A Traveller's Dictionary in Tetun-English and English-Tetun from the Land of the Sleeping Crocodile East Timor

A Traveller's Dictionary in Tetun-English and English-Tetun from the Land of the Sleeping Crocodile East Timor
by Cliff Morris


First published in 1992 by Baba Dook Books 3 Hoadley Ave Frankston, Australia 3199
First Internet version distributed in November 2003. (http://au.geocities.com/lev_lafayette/morris.html)

ISBN 959 1922 2 0

Printed by Photo Offset Productions, Fitzroy 3065

All text following this introduction is a near-exact transcription of Cliff Morris' 1992 Traveller's Dictionary in Tetun-English and English-Tetun. There have been some very minor editing changes to some obvious errors which is inevitable when an individual is author, editor and responsible for publication. For example, in the original page 67 of the booklet, the word 'window' is denoted as being from Portuguese origin, when it is clear that what was meant was the word 'DINELA'. Less obviously to those unfamiliar with Tetun was the accidental dropping of the final 'k' in 'HAKARAK' on the first phrase on page 73.

As Mr. Morris will state, this is a book that primarily deals with what he calls the Tetun-Los dialect, which he differentiates from Tetun-Prasa, Tetun-Terik and Tetun-Belu. Contemporary linguists knowledgeable in the field of the languages of Timor are mainly of the opinion that Tetun-Terik and Tetun-Los are actually one and the same, whereas Tetun-Belu refers to the western dialect, split by the former Portuguese - Dutch (and now Timor Leste - Indonesia) border. As would be expected the Tetun-Belu dialect includes a larger number of Bahasa Indonesian loanwords, whereas Tetun-Prasa has a large number of words with Portuguese origin. Whilst visitors to East Timor with a European heritage will find the Tetun-Prasa version easier, especially if they have familiarity with any of the Romance languages, use of the alternative Tetun-Terik words is met with pleased recognition.

Language is the foundation of cultural identity, the mutual recognition of symbolic values and, often overlooked, the metaphorical connections between different symbolic values creating a narrative of meaning. It is not too much to suggest that when a language dies, a culture dies and often all that remains is a lingering memory often encapsulated in a handful of words and phrases and some behavioural mores. In this perspective, the newly re-established Democratic Republic of Timor Leste has seen fit to establish Tetun as a national language, although standardised spelling and grammar are still a matter of some debate. A visitor to East Timor will notice significant variation, of which what is provided in Mr. Morris' book is but one example.

It is very unfortunate that Cliff Morris', who died on October 5, 1998, never saw the re-establishment of an independent East Timor. Mr. Morris' interest in East Timor dates back to the second world war in 1942 when Australia placed commandos there (under protest from neutral Portugal) to establish links with potential local resistance and to distract Imperial Japan's moves towards Australia. In a sense the plan worked as the Japanese soon followed the Australian invasion, resulting in a massive loss of life to the Timorese as fighting broke out. Mr. Morris was part of the 2nd/4th Independent Company of Commandoes from September 1942 to January 1943. Following the Indonesian invasion in 1975, Mr. Morris recalled his debt and agitated for basic medical supplies and self-determination for the Timorese people for the rest of his life. In addition to this phrasebook, he also published a more complete dictionary and a book of Timorese mythic tales in Tetun and English.

This transcription has been undertaken for free distribution under the GNU Public License over computer mediated communications. As the world's newest nation is re-established it also comes at a time when the world is adopting a new means of communication, a technology which may prove to be as powerful as the invention of movable type print. It is important under such circumstances that others in the world are provided the opportunity to learn about the East Timorese cultures and to learn the language of this extraordinarily stoic, resiliant and caring people.

This work was conducted in September and October of 2003, the last weeks of working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, and the first weeks of my return to Australia. The text-editing packages GEdit and KWrite were used under the Red Hat and Mandrake distributions of the Linux operating system. At the time of publication it is the largest online Tetun dictionary.

