‘Oku ‘oatu ‘a e hiva ko eni ma’amoutolu kau ‘Uiha ma’alahi. Ka ‘i ai ha me’a ‘oku hala pea mou kataki ‘o tanaki mai. 

A good way to re-learn your language is through songs. This song sung by Teine Latu is a hiva hanu a lamenting song for ‘Uiha an Island in Ha’apai and perhaps a girl left behind. The italic bolded words are all landmarks associated with ‘Uiha. This is a literal translation of the song.


  1. Fangufangu mohe he vaeua pō
  2. Si‘eku ‘ofa’ni mo e manako
  3. ‘Oku fuiva ‘a e si‘oku loto
  4. He fe‘ofa‘aki he vavamama‘o
  5. Ikai malava si‘ono ha‘aha‘a
  6.  Si‘eku ‘ofa’ni fai tokotaha
  7. Lotomo‘ua he fiemata
  8. Kae vaetu‘u a ‘e he vaha
  9. Makahokovalu te u si‘i fēfē?
  10. He ko e tauala ‘a e folau he
  11. Auhanga Mea ‘oku kei taka fe
  12. Liku’omatoto te u si‘i vale
  13. Tangi muimui si‘oku loto
  14. Ongo Ha‘angana ke ta fe‘ao
  15. ‘Otukinekina si‘oto makano
  16. Ko e na‘a a si‘i to‘onga pō
  17. Lose ‘o e MakakoFele’unga
  18. Tatongi ‘i hoku mafutefua
  19. Huni ‘o e ‘Api ko Hala ‘Ikumea
  20. Sio‘ata Vai ko Kanakana 


  1. Awoken from my slumber in the midnight hour
  2. My dear love and one desire
  3. My dear heart is a seabird
  4. that travels long-distance like our love.
  5. Not able to face her busy life full of difficulties
  6. My poor love doing it on her own
  7. My heart is concerned to see her
  8. But my feet stands still in this space/ time
  9. Makahokovalu what shall become of me?
  10. my voyage is sailing close to the wind
  11. but the wind keeps changing direction at Auhanga Mea Pass
  12. Cliff-bound coast of Matoto I will be a poor fool
  13. My dear heart cries following
  14. Two from Uiha look out for each other
  15. Weary Island (south of Uiha) is what one desires
  16. Calms my emotional state at night.
  17. The Rose of Rock of Fele’unga
  18. is imprinted in my heart makes it whole
  19. like the huni flowers at Home of Hala ‘Ikumea
  20. and the Mirrored waters of Kanakana.


Best websites for learning Tongan

Hema Fifita:

Ko e ‘uhinga eni ne u kamata ‘eku si’i feinga he ngalu’ea ma’amoutolu matua moe fanau.
I started my blog with parents, adults and children in mind to help with you all learn or be inspired to learn more. I must be doing something right. Thank you Alando Soakai for your vote. It is encouraging for me to do more. Mālō ‘aupito

Originally posted on ALANDO SOAKAI:

Children books in the Tongan language. Was brought when I was in Tonga, March 2014.

Currently, the Tongan language has minimal tools for learning how to speak Tongan. Some websites are out dated and do not capture todays audience. I have searched everywhere on the internet, book stores, CDs and even bookshops in Tonga. However, I have come across some useful sites and books I recommend.


Lets Learn Tongan is my favourite. The content is regularly updated and very suitable for todays audience. Tongan hymns and myths are posted for willing learners to learn about Tongan history. From games, activities and even print outs (mainly for children). The pronunciation section  is easy to read and understand. Targeted for beginners. You can also find them on Facebook

Speak Tongan - This site is based primarily on audio learning and is helpful for hearing the pronunciation of phrases and vocabulary. The only site…

View original 291 more words

Game: ko hai au? Who am i?

I found this game “who am i” at the flee market last week and my kids and i have been having lots of fun. You ask questions, describing people in Tongan and the other person answers ‘Io pe ‘Ikai – yes or no.


Here are some basic questions and vocabulary for you to expand your repetoire.
Ko e siana/fefine koe? Are you male/female?
‘Oku’ke…. Are you…?
‘Oku’ke tui…. Are/do you wear(ing)…?
‘Oku ‘i ai ha…? Is there a…?
‘Ulupoko – bald
‘Ulukelo – blonde
‘Ulu lanumelomelo – brunette
‘Ulu loloa – long hair
‘Ulu mingimingi – curly hair
Ihu loloa – long nose
Mata sino – fat face
Matasio’ata – glasses
Tataa – hat
Kava – beard

Is this useful? Would you like to see something added let me know.

Hiva: Ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki/ Song: I am Soldier of God



I am a soldier of God

I heard this song during this years Children’s White Sunday and have found the words to it. I am an advocate for learning through play and song so enjoy. Is this useful? Let me know?

Ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - I am a soldier of God
No’o’aki ‘a e mo’oni - tied on my belt with truth
tu’uaki e kosipeli - spreads the Gospel
pea he’ikai te u hola he fili - and I will not flee from being chosen
he ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - for I am a soldier of God

Ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - I am a soldier of God
Kofutau’aki e mā‘oni’oni - i wear the breast shield of righteousness
mo’ui pe ‘i he kelesi - filled alive with grace
pea he’ikai te u hola he fili - and I will not flee from being chosen
he ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - for I am a soldier of God

Ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - I am a soldier of God
topuva’e’aki e melino - my feet soled with peace
mo tukulolo kakato - and I surrender totally
pea he’ikai te u hola he fili - and I will not flee from being chosen
he ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - for I am a soldier of God

Ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki – I am a soldier of God
Ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki – I am a soldier of God
pea he’ikai te u hola he fili – and I will not flee from being chosen
he ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki – for I am a soldier of God

Ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - I am a soldier of God
heletā‘aki e folofola - fight with the sword of the word of god
mo’ui’aki ‘ene ‘ofa - reborn with his love
pea he’ikai te u hola he fili - and I will not flee from being chosen
he ko e sotia au ‘a e ‘Eiki - for I am a soldier of God



Sunday School questions: Fehu‘i mo e tali

One of the few memories I have of Sunday school back in the Kingdom is the fehu’i mo e tali that kids learn at Siasi Tonga Tau’ataina. I loved hearing it because the answers were always said back in a tune chant like manner which made it easy for kids to learn off by heart. Here … Continue reading

Bogan Jonah NOT from Tonga

Chris Lilley’s comedic portrayal of rebellious troubled teenager Jonah from Tonga is dissappointing to say the least. His mockumentary series really portrays the Aussie Bogan culture. But that mantle piece has already been taken by Kath & Kim and he probably wouldn’t have a following if Jonah were an Aussie, so he finds a niche for his comedy by choosing Tonga and our culture.

Definition of Bogan (noun) derogatory Aussie slag. Refers to someone who is  unsophisticated, uncivilised, lacks manners and culture, crude, no style, un-educated and regarded by society as being of low class.

While many may find it funny, this humour masks some serious issues perpetuating a negative view of Tongans and  upon our youth. 

  • The suggestion that Tongans are bad parents who breed terrible children blaming low imcome status for this vicious cycle is ridiculous.
  • The suggestion that our culture is ill-disciplined to have a ‘Jonah’ like student be so disruptive to the learning of others in class is ludicrous. I find this to be highly rascist and an over-exaggerration of reality of our Tongan youth in highschool. 

The fact that this program is airing in primetime stations like the BBC in UK and HBO in the US gives me great concern for our youth. I for one am no such Bogan, nor is my family and my kids and Tongans in general. We have a beautiful, strong, vibrant culture of respect for each other reflected in our language and our national dress. Our nation has amongst the highest literacy rates in the world. While life and sanitary conditions in England was harsh in the late 1700s, Captain Cook found our islands civilised with order and houses and well maintained gardens and paths.

Ta’e fiemālie ‘aupito he mafola ‘a e polokalama’ni he ngalu’ea.




















A Royal visit: 3 lessons to learn

Royal visit to Tongan Language School


On the 15th of March, I as a student and a parent of two joined the Tongan Language School here in Sydney to welcom the daughter of King Tupou VI, Princess Angelika Lātūpfuipeka to our School.  So what! What is all the fuss about you say? Well 3 Tongan words sum up the significance of this occasion and the lessons I would share with my children.

  1. Faka’apa’apa = (Respect)
  2. Fakalāngilangi (to honour)
  3. ‘Ilo (knowledge)  or Taumu’a ke ‘ilo (Inspire to learn)

I want my kids to live a life of respect. We may not see the Princess every day but we can show respect to our parents, our siblings, our fahu, teachers and  elders. Sitting on the mat was one way the children were showing their respect for the Princess.

I want my children to show respect and honor in order to receive it. The highest honor the Tongan Language School could give the Princess is the ‘ilokava (royal kava ceremony). And in honoring her, I was also honored to take part in the Royal kava circle. As a woman and a commoner to take part and to use my family matapule name was like having a title bestowed upon me and having my mother and all my ancestors sitting there with me.

To have the knowledge of why things are done like the kava ceremony and the origin of the fuakava (the first kava) connects me to my language, my family and my roots and seeing the ‘ilokava happen before my eyes was a surreal moment in my life.

Whether it be a royal visit or a family gathering or funeral, we can show respect, we can honor and we can learn at the same time. In this modern world, where respect is fading fast, the Tongan culture of respect and family makes more sense than the celebrity all-about-me culture. I want them to aspire more to the Tongan culture rather than the celebrity culture.


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