Mavea is a member of the Southern Oceanic branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. It is spoken mainly on Mavea Island in northern Vanuatu by about 34 people. Most speakers are over 40 years old, and the language is considered moribund it is not passed on to children. Mavea is spoken mainly in homes, and is not usually used in schools or elsewhere.

Mavea is also known as Mafea or Mav̋ea. It is written with the Latin alphabet using an orthography developed by Valérie Guérin in the early 2000s. Before then, it was not written.

Mavea alphabet and pronunciation

Mavea alphabet and pronunciation

Download an Mavea alphabet chart (Excel)

Sample text

Nao, nao tamaku, ma molulvo. Amma molulvo ro, moto mova, sur pong aite ro, movanvano mosi momasur, alao, na tasi, momasur ‘Matan tinara.’ Momasur ‘Matan tinara’ ro, molparpara ro, moon, um, um, moon kakato voko aite.


Me, me, my dad, when he was young. A long time ago, when he was young, one day he walked down, to the shore, to the sea, he went down to ‘Matan tinara.’ He went down to ‘Matan tinara’ then, he was following the reef, he saw, uh, uh, he saw a white heron.


Sample of spoken Mavea

Information about Mavea | Numbers


Information about the Mavea languages

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, Papapana, Raga, Rotuman, Roviana, Sa, Sakao, Saliba, Siar, Sio, Ske, Sursurunga, 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: 24.02.23. Last modified: 27.02.23


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