I give my most sincere thanks to Celastina and Nona of Kuintaal Kiik, Santa Cruz for helping me understand the Tetun language with patience and humour and to Erica Hoehn for proofreading and other assistance in transcription. Thanks is also given to Liza Dezfouli for giving me a copy of the dictionary in the first instance. In addition to the transcription, I also provided the xhtml coding.

Lev LafayetteMelbourne, Australia, October 2003

Cliff Morris went to East Timor as a twenty year old soldier during 1942 where he learned about the complexities of the Animist religion and to admire the Timorese people for their common human concern for all people. On visiting the island in 1973 accompanied by his son Peter, he learned how the friendship so freely given in 1942 had cost the people very dearly in the revenge carried out by the Japanese, after the departure of the Australian troops.

He resolved to commit his life to do something of everlastng good for the people. For ten years he struggled to completing a 10,000 word Tetun-English dictionary from his own fading memory, then with the help of Paulo Quintao da Costa who authenticated the word list, it was finally published by the Australian National University in 1984 as a memorial to all those who lost their lives in Timor in the war against the Japanese. In 1983 he travelled Australia looking for people who were well versed in the story telling of the Animist religion and from this work produced a small book containing some of the village stories and poems to save them from being lost as they are probably no longer told in their country of origin.

Tetun is spoken over the whole of Timor in varying degrees of expertise and a number of regional dialects, but this dictionary is based on TETUN-LOS, because this is the dialect I learnt as a soldier in East Timor during the Second World War. This dictionary has been produced to assist travellers to East Timor, as a means of better communication with the localpopulation. While Indonesian is the language now officially spoken and taught within the areas, Tetun has remained as the language for communication among the local populace.

All grammar and syntax refers only to Tetun-Los which is spoken along the south coast between Betano in the west, Luka in the east, and Soibada in the north.

The word list contains approximately 1100 words as the least number necessary for conversation. I hope those visiting East Timor will find the contents useful in helping to make their visit more enjoyable among a people to whom I owe an unpayable debt for their completely unselfish devotion to my welfare in a most difficult time during the operations against the Japanese that eventually cost so many Timorese their lives after my return to Australia in 1943. Anyone wishing to obtain a more extensive word list can purchase a copy of my Tetun-English dictionary from Pacific Linguistics at the Australian National University, GPO Box 4, Canberra 2601, Australia. (Catalogue, Series C, No 83.)

Examples of written Tetun can obtained from the author in the stories - "Land of the Sleeping Crocodile" at 3 Hoadley Av, Frankston, Vic 3199.

Students of Timorese languages will soon learn that Timor is a land of many different languages and dialects with relatively few speakers of each. Consequently, the total area in which each language or dialect is spoken is very restricted, except Tetun-Dili, which has speakers over all of Timor. This dialect of Tetun is a simplified version introduced by the Portuguese to give a common commercial tongue among all the people. Therefore there is a wide variety of expertise among these speakers, who will invariable have another language as their mother tongue or first language.

The number of distinct languages within East Timor will vary according to the way a language is designated. Listed are the main languages and dialects, with the town merely being the nearest to the area in which the language is spoken (A. Cappell, 1934):

Language Town
Bunak Bobonaro
Dagada Lautem
Galole Manututu
Galole Laclo
Galole Laleia
Idate Laklubar
Kemak Bobonaro
Makasae Laga
Makasae Ossu
Mambae Aileu
Mambae Ainaro
Midiki Baguia
Na'uete Uato Karabau
Nogo-Nogo Kailaku
Nogo-Nogo Atabae
Tokodede Likisa
Tokodede Maubara
Uaimo'a Baukau

Tetun all dialects

Fatu Berliu
Fatu Lulik
Fatu Mea
Foho Ren
Ue Keke

While Tetun is understood in all areas of Timor, there is a wide variation in the pronounciation and vocabulary, as the above languages have influenced Tetun in the areas of use. Similarly many words have been adopted from other languages. Even in areas where Tetun is regarded as the mother tongue there are a number of distinct dialects to add to the student's confusion.

