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Tetum (Tetun, Lia-Tetun)

Tetum is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. Tetum is spoken by about 800,000 people mainly in East Timor (Timór Lorosa'e / Timor-Leste), where is has been an official language, along with Portuguese, since 2002 when East Timor became independant. It is also spoken in West Timor, which is part of Indonesia.

Although Tetum has a standardised orthograph, which was established by the National Institute of Linguistics in 2004, there are many spelling variations.

Tetum alphabet

Tetum alphabet

Tetum pronunciation

Tetum pronunciation

Information about the Tetum alphabet and pronunciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text in Tetum

Ema hotu hotu moris hanesan ho dignidade ho direitu. Sira hotu iha hanoin, konsiensia n'e duni tenki hare malu hanesan espiritu maun-alin.


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 Tetum | Tetum phrases | Tetum Numbers | Tower of Babel in Tetum


Information about the Tetum languages

Information about the Standard Orthography of the Tetum Language (PDF, )

Tetum courses

Online Tetum phrases

Online Tetum dictionary

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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