Sawai

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A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Weda, Weda-Sawai, Were
Population

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

Location

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

Language Status

6b (Threatened).

Dialects

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.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Different from Saleman [sau]. Muslim, Christian.