New Zealanders of European descent chose to be identified by the term, with the remainder preferring "New Zealander" (53 per cent), "New Zealand European" (25 per cent) or "Kiwi" (17 per cent).Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free
"Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free" is the national anthem of Zambia. The tune is taken from the hymn "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" (English: "Lord Bless Africa"), which was composed by South African Enoch Sontonga, in 1897. The lyrics were composed after Zambian independence to specifically reflect Zambia, as opposed to Sontonga's lyrics which refer to Africa as a whole.Tonga Broadcasting Commission
Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC) (Tongan: Komisoni Fakamafolalea Tonga) is the first and largest broadcasting station in Tonga, solely owned by the government of Tonga. It operates two free-to-air TV channels (Television Tonga and Television Tonga 2), one AM commercial radio channel (Radio Tonga), one FM commercial radio channel (Kool 90FM), and a 24-hour Radio Australia relay channel (FM103). TBC relies on profits from its TV & radio advertising sales, and from its retail radio shop outlet located in Vava'u. Its retail radio shop in Nukuʻalofa's Central Business District was among the numerous businesses destroyed in the riots of 16 November 2006.Tonga language
Tonga may refer to five different languages:
Tongan language, or Tonga (ISO 639-3: ton) – a Polynesian language spoken in Tonga in the South Pacific
Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), or Chitonga (ISO 639-3: toi) – a Bantu language spoken in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique
Tonga (Nyasa) language, or Chitonga (ISO 639-3: tog) – a Bantu language spoken in Malawi
Guitonga language (Mozambique), or Gitonga (ISO 639-3: toh) – a Bantu language spoken in Mozambique
Ten'edn, also known as Tonga or Mos (ISO 639-3: tnz) – a Mon-Khmer language spoken in Thailand and MalaysiaTongan
Tongan may refer to:
Something of, from, or related to the country of Tonga
Tongans, people from Tonga
Tongan language, the national language of Tonga
Tong'an District, a district in Xiamen, Fujian, ChinaTongan paʻanga
The paʻanga is the currency of Tonga. It is controlled by the National Reserve Bank of Tonga (Pangikē Pule Fakafonua ʻo Tonga) in Nukuʻalofa. The paʻanga is not convertible and is pegged to a basket of currencies comprising the Australian, New Zealand, and United States dollars and the Japanese yen.
The paʻanga is subdivided into 100 seniti. The ISO code is TOP, and the usual abbreviation is T$ (¢ for seniti). In Tonga, the paʻanga is often referred to in English as the dollar, the seniti as the cent and the hau as the union. There is also the unit of hau (1 hau = 100 paʻanga), but this is not used in everyday life and can be found only on commemorative coins of higher denominations.ʻOkina
The ʻokina, also called by several other names, is a unicameral consonant letter used within the Latin script to mark the phonemic glottal stop, as it is used in many Polynesian languages.
of New Zealand
and other territories