A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Larat, Vai Fordata, Vai Sera-Larat-Fordata, Vai Tnebar, Vaidida

50,000 (Marshall 2000). 25,000 in the language area and 25,000 elsewhere (Marshall 2000). Decreasing use in mixed language towns. 500 monolinguals.


Southeast Maluku Province, 30 villages. North Tanimbar islands, Fordata, Larat, and Molu-Maru groups; northwest, Yamdena island west coast. Seira island. Also Jakarta, other cities.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Fordata-Larat I, Fordata-Larat II, Molo (Molo-Maru), Sera (Seira). Sera is most divergent dialect. Lexical similarity: 68% with Kei [kei].

Language Use

Vigorous. Some villages have few young people being spoken to in Fordata. All domains, though church context limited. Positive attitudes. 99% also use Ambonese Malay [abs]. Also use Indonesian [ind]. Used as L2 by Bugis [bug], Geser-Gorom [ges].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 5%–10%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. 2,500 read; 1,500 can write. Taught in primary schools, as a subject. Taught in secondary schools, as a subject. Poetry. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1996–2004.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Primary schools in nearly every village, secondary schools for every 3 or 4 villages. Christian, Muslim.