5,680 (2011 SIL), increasing.
Maluku province: Kepulauan Aru regency, Aru islands; Kobror island central and east coast, 18 villages; southeast Wokam island, 1 village; 4 villages in east Barakai strait on Kobror and Koba islands; 2 villages south of Beding Warlai town; many in Dobo; some in Ambon.
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.
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 Indonesian [ind], Manombai [woo]. Also use Ambonese Malay [abs], specifically the Dobo Malay dialect. Nearly all school-age speakers of Dobel are bilingual in this variety. Used as L2 by Lorang [lrn], Manombai [woo].
Latin script [Latn].