Tetum and Portuguese are the two official languages of Timor Lorosa'e. Tetum is the most widely spoken language.
Esklaresimentu kona ba
lia-tetun / Tetum
22 UNTAET: Ministers Discuss Development Of Tetum Language
News added Jan 24
"The Council of Ministers of East Timor’s Second Transitional Government met today to discuss issues relating to Tetum, one of two planned official languages. The Council was briefed by Benjamim Corte-Real, rector of East Timor’s National University. Corte-Real, who is also director of the university’s National Institute of Linguistics, described the institute’s work to encourage the use of Tetum as the lingua franca of the nation in order to preserve the cultural identity of the country. The institute has collaborated with other foreign institutions—including the Camões Institute of Portugal and the University of Sydney—in developing its Tetum-related activities." UNTAET Daily Briefing 22 January 2002
12 Basilio Araujo: Tetun as the official language of the future East
Letters added Dec 29
"We have to congratulate the members of the Constituet assembly who have decided courageously to pass Tetun as the official language of the future East Timor independent country. ... It is not true that chosing Tetun is the same as closing ourselves to the world. ... The future East Timorese generation will thank and salute you for your historic decision." Basilio Araujo, author, thesis on Morphology of East Timor Language, Christian University of Jakarta (UKI)
2001 AsiaFound: Nat'l Survey of Voter Knowledge
and executive summary added June 28
"Language: * The survey data confirm the strength of Tetum as a practical and preferred language. More East Timorese understand Tetum (91%) than any other language and can read and write Tetum (58%) than any other language.
* Tetum was overwhelmingly selected, by 80% of respondents, as the language of choice for election related information. Local languages were the second most popular choice at 17%, substantially more popular than Indonesian (3%)." The Asia Foundation