A language of Vanuatu

Alternate Names
Lamen, Lewo, Varmali

850 (Lynch and Crowley 2001). Very few monolinguals.


Shefa Province, Varmali region, Lamenu island, Epi island northwest tip; Sara village, Port Vila and Luganville.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Galokumali, Galoparua. Lexical similarity: borderline with Lewo [lww], but strong local identification as separate language.

Language Use

Vigorous. Kindergarten, oral and some written use in church, oral use in commerce. Positive attitudes. Bilingual in Bislama [bis]. Bislama usually used with speakers of Lewo [lww]. Also use Paama [pma].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 50%. Literacy rate in L2: 40%. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1987–2002.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Population of Lamenu and Epi was over 14,000, but was reduced to 800 in early 1900s due to disease and economic dependence. Christian.