Tongan Language

Tongan Language Resources

Pacific Learners is passionate about the revitalisation of the Tongan language, we do this by producing video content for Tongan Language Week and beyond.

UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) outlines the urgent need to protect, revitalise and promote indigenous languages around the world.

Given this urgency, UNESCO has launched the ‘Global Action Plan of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, 2022-2032’.

As we embark on our strategy to revitalise Pacific Languages, we will be creating content that will strengthen basic Tongan language abilities, which will be done through the creation of animated videos, images and Tongan-language interviews.

Lastly, the content on this page is free to use. As such, if you require a copy of any image, please send us a message thought our contacts page. For more information about Pacific Leaners visit the ‘about us‘ page.

Tongan Language Resources

Tongan language images and infographics 

Tongan Language Videos

Tongan words for food

This video gives you quick Tongan translations for 16 food and drink items. You can use words like ‘Pēkani’ which means ‘Bacon’ and ‘Huʻakau’ which means ‘Milk’ and many more. 


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Tongan words for items at the supermarket

Learning another language can be fun, so a great way to become familair with common words is to use them in real life situations. 

In this video, you can learn words like ‘Huʻakau’ which means ‘Milk’ or ‘Pōlisi’ which means ‘Porridge’, and many more. 

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Tongan words for things you see at school

To prepare our children for school, we have put together 15 Tongan words for things our children will see when they get to school.

It is important that our children keep speaking their Pacific language when they are at school, at home and when they are with their friends. 

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Tongan words for celebrating Christmas

With the Christmas season fast approaching, we give you a video of 14 Tongan words that you can use when celebrating Christmas.

Christmas is a time of giving, spending time with family and, most of all, remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. 

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Tongan words for family members

“Tongan words for family members” is our newest video in a series exploring Pacific culture and language.

Family members have roles and responsibilities in line with the Tongan social hierarchy. As a traditionally matriarchal society, women generally hold a higher social standing than men

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Tongan Song – ‘Ilonga ha taha

Learning faith based songs is a great way to connect with culture and customs. In this hymn, Talia’s cousin sings the first verse of ‘Ilonga ha taha, which speaks about searching for Jesus.

Faith is a significant part of Tongan culture and plays an important part in raising Pacific children. Christian principles such as love, hope, forgiveness, peace, compassion and service allows our children to grow up being thriving contributors to society.

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Tongan basic words and phrases

Understanding basic Tongan words and phrases is a great starting point for your Tongan learning journey. Learn how to say phrases like “Thank you”, “Excuse me” and “Where are you going?” with this video.

You can also learn basic Tongan words like “Please” and “Finish”, or gain an understanding of Tongan numbers from “Taha”, one, to “Hongofulu”, ten. We also introduce the sixteen letters of the Tongan alphabet, from “a” to “v”.

Use this video as a springboard for more advanced Tongan language learning, or a basic introduction to the wonderful native language of Tonga.

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Tongan common phrases

Impress friends and family with 18 common Tongan phrases, introduced in this video. We use phrases like “come and eat” every day – help promote the Tongan language by using “ha’u ‘o kai”, instead. Meeting new people? Ask, “Ko hai ho hingoa?” instead of “What’s your name?” or “Ko ho’o ha’u mei fe?” instead of “Where are you from?”.

By blending common Tongan phrases into our daily language, we are doing our part in promoting the Tongan language. This video has 18 Tongan phrases you can use instead of the English version. Give it a go!

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Tongan words for Shapes and Colours

“The sky is lanu pulu today.”
“Look at the fetu’u!”

With this video, you will be able to translate ten different colours and ten different shapes into the Tongan language.

Gain an appreciation for the Tongan way and try to incorporate Tongan vocabulary into your everyday language! This is a great beginners resource for those wanting to learn this beautiful language.

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The Lords Prayer in Tongan

Passing on simple cultural phrases, prayers and songs can have a positive and meaningful impact on our children’s sense of belonging and identity, which is an important part of our children’s growth.

In this video, we introduce you to the Tongan translation of The Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer has long been used as a tool to compare language, and is a central prayer in the Christian faith.

Wherever you are on your Tongan learning journey, watch this video and give the Lord’s Prayer a go!

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Tongan words for items found around the house

The next step on your Tongan language journey is to learn about the items we use everyday! Wondered what the Tongan translation for “bed” is? Or what about the toilet?

Use this video as a resource to take you to the next level of understanding Tongan vocabulary and try to incorporate them into your everyday language.

For example, instead of saying “Pass me the comb”, use “Pass me the helu”. Even small steps make a big difference! 

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I am Tongan

Giving our children an understanding of where they are from is key in developing their identity and forms a sense of cultural belonging.

In this video, Tevita introduces the class to the Kingdom of Tonga – where Tonga is, who makes up Tonga, and the cultural practices of Tonga.

Watch this video for the Tongan national anthem, the significance of ta’ovala, and more information on the Kingdom of Tonga. How many islands does Tonga have? What is special about “Ko e ‘Otua mo Tonga”?

Wherever you are on your Tongan learning journey, watch this video to gain an appreciation for this amazing country.

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Observing the Sabbath – Tonga

Pacific children are often raised upon Christian values and principles, so observing the Sabbath is common practice. In Tonga, the Constitution states that Sunday – the Sabbath Day – is to be “kept holy”. So what does this mean?

In this video, Mele and her mum talk about how the Sabbath has been observed in Tonga and what it means for children living outside of Tonga.

Gain an appreciation for the cultural values of the Kingdom of Tonga, gain an understanding of what Sabbath means, and explore its relation to the principles that underpin Pacific ways of living.

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‘E’ Otua Tataki Au – Building Cultural Connections

Listen to the Tongan hymn ‘E ‘Otua Tataki Au in this video, starring Talia. Talia grew up hearing this song, just like many other Tongan children.

Incorporating culture into our daily home lives means our children build long-lasting cultural connections and gain an understanding of where they are from and who they are.

Building cultural connections is a vital part of helping our children grow, allowing them space to build their own identities underpinned by the cultural values they grew up surrounded by.

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