East Timor Languages

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Description[edit | edit source]

East Timor's two official languages are Portuguese and Tetum. In addition, English and Indonesian are designated by the constitution as "working languages". The 2015 census found that the most commonly spoken mother tongues were Tetum Prasa (mother tongue for 30.6% of the population), Mambai (16.6%), Makasai (10.5%), Tetum Terik (6.05%), Baikenu (5.87%), Kemak (5.85%), Bunak (5.48%), Tokodede (3.97%), and Fataluku (3.52%). Other indigenous languages accounted for 10.47%, while 1.09% of the population spoke foreign languages natively.

Word List(s)[edit | edit source]

Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]



Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]


  • Cliff Morris, Tetun-English dictionary, Canberra : Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, 1985 - Available at WorldCat
  • Geoffrey Hull, Concise English-Tetum dictionary, Winston Hills, NSW : Sebastião Aparício da Silva Publications, 2006 - Available at WorldCat
  • Sinda López Fuentes, Ana Frankenberg-Garcia & Helen Newstead, Oxford Portuguese dictionary : Portuguese-English, English-Portuguese, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2015 - Available at WorldCat

Online Dictionaries

Language Aids

  • Geoffrey Hull, Dionisio Babo-Soares, Jorge da Conceição Teme, Benjamim de Araújo e Corte-Real, Tetum language manual for East Timor, Winston Hills, N.S.W., Australia : Sebastião Aparício da Silva Project, 2001 - Available at WorldCat
  • Catharina Williams-van Klinken, John Hajek & Rachel Nordlinger, Tetun Dili : a grammar of an East Timorese language, Canberra, ACT : Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, 2002 - Available at WorldCat
  • Juliette Huber, A grammar of Makalero : a Papuan language of East Timor, Utrecht, The Netherlands : LOT, 2011 - Available at WorldCat
  • E C Hills, J D M Ford & Joaquin de Siqueira Coutinho, A Portuguese Grammar, Boston, New York D.C. Heath and Co. 1944 - Available at WorldCat
  • Tetum Grammar - Wikipedia

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Octavio A J O Soares, East Timor, land of the rising sun : a traveler's guide plus English-Indonesian-Tetum dictionary, Yogyakarta : Penerbit Kanisius, 1999 - Available at WorldCat
  • Geoffrey Hull, Dionisio Babo-Soares & Jorge da Conceição Teme, Tetum, language manual for East Timor, Winston Hills, NSW, Australia : Sebastião Aparício da Silva Project, 2005 - Available at WorldCat

References[edit | edit source]