Over many millenia the Timorese have developed a strong skill in the art of story telling, which is demonstrated in poetry by the Na'i Lia's eloquent and expansive oratory.


This dictionary has endeavoured to follow the general usage wherever possible therefore TETUN rather than TETUM is regarded as being the correct name for the language because the Portuguese spell many words with 'M" where the phonetic sound is 'N', and this is what they have done with the word TETUM. Some people have erroneously adopted the 'M' spelling as the phonetic sound.

The wise old men (KATUAS) tell us that the people who lived on the plains (TETU, adjective), therefore the people who spoke the language were of the plains (TETUN, noun). There can be no argument as to the name of the language or its spelling as adjectives are changed to nouns by adding N. In any case no other Tetun word ends in M.

The biggest concentration of natural Tetun speakers occurs in the central south coast of East Timor, from Luka in the east to Alas in the west. While there are small regional differences within this area they are not sufficient to consider any of them a separate dialect. The dialect of this area has been called TETUN-LOS, and has been regarded as standard Tetun in this dictionary.

Broadly, Tetun can be divided into four main dialects:

TETUN-LOS centered around the town of Soidada and the Kingdom of Samoro and along the coast between Alas and Luka. No attempt has been made to include the more complex ritual language of poetry, which is used throughout all areas which Tetun is spoken.

TETUN-TERIK, spoken in the north-west of East Timor and the north-east of West Timor. This dialect is closely related to Tetun-Belu.

TETUN-BELU, spoken in the south-west of East Timor and the south-east of West Timor. Both this dialect and Tetun-Terok are often regarded as distinct languages from Tetun-Los because of different definitions for individual words, but the grammar and syntax are still synonymous.

TETUN-DILI (also known as TETUN-PRASA), the dialect taught to the Portuguese and other people needing a common language for commerce. This language is simpler in grammer than the other dialects and was regarded as the lingua franca in Portuguese times, but is now being challenged by Bahasa.

The island of Timor is very mountainous in relation to its size. The majestic mountains seem to rise without pattern that would be expected for ranges in other places. The river valleys cut into the mountains in most unlikely angles. They are always steep with fast running streams, especially when it rains. The total area of Timor is nearly 3,000 kilometres. It is one of the most easterly island in the Lesser Sunda archipelago, most of which belongs to Indonesia. East Timor has an area of about 19,000 square kilometres. For almost 450 years the area has been known as Portuguese Timor, but in 1976 was annexed by Indonesia as Timor Timur (East Timor), it's 27th province. In 1974, the last official Portuguese census, the population was 680,000. In 1980 the population was 555,350 according to the census conducted by the Indonesian authorities.

In Dili, the capital, it is always hot and there are only two seasons wet and dry.

The morals and social behaviour are not governed by our European standards, but it would be a mistake to regard the culture is in any way primitive. There is no doubt that much of its past culture has depredated because of events that have occurred since 1975, nevertheless there will be enough of the old culture left to open the eyes of all who see it. It is important to look below the surface and gain the most from your visit to the island. The KUTUAS (wise old men) say, "Only those with their eyes open can see."

Much of my own Timorese cultural knowledge may be historic, and not appliciable to present day East Timor, though the fundamental beliefs of the Animists in Mother Earth must still exist in the minds of everyone in what is a very complicated culture. It is always hard to discover the deep intrinsic beliefs and mores of any society. I hope when you leave East Timor you will come away with some of the understanding and admiration I have for these very caring and brave people.

Timorese are of three different racial groups. But because of a long history of intertribal marriage there are no distinct physical features among people except in language. There are 16 languages and between 34 and 36 dialects. The people living along the south coast are Polynesian in language and custom, while those living on the north coast are Melanesian. In the mountains ther are people who can be described by their language as Aboriginals.

Timor has had sophisticated contact with the world for many centuries. The Belu (Tetun) empire extended its power over much of the island but after the Europeans arrived much of the old empire contracted to its present area of indigenous Tetun speakers. The Chinese were regular visitors long before the Portuguese arrived in Timor. The indigenous lunar calendar is similar to the Chinese, the Timor pony has Asian origins and existed in Timor before the Portuguese. The musical instruments are Asian in design and sound. It has been recorded in Chinese history that the Liurai at Besa Kama (the old Belu capital) paid a yearly tribute to China before the Portuguese Dominicans were on the scene in 1566. The attraction to Timor was because of its sandalwood, supposedly the best in the world. It was the sale of sandalwood that gave the Liurais their power and was the cause of their long past internecine wars. The liurais wanted land - land that grew sandalwood, and with the land came people to harvest it. Sandalwood gave them the power to expand their empires. This greed of the liurais caused their subjects to be involved in the danger of war. In the 16th and 17th centuries the Timorese had a reputation for being very warlike. The people of East Timor have a long long history of rebellion against their Portuguese colonial masters.

Timorese are by nature most polite with a great deal of outward humilty and seem willing to agree to anything rather than upset strangers in their land. Thus it is easy to receive a wrong answer to questions, especially leading questions, merely because most people will only be trying to show good manners. Timorese respect others for their social position and education, as well as wealth, but they do not discriminate on the ground of race. This simple fact will put most Australians on an equal footing in their initial contact.

Timorese relatives cover a much wider circle than in Australia. Close kinship is regarded to exist among the uncles, aunts, and cousins of their in-laws' in-laws and a strong loyalty is given to all relatives. In past times the whole society revolved around incurring debts to ones relatives to build a bank of indebtedness for future help in all of the various tasks of living that could be accomplished more efficiently with a number of people, such as growing food, harvesting, house building, feasts, and the Animist religious ceremonies of death, birth and marriage.

Timorse culture was oral, therefore it is only natural that the people had developed strong skills in story telling and in poetry which could be told by anyone. But the ultimate in the art were the LIA NA'IN (also NA'I LIA, literally meaning lord of words), who could without hesitation relate verse on any subject at great length straight out of their heads. There were a number of traditional patterns, but the most common was DADOLIN, where each verse was in two lines and each line was in two phrases. The first phrase of the second line repeated the meaning of the last phrase of the first verse but with different words. It was not uncommon for a skilled Lia Na'in to recite for hourse, all of it verse that had never been heard until then. The actual words of the poetry rarely spoke on any subject with direct meanings. The true meanings were intended for people versed in the culture; e.g. reference to a blossum not yet in full bloom = a virgin; nectar tasted by many = a girl of easy virtue; fruit eaten before it was ripe = drought; things that move in the night = spirits; dreaming of riches = greed; to cry alone = loneliness, or deserted, and so on it went. The real art was to repeat the important points as often as necessary to drive into the mind the message that the poet thought was needed. It is also important to keep in mind the Timorese philosophy that everything has a balancing opposite, such as hot and cold, wet and dry, good and bad, up and down, sky and earth, etc. which were also included in the poetry to complicate the telling.

In every village, the Katuas would tell stories to the children to instruct them in the lore and the code of behaviour of the clan so that on adulthood each person would know how to behave socially and know and accept their position in life. The society was very class conscious. Before the Portuguese the lowest class was LUTUN (the cattle keepers) then ATAN (slaves), EMA RAI (common people), DATO (nobility and royalty). Interspersed were MATAN DOOK (doctor), BUAN (sorcerer) MALULIK (keeper of sacred relics) and LIURAI (king). These were inherited upper class positions. From the Dato came ASU'UAIN (warriors). Marriage offered the only means of rising above the class into which one had been born.

