The official languages in the island of Tokelau are the Tokelauan language and English. Tokelauan is a Polynesian language spoken by a majority of the population of Tokelau Island. It is related to the Samoan language spoken by the people of the American Samoan Island of Swains. Tokelau Island, as a former British Protectorate and a present-day territory of New Zealand, utilizes English in official capacities. The two official languages are significant for educational and administrative purposes in the Island.

The people of Tokelau communicate in English, Tokelauan, Samoan and a number of indigenous languages. Tokelauan is mostly spoken in Atafu Island with about 34.6% of the population speaking it fluently. On the other hand, only about 33.3% of residents of Fakaofo can efficiently use Tokelauan. Nukunonu has the lowest number of Tokelauan speakers at about 24.6%.

The Tokelauan language is considered an intelligent language and is written in the Latin script. To greet someone, one can say, "Maloni, eamaikoe?" which means, "Hello, how are you?"


Besides the two official languages spoken in Tokelau Island, there are also other languages found among the people with fewer speakers. Such languages include Samoan and Kiribati.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018