Nanggu (Engdewu)

Nanggu is a member of the Oceanic group of Malayo-Polynesian languages. It is spoken by about 200 people on the south coast of Nendö Island, one of the Santa Cruz Islands in Temotu province in the east of the Solomon Islands. In particular, it is spoken in the villages of Nagu, Mömwawë and Ulou.

Nanggu is also spelled Nagu or Nangu. Speakers of the language prefer to call it Engdewu, which is the name of the original village where it was first spoken. Each of the villages where it's spoken has its own dialect.

A way to write Nanggu with the Latin alphabet was proposed by Anders Vaa in his 2013 PhD thesis, A Grammar of Engdewu. An Oceanic Language of the Solomon Islands.

Nanggu alphabet and pronunciation

Nanggu alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Nanggu (PDF)


The letter J is only used in loanwords from other languages.

Sample text

Te-lavyë napwë, te-lavyë-tö-pö dâ-kââ, ä negee lepela tü-ngëla-yö=pme. Lepela i-ngöla-yë, nëgee ta-ö-kape=pme. La-kape, i-do-ini-m[u] you. La-gwaa-pe-m[u] ta-welu-tö më, ä nëgee tâ-to=pme-m[u] më matu.


They tie bamboo, tie something liɒe a hook, then someone starts to climb up. Man climb up, then he hooɒs the breadfruit. They hook it, it falls down on the ground. They taɒe out, put it inside a basket or a bag, and then they taɒe it to the house.

Source: A Grammar of Engdewu. An Oceanic Language of the Solomon Islands<. Anders Vaa. 2013.


Information about the Nanggu language

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: 06.05.24. Last modified: 09.05.24


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