A most important facet of Timorese life for Christians and non-Christians alike, was living with the KLAMAR (the souls of the dead) who had not gone heaven or were unable to leave this earth for any reason. It was a Timorese belief that a wandering soul was always on the lookout to invade (or return to) the body of living persons where it would cause untold havoc and eventual death unless the klamar was persuaded to leave its new home. These spirits would enter the body through a number of body orifices. Their favourite entry sites were the nose or eyes, never through the mouth or genital orifices. Not all spirits were evil. Some in fact were guardians to keep the evil ones away and in times of danger would appear to warn their ward so that a degree of stability continued to exist. Living in the Animist world was a continual struggle to keep life flowing with as much stability as possible. The MATAN DOOK (doctor) could invoke all sorts of potions (herbal medicine) and fetishes to nullify a HOROK (spell) from a klamar or one placed by the BUAN (sorcerer), who had very wide powers to create havoc among everyone. His power was much stronger than the Matan Dook. The position of Matan Dook was handed on from father to son after many years of training. It was usually inherited among the Dato therefore it was a social status within the clan. The position of Buan could be inherited by any likely candidate with the proper aptitude after a long period of training and be either male or female, but usually male. A Buan had a religious standing in the community, which would give him a fearful respect. Even an important Liurai would treat a Buan with humble respect and fear. Within the orbit of the Animist religion all living things have souls, both plant and animal. Evil spirits came from creatures, especially those who spent the first half of their lives in water, and also came from the souls of people who lived a bad life.

Another being with supernatural power was the witch, in some areas known as KUKULASAK. In natural form she was an old woman, but had the power to transform herself into any other living thing. She could appear as a beautiful young woman to entice innocent people into sorts of danger with her beguiling ways. Every village had stories about witches appearing before some relative and by all sorts of trickery taking them away, never to be seen again. Some parents even told their children that witches like to eat people, especially plump, naughty children.
In the Animist religion it is believed that we are on this earth for a short period and after death on this earth we would return to the womb of the earth through the many vaginas that exist in the FATU KUAK (caves) in Timor. Therefore we must live a good life to return to our origins at the completion of the ephemeral stay on earth. All tribal debts have been repaid by our surviving relatives in order to free the soul and enable a feast to be held to celebrate the spirit's passage to heaven. Every community has a legend about the first men appearing out of the earth to form their clan. In previous times Timor was a cashless society and the wealth of an individual was assessed by the amount of livestock that they owned, such as horses, buffaloes, goats, pigs as well as gold and silver. These animals were not used in everyday life as food. There was a much more important use for them; in life they showed how successful a person had been and in death many of these animals were slaughtered for the feast which sent the soul to heaven. Animals were NEVER sacrificed as a tribute to any religious ceremony, but as food for the invited guests. Feasts were held to celebrate births where the correct proportion of direct and in-law relatives were invited. As marriages were often arranged as political alliances rather than for any other reason, the guests at a birth feast could easily be from another kingdom far away. These feasts or gatherings served to reinforce obligations that each alliance placed on each clan and helped keep peace within the whole community.

At planting time special ceremonies were conducted to placate the Klamar and ensured that the guardian Klamar knew the seeds were being planted in the womb of Mother Earth. The guardian Klamar could then ensure the seeds were fruitful. If the planting was carried out at the first rain but no following rain occurred then it was said that an evil spirit had killed the soul of the plant and not that the farmer had made a mistake by planting too early. At harvest time it was always a race to reap the crops before the rats consumes the year's crop. Rats, of course, were the work of an evil spirit. The same was said if the plants became diseased, or failed for any other reason, like too much rain.

The UMA (house) in Timor was much more than a place for the family to live. In the Animist religion there was no church, and the family home served this purpose much better. The traditional house had two poles as its base foundation. These two poles represeneted the male and female (all things in Timor came in pairs), and divided the house into two areas, where the woman of the house ruled supreme. Because the house had this religious significance. The woman of the house acted as the religious head of the family. On the female pole hung the woven bags containing the dried placentas of the occupants of the house. These articles should follow each person throughout their life, otherwise they had no protection against any Klamar. Also each person would not be able to return to Mother Earth as whole person on their death.

