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Dawan (Uab Meto)

Dawan is an Austronesian language spoken by about 600,000 people mainly in the western part of Timor Island including the enclave of Oecusse (Oekusi), which is part of East Timor.

The language is sometimes called Meto, Uab Atoni Pah Meto, Uab Pah Meto, Timor, Timorese, Timol, Timoreesch, Timoreezen, Dawan, Timor Dawan, or Rawan. The dialect spoken in Oecusse is called Baikenu although the local people simply call it Uab Meto

Dawan was first written by missionaries, who used the spelling systems they devised to translate religious material into the language.

Dawan alphabet

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l M m
a be ce de e ef ge ha i je ke el em
N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z
en o pe ki er es te u fe we eks ye zet

Sample texts in Dawan

Atoni ma bife ok-okê mahonis kamafutû ma nmuî upan ma hak namnés. Sin napein tenab ma nekmeü ma sin musti nabai es nok es onlê olif-tataf.

Hear a recording of this text by Yohanes Manhitu

Kanan mansian mahonis merdeka ma nok upan ma hak papmesê. Sin naheun nok tenab ma nekmeû ma sin es nok es musti nfain onlê olif-tataf.

Hear a recording of this text by Yohanes Manhitu

These sample texts are in different dialects of Dawan.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Dawan | Tower of Babel in Dawan


Ethnologue data from Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 14th Edition

Understanding Uab Meto (Dawan Language): A General Description, by Yohanes Manhitu, Unpublished


Information about Dawan (Uab Meto)

Uab Meto dictionary (PDF format)

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet