A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Doibel, Kobroor, Kobro’or, Sersifar Tannin

5,680 (2011 SIL), increasing.


Maluku Province, Kepulauan Aru regency; Aru islands, entire east coast of Kobror island, 1 village in southeast Wokam island, 4 villages eastern half of Barakai strait on Kobror and Koba islands, 2 villages in enclave south of Beding Warlai town, central Kobror island: 18 villages; many in Dobo, some in Ambon.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Northern Dobel, Straits Dobel, Southeast Dobel. At least 3 dialects. Lexical similarity: 78%–86% with Koba [kpd].


SVO; prepositions; no adjectives; noun head initial; active verbs and stative verbs; complex reduplication system; 14 consonant phonemes and 5 vowel phonemes; CVC, CV, with CiCiVC, CiCiV patterns occurring only as stressed syllable of a phonological word, when that word is reduplicated; not tonal.

Language Use

Vigorous. Some Chinese merchants who speak Dobo Malay dialect of Ambonese Malay [abs] and older Hokkien [nan] learn Dobel. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Ambonese Malay [abs], Indonesian [ind], Manombai [woo]. Used as L2 by Lorang [lrn], Manombai [woo].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 60%. Bible portions: 1991–2009.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, Muslim.

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