Understanding The Tongan Language & Providing Professional Tongan Interpreters, Translators and Transcriptionists
American Language Services ® (ALS) understands the importance of working in the Tongan language. For over a Quarter of a Century, American Language Services ® has worked with the Tongan language as well as hundreds of others from around the world. We offer comprehensive language services 24 hours, 7 days a week worldwide by providing Tongan interpreting, translation and transcriptions services along with hundreds of other languages and dialects. Our linguists are native speakers and writers who are screened, credentialed, certified, field tested and experienced in a number of specific industry settings. The Tongan language is unique and has very specific origins and characteristics.
Tonga and the Tongan Language
Spoken mainly in Tonga, the Tongan language is one of the many Polynesian branch languages. Tonga, the only sovereign monarchy among the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, has the distinction of being the only island nation in the region to have avoided formal colonization. Before the arrival of European explorers in the late 1600s and early 1700's, the Tongans were in frequent contact with their nearest Oceanic neighbors, Fiji and Samoa. In the 1800's, with the arrival of Western traders and missionaries, Tongan culture changed dramatically. Some old beliefs and habits were thrown away, and others adopted. Some accommodations made in the 1800's and changing Western civilization is now challenging early 1900's. Contemporary Tongans often have strong ties to overseas lands. Many Tongans have emigrated to Australia, New Zealand, and the United States to seek employment and a higher standard of living.
The Tongan Alphabet
Tongan is unusual among Polynesian languages in that it has a so-called definitive accent. Like all Polynesian languages, Tongan has adapted the phonological system of proto-Polynesian. In the old, "missionary" alphabet, the vowels were put first and then followed by the consonants (a, e, i, o, u, f... etc.). This was still so as of the Privy Council decision of 1943 on the orthography of the Tongan language.
Tongan Language Syllabification
Each syllable has exactly one vowel. The number of syllables in a word is exactly equal to the number of vowels it has. Each syllable may have no more than one consonant and consonant combinations are not permitted. The complex syllabification of the Tongan language makes it imperative to have a skilled translator who understands these subtleties.
Who are You Going to Trust with Your Vital Tongan Language Needs?
The Tongan language is an important language worldwide. It is vital to understand the general nature and specific idiosyncrasies of Tongan. Since 1985, ALS has provided outstanding Tongan interpreters, translators and transcriptionsts worldwide.
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