South Pacific: Tongan Translation


Bible Society in the South Pacific are working on two new Bible translations and two Bible revisions in the Tongan language. The priority is the completion of the Tongan Contemporary Bible, which will meet the needs of the younger generations, as the translation uses today’s Tongan language.

There is a need in Tonga — reported by church leaders — to make the Bible available in contemporary language, as well as digitising the Bible, so that as many people as possible can have access to God’s word and be changed by God’s truth.

There are social issues of major concern in Tonga including domestic violence, disintegration of family and kinship, youth unemployment, alcohol and substance abuse. Numbers of secondary school dropouts have increased, especially males, adding to youth

In addition to this, the country endured a huge crisis in 2022 with the eruption of the Hunga, a Tongan volcano, 65 km (40 mi) north of the main island of Tongatapu. The eruption caused a tsunami which inundated parts of the archipelago, including the capital Nukuʻalofa. The eruption affected Tonga heavily, cutting off most communications, as it was expected to take weeks to repair a submarine fibre optic cable used for Internet and telephone connectivity. The sound of the eruptions caused trauma on people and together with tsunami and rain ashes that followed. People are still recovering from the trauma and displacement of the eruption and tsunami, and there is more need than ever for God’s word.


  • The population of Tonga is 105,695
  • Tonga has a literacy rate of 99.41%

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