Sonsorolese is a Micronesian language spoken in the Republic of Palau in the western Pacific. It is spoken mainly on the islands of Sonsorol, Pulo Ana and Merir in the state of Sonsorol, and each island has its own dialect. It is also spoken in other parts of Palau, particularly in Koror, the main town, and in the nearby village of Echang. In 2007 there were about 30 speakers of Sonsorolese on Sonsorol, 10 on Pulo Ana, 3 on Merir, and about 300 in and around Koror.
Sonsorolese has official status in the state of Sonsorol, and is used in some official commuications, along with English. The Sonsorol spoken outside of Sonsorol State, particularly by younger people, includes a lot of words borrowed from English, and differs considerably from the Sonsorolese spoken by older people in Sonsorol.
Sonsorolese is related to Tobian, which is spoken on Tobi island in Palau, and to Woleaian and other languages spoken in Yap and Chuuk states in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Parts of the Bible and the Constitution of Sonsorol State have been translated into Sonsorolese. Few other texts exist in the language, and there is no standard way to write it.
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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