Tokelau Languages

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Description[edit | edit source]

The official Languages of Tokelu are Tokelauan and English. Most residents are multilingual, but Tokelauan is spoken by 88% of the residents. Of the 4600 people who speak the language, 1600 of them live in the three atolls of Tokelau – Atafu, Nukunono and Fakaofo. The rest live in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and the West Coast of the United States.

The Tokelauan Language:

  • is a Polynesian language spoken in Tokelau and on Swains Island (or Olohega) in American Samoa
  • is closely related to Tuvaluan and Samoan
  • was the language of day-to-day affairs in Tokelau until at least the 1990s [1]

Languages Spoken on Tokelau

  • Tokelauan 88.1%
  • English 48.6%,
  • Samoan 26.7%,
  • Tuvaluan 11.2%,
  • Kiribati 1.5%,
  • other 2.8%,
  • none 2.8%,
  • unspecified 0.8% (2016 ests.)

note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census

Word List(s)[edit | edit source]

Tokelauan English
Fanatu au là? Shall I come too?
Ko toku nena e i Nukunonu. My grandmother lives in Nukunonu.
Malo ni, ea mai koe? Hello, how are you?
Ko ai tō igoa? What is your name?
Fakafeiloaki Greetings
Mālo ni! Hello
Ulu tonu mai Welcome
E fakafeiloaki atu We greet you
Fakafetai Thank you
Tōfā ni Good bye
Te malie o te meakai The food is delicious.
Tokelauan (Fuainūmela) English Number
Hēai / Helo / Kole Zero 0
Tahi One 1
Lua Two 2
Tolu Three 3
Four 4
Lima Five 5
Ono Six 6
Fitu Seven 7
Valu Eight 8
Iva Nine 9
Hefulu Ten 10
Tokelauan (Fuainūmela) English Number
Hefulutahi Eleven 11
Hefululua Twelve 12
Hefulutolu Thirteen 13
Hefulufā Fourteen 14
Hefululima Fifteen 15
Hefuluono Sixteen 16
Hefulufitu Seventeen 17
Hefuluvalu Eighteen 18
Hefuluiva Nineteen 19
Luahefulu Twenty 20
Tokelauan (Fuainūmela) English Number
Toluhefulu Thirty 30
Fāhefulu Forty 40
Limahefulu Fifty 50
Onohefulu Sixty 60
Fituhefulu Seventy 70
Valuhefulu Eighty 80
Ivahefulu Ninety 90
Helau One Hundred 100
Tokeualuan (Fuainūmela) English Number
Tahi te afe /Afe One Thousand 1000
Lua te afe / Luaafe Two Thousand 2000
Tolu te afe / Toluafe Three Thousand 3000
Fā te afe / Fāafe Four Thousand 4000
Lima te afe / Limaafe Five Thousand 5000

Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Tokelauan language," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 27 Jun 2021.