Published November 20, 2019
This video was recorded by Nicholas in Michigan, United States. Niuafo'ou is a Polynesian language spoken in the Kingdom of Tonga on the islands of Niuafoʻou and ʻEua. In 2015, there were estimates of 500 native speakers. Many speakers have begun to shift to using the Tongan language; this shift began rapidly in 1946, when residents of Niuafo'ou had to migrate to the island of Tongatapu, due to a volcanic eruption. The language shift has continued to this day, with many people using Niuafo'ou in private and Tongan in public. In hopes of curbing this shift and to enable opportunities for in-depth research of the language, the University of South Pacific (Tonga campus) recently launched Niuafo'ou language courses.