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Language: Tetum

  • Apr 22, 2012
  • 05:55 PM

Timor Leste, Tetum, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia or English?

J. Ramos-Horta / Jakarta Post
Timorese leaders and people, though islanders, are very outward-looking, open to cultural influences, eagerly learning and absorbing the good (and bad) we see, read and hear around us. We are among the most polyglot people in the world. A very large percentage of us manage as many as three to five languages — a native language, Tetum, Indonesian, English and Portuguese.
  • Apr 16, 2012
  • 06:33 PM

Timor-Leste’s Language Policy: The Boulder On The Shoe – Analysis

Victor R Savage / Eurasia Review
Timor-Leste has chosen Portuguese as its official language of government, though Tetum remains the other official language. This language policy, a return to its colonial heritage, has future implications for the state’s development and geopolitical relations in the region.
  • Mar 26, 2012
  • 10:42 AM

TIMOR-LESTE: When do mother tongues divide?

A proposal to sanction the use of indigenous languages in primary schools in polyglot Timor-Leste has divided members of government, civil society and educators, raising questions about how language can spur harmony - or discord - in the young nation.
  • Feb 23, 2012
  • 08:22 PM

East Timor to trial multilingual education (audio)

Radio Australia
East Timor's Ministry of Education says it will go ahead with a pilot program to teach young students in their own minority language, despite vocal opposition from some civil society groups. The Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education trial will see schools in three district teach children from pre-school age to grade three in a local language as well as in the official languages of Portuguese and Tetum.
  • Jan 11, 2012
  • 10:46 PM

East Timor: A Former Colony Mulls the Politics of Teaching Portuguese

Brendan Brady / Time
In 2001 an assembly elected to draft a constitution for newly independent East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste, chose Portuguese and Tetum as the official languages of the nation, to be used in parliament, schools and other public venues. Notably, the constitution and founding laws were drafted only in Portuguese.
  • Jun 29, 2011
  • 12:51 AM

Closing the language divide in Timor-Leste

Gordon Peake / Lowy Interpreter
The official languages in Timor-Leste are Portuguese and Tetun, with the latter being the lingua franca (and Indonesian being widely spoken). Although many higher-ups in Government institutions have very good English, only a small minority of the population, and the public service, speaks the language to a good standard.
  • Apr 24, 2011
  • 01:00 AM

World Bank Faults Itself for Slow Progress in East Timor

Brian Knowlton / New York Times
This had been the main language of instruction before the Indonesian occupation, when Timor was a Portuguese colony, and the new government restored it as an official language along with Tetum, an indigenous language.