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.


Maluku Province, southeast, 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.