A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Weda, Weda-Sawai, Were

12,000 (2000 SIL), increasing. Few monolinguals.


Maluku Utara Province, Gane Timur and Weda districts,13 villages. Halmahera island, southeast peninsula, Weda bay, both coasts.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Faya-Mafa, Kobe, Messa-Dote, Sawai, Weda. Lexical similarity: 64% with North Nuaulu [nni].

Language Use

Some domains, local commerce. Youth are taught Indonesian [ind] first; then learn to understand Sawai. Positive attitudes. Also use Buli [bzq], Gane [gzn], Indonesian [ind], Maba [mqa], North Moluccan Malay [max], Patani [ptn], Ternate [tft], Tidore [tvo], Tobelo [tlb].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: field: 5,000 can read, 1,000 can write. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. 5,000 can read it, 1,000 can write it. Bible portions: 1994–2005.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Different from Saleman [sau]. Muslim, Christian.