Saturday, September 18, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in East Timor

AsiaEast TimorLanguage & Phrasebook in East Timor

The official languages are Tetum (understood by almost all East Timorese) and Portuguese (understood by a minority of people, but the number is growing), but the constitution states that Indonesian, which is widely spoken by adults, and English, which has a reasonable number of speakers in Dili but not many in the rest of the country, are working languages. There are also approximately 37 indigenous languages, with Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak being the most widely spoken.

A person who is fluent in Indonesian will have no trouble getting about, while those who speak English or Portuguese will be OK in Dili but will have difficulty in rural regions.