Language provides hope for Tuvalu

Pacific Peoples

Climate change continues to present a major risk for the island nation of Tuvalu, which means sustaining te gana Tuvalu, both on home soil and in New Zealand Aotearoa, has never been more important, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said.

The Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust and wider Tuvalu community have selected the  Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu – Tuvalu Language Week 2022 - theme, Fakamautu ke mautakitaki te gagana Tuvalu mo te atafai, fakaaloalo mo te amanaiagina.

“This translates as, ‘Nurture with sustainability the Tuvalu language, with care, respect and dignity.’

“This theme also links to the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks overarching topic of sustainability and the launch of the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous languages; as well as the Government’s Pacific Languages Strategy which was launched on Friday.”

“Of those residing in New Zealand, 48 percent use te gana Tuvalu; while 33 percent of New Zealand-born Tuvaluans can speak their own language.

“With a 4,653 strong population in New Zealand, it’s important to ensure the Tuvalu language, culture and identity continues to be sustainable in Aotearoa as well.”

Tuvalu consists of nine inhabited islands with a population of approximately 11,000. The importance of sustaining te gana Tuvalu is heightened by the unique challenges the planet’s fourth-smallest nation faces with climate change.

“I can think of lots of examples where Tuvaluan people come together to speak and utilise their language, through communal gatherings - fakaala, traditional forms of dancing - fatele, songs or pese, lotu and church,” Aupito William Sio said.

“The time to act is now, not only in doing our bit to reduce the impact of climate change on our Pacific neighbours, but to support the language, culture and traditions of Tuvalu to ensure its people thrive.

“One way to do that, is get involved in Tuvalu Language Week and immerse yourself in language learning through traditional dancing, songs, cooking, online-videos, teachings, church services and youth activities.” 

Editors Note: Visit the MPP website and the NZ Tuvalu Language Week Facebook page for more information and language resources on Tuvalu Language Week, September 25 to

October 1, 2022.

Te Gana se fakamoemoega mo Tuvalu

Mafulifuliga o tau o aso ka tumau loa tena fakamafua fakalavelave lasi ki te Atufenua o Tuvalu, tena uiga te fakatumau te gana Tuvalu, i te fenua tonu penei foki mo Niu Sila Aotearoa, ka seai aka foki se mea e taua penei, muna te Minisita mo tino Pasefika Aupito Viliamu Sio.

Te Fakapotopotoga a te Tuvalu mo tino Tuvalu katoa ko oti ne filifili te muna tuku o te Vaiaso o te gana Tuvalu 2022 - Fakamautu ke mautakitaki te gagana Tuvalu mo te atafai, fakaaloalo mo te amanaiagina.

Ko tena fuliga fakapalagi, ‘Nurture with sustainability the Tuvalu language, with care, respect and dignity.’

“Te muna tuku tenei se vaega o Vaiaso o gana Pasefika 2022 kola e aofia ei a mataupu penei mo te fakatutumau fakatasi ei mo te talaga ote UNESCO Sefulu tausaga o gana totino.

“E tonu ia latou kola ko nofo i Niu Sila, 48 pasene e fakaaoga te gana Tuvalu, kae 33 pasene o tino Tuvalu ne fanau i Niu Sila nei e mafai o faipati faka Tuvalu.

“Mo te malosiga o te 4,653 tino Tuvalu i Niu Sila nei, e taua ke fakamautinoa te gana Tuvalu, tuu mo iloga e fakatumau faeloa i luga i Aotearoa nei."

Tuvalu e aofia ei e iva fenua e nofogina e se aofaki o tino e nofo ki te 11,000. Te taua o te fakatumauga o te gana Tuvalu e fakamaluga ne te salakese mai o fakalavelave o te faa o fenua foliki i te lalolagi mai luga i mafulifuliga o tau o aso.

"E uke a pogai i toku mafaufau kola e maopoopo ei tino Tuvalu ke faipati io me fakaaoga te lotou gana, i loto i fakatasiga faka fenua – fakaala, faiga o fakafiafiaga faka aganuku – fatele, vii mo pese lotu,” muna a Aupito Viliamu Sio.

“Nei ko te taimi ke fai se faiga, se gata fua i te fai tou tiute ke fakafoliki te pokotia mai mafulifuliga o tau o aso ki tou fenua tuakoi Pasefika, kae ke fakamalosi a gana, tuu mo aganuku a Tuvalu ke fakamautinoa te fano ki mua o tou tino.

“Tasi te auala ke fai te mea na, ko te kaufakatasi ki te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu kae kau koe ki taulotoga o te gana e i luga i mako faka aganuku, pese, faiga o meakai, ata online, akoakoga, lotu mo faigamea a talavou.”

Asiasi ki te  MPP website mo te NZ Tuvalu Language Week Facebook page mo nisi fakamatalaga mo nisi mea taua ki luga i te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu, Setema 25 ki a Oketopa 1, 2022.