Avava is a member of the Southern Oceanic branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. It is spoken by about 700 people on Malekula Island in Vanuatu, particularly in the villages of Tisvel, Khatbol, Taremp and Tembimbi in central Malekula. There are also speakers of Avava in Port Vila. Luganville and Lakatoro-Norsup. It is spoken by people of all ages, and is being passed on to children within families.

The language is also known as Katbol, Tembimbe-Katbol or Bangsa'. Dialects include Timbembe and Nevaar. It is written with the Latin alphabet.

Avava alphabet and pronunciation

Avava alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Avava (Excel)

Sample text

Stori nan nava nabwitirtisali ki iip itoki nang. Mak Gara ier tuai atip atdah sur tuswe Laumwele. Ier ativa abwitrep ivri. Vaaki atdah. Lama sapm atva atip. Muut nan ier sur tuswe asomda ... ier asomda ier.


The story that I want to tell goes like this. The people of Gara went to the sea at Laumwele (Bushmans Bay). They wanted to gather crabs. They went down. One day they went. The coastal people found them.

Source: The Avava Language of Central Malakula (Vanuatu), by Terry Crowley

Information about Avava | Numbers


Information about Avava

Oceanic languages

Adzera, Ahamb, Äiwoo, Aneityum, Apma, Araki, Are, ’Auhelawa, Avava, Babatana, Bariai, Bola, Big Numbas, Buhutu, Bwaidoka, Caac, Cheke Holo, Dorig, Hiri Motu, Hiw, Hoava, Kakabai, Kaninuwa, Kokota, Kove, Kurti, Lakon, Lehali, Lenakel, Lewo, Lote, Lo-Toga, Löyöp, Marovo, Maskelynes, Mato, Mavea, Mono-Alu, Motu, Mussau-Emira, Mwotlap, Nafsan, Nahavaq, Namakura, Nanggu, Nduke, Neve‘ei, Neverver, Ninde, North Efate, Nume, Paamese, Raga, Rotuman, Roviana, Sa, Sakao, Saliba, Siar, Sio, Ske, Tamambo, Tami, Teanu, Tigak, Tirax, Tolai, Touo, Ubir, Ughele, Uneapa, Vatlongos, Vitu, Vurës, Western Fijian, Yabem, Yapese

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 03.05.23. Last modified: 04.05.23


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