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Useful phrases in Tetum

A collection of useful phrases in Tetum, a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken mainly in East Timor, and also in West Timor in Indonesia

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

Key to abbreviations: m = said by men, f = said by women.

English Lia-Tetun (Tetum)
Welcome Ksolok Bodik Mai
Bemvindu
Hello (General greeting) Elo
Hi
How are you? Diak ka lai?
O di'ak ka lae?
Reply to 'How are you?' Hau diak. Obrigadu. Ita mo's di'ak? (m)
Hau diak. Obrigada. Ita mo's di'ak? (f)
Long time no see Kleur ona la hetan ita
What's your name? Ita nia naran saida?
O nia naran sa?
My name is ... Ha'u nia naran ...
Men dak narana ...
Where are you from? Ita mai husi rai ida ne'ebe?
O mai husi nasaun ida ne'ebe?
I'm from ... Hau mai husi rai ...
Pleased to meet you Laran kontenti tebes atu hasoru malu ho ita
Obrigo burodo
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Bondia
Dader diak
Boasdias
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Botarde
Lorokraik diak
Boastarde
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Bonoite
Kalan diak
Boasnoite
Good night Bonoite
Kalan diak
Boasnoite
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Hau ba lai
Hepeye
Heppi
Adeus
Atelogu
Ate amanyá
Good luck! Sorti diak
Boasorte
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Saúde!
Have a nice day Sorte diak ba loron ohin
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Serbida
Han ho gostu
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Lao didiak
Boa Viajem
I understand Ha'u komprende
I don't understand Ha'u la comprende
Ha'u la hatene
Yes Sin
No Lae
Maybe Kal
Please speak more slowly Favor ida koalia neneik ituan
Please say that again Favor ida bele dehan fali
Favor ida bele repete fali
Please write it down Favor ida hakerek
Favor ida halo nota ba
Do you speak English? Ita, bele ko'alia Inglês?
Do you speak Tetum? Ita, bele ko'alia Tetun?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Sim, ituan
How do you say ... in Tetum? ... iha tetum dehan saida?
Excuse me Kolisensa
Deskup pelici
Desku pihcih
How much is this? Ida ne'e folin hira?
Sorry Deskulpa!
Please Favór ida
Ibrig
Thank you Obrigadu (m)
Obrigada (f)
Obrigadu barak (m)
Obrigada barak (f)
Reply to thank you La iha buat ida
Lalika temi
Where's the toilet / bathroom? Sintina iha ne'ebe?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everything Senhor ida ne'e mak sei selu buat hotu-hotu
This lady will pay for everything Senhora ida ne'e mak sei selu buat hotu-hotu
Would you like to dance with me? Ita hakarak dansa ho hau
I love you Hau hadomi O
Get well soon Diak lalais
Leave me alone! Sai tiha husi ne'e!
Dook tiha!
Husik hau mesak!
Help! Ajuda!
Fire! Ahi!
Stop! Para!
Call the police! Bolu polisia!
Christmas greetings Ksolok loron natal nian
New Year greetings Boas entradas!
Easter greetings Feliz Paskua
Birthday greetings Ksolok Loron Tinan Nian
One language is never enough Lian ida deit la to'o
My hovercraft is full of eels Hau nian ro hovercraft maka busu ho tuna barak la halimar

If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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