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Fakataha Faka‘osita‘u

by ‘Anahina ‘Aipolo Sikalu

This story supports:

Unit 1 Mālō e Lelei / greetings

Unit 2 Fakafe‘iloaki / introductions

Unit 3 Fāmili/family

Text features

Language features

The language features of this story include:

  • use of lea tavale (everyday language), for example, ‘Oku ‘alu ‘a Vili ki he fakataha fakafāmili hono kaume‘a ko Taniela' kimu‘a he lotu'/before church, Vili goes to his friend Taniela’s family gathering
  • use of words that distinguish singular, dual, and plural (three or more people), for example, ‘eku/my (singular); ‘ema/our (dual); ho‘o/your (singular); kinautolu/them (plural, three or more)
  • use of words transliterated from English, for example, ‘Uēlingatoni/Wellington; sikeitipooti/skateboard; however, the lea faka-Tonga expression for Christchurch is not a transliteration but a translation of the English label for Christchurch – the Garden City, with Kakala meaning flower and Kolo meaning city
  • use of prepositional phrases that express time, for example, kimu‘a he lotu/before church; he ‘aho ni/today
  • use of prepositions that express direction towards a place, for example, ki  ‘Uēlingatoni/to Wellington; ki peito / to the kitchen; kia kinautolu / towards them
  • expressions of place, for example, ‘i hē / over there; ‘i tu‘a / outside; ofi/close, near; ‘i he ve‘e tepile kai' / at the food table
  • vocabulary that defines relationships, for example, kaume‘a/friend; tokoua/cousin, brother; fakataha fakafāmili / family gathering; tamai/father; fā‘e/mother
  • repetition of particular words and structures to assist learning, for example, ‘Oku ke ‘ilo ‘oku ‘i fē ...? / Do you know where …?    
  • descriptors placed after the word being described, for example, fakataha fakafāmili / gathering family (family gathering); sikeitipooti fo‘ou' / skateboard new (new skateboard); tepile kai' / table food (food table)
  • use of formulaic expressions, for example, Mālō e lelei / Hello; Fēfē hake? / How are you?; Sai pē, mālō / I’m well, thanks; ‘Ikai, kātaki / No, sorry; ‘Ikai, mālō pē / No, thank you
  • use of the word ‘ikai to express a negative, for example, ‘Ikai, kātaki / No, sorry; ‘Ikai, mālō pē / No, thank you; ‘Oku ‘ikai ke na lava ‘o sikeitipooti / They can’t skateboard
  • use of both singular and plural forms of the same verb, for example, ‘alu/go (singular); ō/go (dual or plural)
  • the different meanings of the word lotu according to context, for example, in this story lotu means church, as in kimu‘a he lotu' / go to church, but in other circumstances, the same word can mean prayer.

Cultural features

The cultural features in this story include:

  • the different ways of celebrating New Year’s Eve across cultures. This story describes a large family gathering with a meal before a church service. The expression ‘aho faka‘osita‘u translates into English literally as “the day when all the number of days has been completed”. In other words, anga faka-Tonga focuses on the completion of a year, while in English, the expression “New Year’s Eve” demonstrates a focus on the year that is about to begin
  • the common practice in anga faka-Tonga for children to address adults, including their parents, by their first names. So, when Saula introduces Vili to his mother (Pesi), he says Pesi, ko Vili ‘eni / Pesi, this is Vili
  • the anga faka-Tonga names, for example, Taniela, Vili, ‘Aisea, Langi, Saula, Pesi, Sela. In some cultures, the “a” at the end of a name signifies a female name, but this is not the case in anga faka-Tonga. For more information on Tongan names, see unit 2 of Faufaua! An Introduction to Tongan
  • the melding of anga faka-Tonga with aspects of New Zealand cultures, for example, the people wear the traditional Tongan tupenu (lavalava, wraparound skirts) with European-style shirts and shoes.