Drehu (Deʼu)

Drehu is a member of the Oceanic branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family spoken by about 12,000 people on Lifou Island (Île Loyauté), one of the Loyalty Islands, which are part of New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie). It has status as a French regional language and is taught in schools and universities in New Calendonia and Paris.

Drehu was first written during the 1840s by missionaries from Polynesia and England, with help from native speakers. A complete Drehu translation of the Bible was published in 1890. A revised spelling system was introduced in the 1970s.

Drehu alphabet and pronunciation

Drehu alphabet and pronunciation


Long vowels are possibly indicated with a macron.

Download an alphabet chart for Drehu (Excel)

Information about Drehu compiled by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text in Drehu

Ame la angetre Tonga hnei angatr hna tro qa Tonga. Hnei angatr hna tro kowe la hnapet i angatr troa kuca la itra huliwa i angatr. Caiye me Nyie me kuca la nōjei pengōn la angetra Tonga. Thupene lai angatr a tro qa lei ngōne hnapet. Hnei angatr hna tro ngōne itre kenu hnei angatr hna traqa e Walepool.

Hear a recording of this text


I'm going to tell you about the Tongans who, one day, left the island of Tonga. On their island, they used to go about various jobs. There was Caiye, Nyie, and others, they live in the Tongan fashion. Because of a conflict, they had to leave their island. They left in canoes and they arrived in Walpole.

Part of "Arrivée de Tongiens à Mu" (Arrivals of the Tongans in Mu)
Source: http://lacito.vjf.cnrs.fr/archivage/tools/show_text.php?id=crdo-DHV_MU_SOUND

Sample video in Drehu

Information about Drehu | Numbers


Information about the Drehu language

Oceanic languages

Adzera, Äiwoo, Ajië, Aneityum, Apma, Araki, Are, ’Auhelawa, Bola, Big Numbas, Buhutu, Bwaidoka, Cheke Holo, Dorig, Drehu, Drehu, Ghari, Hiri Motu, Hiw, Iaai, Kakabai, Kaninuwa, Kokota, Kove, Kurti, Kwara’ae, Lehali, Lote, Lo-Toga, Löyöp, Maskelynes, Mato, Mavea, Motu, Mwotlap, Nafsan, Ndrumbea, Nengone, Neverver, North Efate, Nyelâyu, Paamese, Raga, Rotuman, Roviana, Sa, Sakao, Saliba, Siar, Sio, Ske, Tamambo, Tami, Tigak, Tolai, Ubir, Ughele, Vitu, Vurës, Western Fijian, Xârâcùù, Yabem, Yapese

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 17.11.22


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