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02:50 Apr 8, 2003
Tonga(TongaIslands) to English translations [Non-PRO]
Bus/Financial - Cinema, Film, TV, Drama
Tonga(TongaIslands) term or phrase: kolipoki
Lorinda Wright

Summary of answers provided
5a name (Groberg)Jason Roberts
3Kolipoki [Tongan for Groberg]
Ágnes Fülöp



4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Kolipoki [Tongan for Groberg]

The movie "The Other Side of Heaven"

"Based on the true story of a young Mormon, John Groberg (Christopher Gorham), who leaves his home in Idaho to perform his 3 years of missionary service on the island of Tonga in the South Pacific. He must say goodbye to the love of his life, Jean Sabin (Anne Hathaway), who promises to wait for his return.

After a difficult journey John arrives in Tonga, eager to get started, but faced with overcoming the language barrier and the bad-mouthing he receives from the other missionary on the island - he is, after all, a palangi (foreigner). The villagers give him the name Kolipoki..."


"The Other Side of Heaven (rated PG), which opened this week on over 300 screens across the U.S., depicts the LDS missionary experiences about 50 years ago of Elder John H. Groberg on the tiny, isolated Tongan island of Niuatoputapu.
Elder Groberg, who is now a member of the Church’s First Quorum of the Seventy, was then a young man from Idaho who took almost three months to get to Niua, where he overcame many challenges and learned to love the Tongan people. ...

Elder Groberg’s main companion on Niua island was Feki Pö’uha, whose son Joe Pö’uha now lives in Hau’ula and is LDS Bishop of the Hau’ula 4th Ward. ...

Pö’uha explained that his father, who died in 1972, came to Lä’ie as an LDS labor missionary several years after his sojourn with Elder Groberg. “My dad’s whole life was missionary work. After he left Kolipoki [Tongan for Groberg], he was called to Niuë to help build chapels and proselyte."


Ágnes Fülöp
Local time: 09:25
Native speaker of: Hungarian
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
a name (Groberg)

Tongan (and Polynesian languages in general) only allows two types of syllables: A consonant followed by a vowel, or just a vowel. Furthermore, there is a limited set of consonants to 'choose' from. When a name is adopted into Tongan it is made to fit the sound structure of Tongan (much like how English Merry Christmas becomes Mele Kalikimaka in Hawaiian).
In this case there is no g, r, or b in Tongan, and these are replaced with their nearest equivalents, namely k, l, p. Add a vowel after each consonant, and presto: Kolipoki.

It is a name, doesn't mean more than that, and is best left untranslated.

Jason Roberts
Local time: 02:25
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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Changes made by editors
Apr 16, 2006 - Changes made by Fabio Descalzi:
Language pairzzz Other zzz to English » Tonga(TongaIslands) to English
Field (specific)(none) » Cinema, Film, TV, Drama

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