The more languages you can share your work in, the smaller the cultural divide of the world can be. When you can use a Tongan translator to reach the Tongan community, maintaining cultural dialect and respect of the language, you can find a whole new audience base while bringing the global community closer together.
A Bit of Tongan History and Culture
Tonga – A Brief History
Tonga consists of a group of small islands scattered across an area of the South Pacific Ocean that is about 270,000 square miles. However, the total surface size of the 176 islands combined is only about 290 square miles. That is smaller than one-third of Luxembourg, or about four times the size of Washington, DC, according to Nationsonline.org.
The population of Tonga is around 106,000. Tonga is at least 3,000 years old from the time when the Austronesian people of the Lapita culture lived there. Sacred kings and queens ruled Tonga through the 1700s. This Polynesian group of islands also used to be known as The Friendly Islands and once was ruled by the United Kingdom. Part of this rule was to discourage German advances on the islands. However, in 1970, Tonga cut off its official ties with the UK but is still a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations. Now Tonga is an independent, sovereign nation.
We mentioned that Tonga consists of over 170 islands. However, people only live on about 36 of them. Most Tongan people, about two-thirds of the population, live on Tongatapu, the main island. The main languages the people here speak are Tongan and English; both are official languages.
Tongan People and Culture
As we said, most of the population of Tonga lives on the main island of Tongatapu, and that urban population is growing, according to Britannica.com. However, most people live in rural villages. Tonga is also quite closely connected to New Zealand and the United States, and many Tongans move there. There is a bit of Western influence in the culture of Tonga, however, a lot of the Tongan cultural history and traditions remain in the food and drink, the beautiful woven cloth called tapa, and traditional song and dance. There is also a strong oral tradition consisting of proverbs, religious epics, poetry, fables, and myths.
This Polynesian culture is known for its unique culture, its friendly people, and strong ties to family. The people also maintain strong ties to the Christian church and their culture. You’ll often see Tongans wearing their traditional clothing, the different pieces called ta’ovala, kiekie, vala, kofu, and tupenu.
Tonga is also a very young population with a median age of 22.4. This is important when it comes to translation and opening up global communication.
The Tongan Language
Malo e lelei – this is the typical greeting in Tonga and means Hello. Of course, it’s simply the verbal greeting, and there is also a physical traditional greeting of putting cheeks together. Visitors may be greeted with Talitali fiefia, which means welcome. Tongans are quite traditional in their language customs and often avoid direct or negative criticism. They also like to speak in a polite and positive manner. These are all important characteristics when it comes to Tongan translation and working with a Tongan translator. A Tongan translator should know the intricacies of the language and how to maintain that respect and positivity.
Remember, English is a language of Tonga as well, so there are many opportunities to work with a Tongan translator, both within the country and without. Tonga has a complex social structure, and this is prevalent in not only the culture but also the language.
The Importance of a Tongan Translator
Translation is so much more than a word-for-word interpretation. Translation includes nuances, culture, and respect for the language. It can create global communities, shared experiences, and new bonds. However, translation must work in a respectful, genuine manner. This article shares a good perspective on translation:
In today’s globalized world, the crucial role of communication has never been more critical. Modern technology, like the internet, is helping break geographical barriers by connecting people. With countries and cultures coming together, it is necessitating smoother communication.
However, with over 7,000 languages spoken in the world, communication in a globalized society is translating into a big problem. This is where translation comes in handy.
In simple terms, translation is the conversion of a text, video, or any other work from one language to the other. The word translation is from a Latin word meaning to “to bring or carry across”. At a glance, this looks like a simple process that a multi-linguist can do.
You see, it’s not enough to “translate” word for word, instead, translation is a technique where the message is transferred from one language to another maintaining the spirit, the voice, and the subtle message along with words themselves. When it comes to a language like Tongan, with its language nuances and subtleties, a Tongan translator is vital to a smooth translation.
Services that a Tongan Translator Can Support You With
Often we think of translation as one to one conversation. However, that is really an interpretation. Translation is working with written language, taking it from one language to another. And where we may think a translation app may be good enough for the work we need to be done, we are often wrong about that. A translation app may be able to offer up some quick phrases or how to ask where the restroom is, but for respecting cultures and sharing global communities, you really do need a skilled translator. And there are all sorts of documents and written languages they can work on.
To maintain fairness and full transparency, a Tongan translator can work on legal documents from another language into Tongan. Legalese can become quite confusing, so the job of the translator here is to create a clear representation from the original language to Tongan, or vice versa, and allow the lawyers to work with their clients and the documents for full understanding. This article from our Bunny Library shares this information on legal translation:
But, many professionals agree that when it comes to translating legal documents things get very technical. “In the legal industry, perhaps more than in any other, professional translations are necessary to ensure understanding and avoid significant potential liability associated with inaccurate information or misleading translations.”
Like legal documents, financial documents require good, clean, accurate translations. A Tongan translator can help open up your financial sector through good translation. They may work with translating shareholder information, accounting information, annual reports, and any financial reports that are necessary and relevant.
Technical and business documents
Again, anything taken from one language to another needs clear translation. When it comes to technical work, the translation must maintain that clarity and preciseness that the documents demand.
Gaming is huge in any language. It’s been shown that people are more receptive to material in their own language, and this holds true for gaming. This is a category all its own and appeals to people all over the world. Putting your games into Tongan can open a new audience for you.
This encompasses works like novels, memoirs, children’s books, podcast transcriptions, screenplays, and any other written work. Whether the Tongan translator is taking works from the Tongan language into other languages or translating into Tongan, it is a way to let global communities share thoughts, stories, and art. This is an important way to get to know other cultures, perspectives, and histories.
Finding a Tongan Translator
When it comes to working with a translator, no matter the language, the key is finding a professional, skilled translator who is fluent in both languages. Things like precision versus naturalness need to be taken into account, and often, this will depend on the type of translation. For instance, when it comes to a legal or technical document, precision is the priority, but when it comes to an artistic text, naturalness may be more important in keeping the beauty of the work.
Some people also want a translator to act as an editor and fix flaws in grammar or punctuation. This needs careful consideration, though, as it can change the feel of the work. Perhaps a better approach is to edit, than translate.
A Tongan translator should be fluent in the Tongan language as well as have an acute attention to detail and precision. The translator should also be fluent in the other language as well, be it English or something else. Nothing should be lost in translation, from nuances to humor to detail. A professional Tongan translator can translate a work and keep it natural, polished, and precise.
When seeking a Tongan translator, or any translator for that matter, here are a few good characteristics to keep in mind even beyond the actual art of translation. Look for a translator who:
- Reads and understands client directions and requests. This could include special instructions for Tongan translations surrounding colloquialisms or poetic translations.
- Understands and is aware of abbreviations and proper nouns. A good translator is willing and able to do a bit of research if necessary.
- Is aware when and when not to use word-for-word translation. A translation app can do word-for-word translation, and sometimes it’s the way to go. Often, however, it’s not. A good translator will translate with the focus on meaning, not word for word.
- Maintains integrity, genuineness, and respect for both cultures and the work.
Let Us Help
If you are looking for a Tongan translator (or maybe you are one), let us know. We have professional translators in many global languages and would love to be part of your translation project. Remember, putting your work into other languages opens up the world, breaks barriers, and creates inclusivity. It brings people together and shares cultural experiences.
Our Bunny Studio translation pros are experts in their languages and would love to work on your project with you. Contact us at Bunny Studio for your Tongan translations or any other language. Let us help share your work.