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Languages of Palau

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Republic of Palau, Republic of Belaw. Formerly part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. 20,000. National or official languages: Palauan (all states except Sonsorol, Tobi, Angaur), English, Sonsorol (in Sonsorol), Tobian (in Tobi), Japanese (in Angaur). Literacy rate: 85%. Immigrant languages: Japanese. Also includes Chinese and languages of Asia and the Pacific. Information mainly from B. Bender and A. Capelle 1996; K. Rehg 1996; J. Ellis 1996. The number of individual languages listed for Palau is 4. Of those, all are living languages.
English

[eng]   Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English 
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Palauan

[pau] 14,800 in Palau (2000). Population total all countries: 17,140. Palau Islands. Also in Guam, United States. Alternate names: Belauan, Palau.  Dialects: Little dialect variation.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Palauan 
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Sonsorol

[sov] 600 in Palau (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Approximately 60 on the outer islands: Sonsoral 29, Pulo Anna 25, Merir 5. Outer islanders resident on main island of Palau unclear from the 1990 census. Pulo Anna, Merir, Helen, and Sonsorol islands. Also in Northern Mariana Islands. Alternate names: Sonsorolese.  Dialects: Sonsorolese, Pulo Anna. Significant linguistic differences between Tobian [tox] and Sonsorolese; similar to or greater than differences between, e.g., Puluwatese [puw] and Namonuito [nmt]. 50% intelligibility with Woleaian [woe], less with the remainder of the Trukic continuum. Lexical similarity: 69% with Ulithian [uli].  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic 
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Tobian

[tox] 22 (1995 SIL). Tobi (Hatohobei) Island and near the capitol. Alternate names: Hatohobei, Tobi.  Dialects: Significant linguistic differences between Tobian and Sonsorolese [sov], although often treated as one language.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic  Nearly extinct.
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