Published April 26, 2018
This video was recorded by Teddy Nee in Taoyuan city, Taiwan, where he and Paulo met. Tuvaluan is spoken by as many as 12,000 people, primarily in the Pacific nation of Tuvalu, and by diaspora communities around the world. An Austronesian language, Tuvaluan is related to languages across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, from Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar, to Hawaiian. In recent centuries, it has been influenced most closely by Gilbertese and Samoan, owed to population shifts and the presence of missionaries during the European colonial period. English, the most widely taught foreign language in Tuvalu, has also had an impact on the language, while albeit more recently and limited. Traditionally an exclusively spoken language, the bulk of the language’s literary history lies in oral tradition. Today, a body of modern media exists as well, including written literature, news, and contemporary music.