Disasters were accepted with stoic fatalism as the work of an evil spirit. Even accidents were ascribed to fetishes or invasions of spirits. Therefore the Timorese were able to accept the most horrific ill-fortune and still be able to carry on as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Because of the importance of combating the effects of the Klamar, some people would change their name after a serious misfortune so that the Klamar would not know them any more, and nothing would persuade them to admit to being previously known by their prior name, which was very disconcerting for the Portuguese conducting the bi-annual census. During the Second World War the Australian soldiers in East Timor employed many adolescent boys to help them with their baggage. One day while being chased by the Japanese, we had to cross a flooded stream. The usual method was to enter the stream with the upstream leg bent and down stream leg stiff and by a forward hopping action progress across to the other bank. During the course of crossing two of the Timorese boys were hit by rocks along along the bed of the stream and were swept down stream and drowned. The Australian soldiers were most upset with such a tragic personal loss but the Timorese said, "We are here to protect the Australians. All the Australians are safe, and that is all that is important." It would have been very bad manners to have shown grief to us. There are many other instances that could be related about the care for other people the Timorese showed us during our war in Timor.

Marriage and the arrangement of marriage consumed a great deal of time and ceremony. The usual and preferred method was by HAFOLI (lit:to fix the value) where a go-between (a katuas close to the family) would spend up to a year and even longer fixing the terms of the alliance. The proper gifts were passed to each side as the terms were gradually sorted out. At each stage the Lia Na'in would recite long lengths of poetry DADOLIN (two line verse) emphasising the merits of the alliance to the opposite side. A Lia Na'in from the other side would do the same, as the guests ate food supplied by the groom's relatives. When the terms had been agreed upon, and the initial gifts exchanged, (buffalo, and horses from the groom's family as well as gold and silver, and from the bride's family goats, pigs and cloth) the two young people often lived together on a nightly basis in the house of the girl's parents. Consummation was the only recognized rite of marriage. Now that so many Timorese are Christian, the priests could be insisting on a marriage ceremony similar to that conducted in our churches.

In times past marriage was not entered upon lightly. Firstly the prospective groom would approach his parents for permission to marry. Then the elders would decide if the young man was a suitable candidate to become a full member of the clan, as only married men and women were allowed to enter fully into all the religious rites and secrets. If for any reason the elders decided that the young man was not suitable to become a full clan member (as a practising priest of Mother Earth), then no arrangement could be made for his marriage. Of course this does not happen any more. Since 1975 many young men take the woman of their choice as their wife without any ceremony. This is called HAFE. Unlike in our Western culture, marriage between first cousins is not frowned upon, provided the nupital couple were the children of a brother or sister. Two children of sisters or brothers was strictly forbidden.

Slavery was an accepted way of life even in 1975. It was a very benign practice, but it still existed, even though it had been outlawed by the Portuguese. It was not uncommon for young boys and some girls to be sold into slavery. I personally know some young Timorese refugees who were slaves in Timor. Another way of describing the practice would be to say the ATAN (slave) was an upaid servant, also called KREADO (nurse for a baby), who was not free to leave the family. Their masters were responsible for their welfare and usually the slave was treated humanely. It was not unusual for a slave to become part of the family to such a degree that on adulthood he married a daughter of the family.

The Timorese have a special reverence for death. It was the time when the virtues of the deceased were told to the world at great length by the mourners. The demise of an important clan member meant much displacement of power, with new positions to be filled. Sometimes it was found that the only solution was to offer the position to someone in a neighbouring clan. In extreme situations the clan was split into two. It has been said to me by a KATUAS (wise old man) that by nature man is a spiller of blood, and is incapable of controlling his actions which are against the needs of Mother Earth, where harmony will ensure a fruitful life for humans. Therefore it is better for him to satisfy his instinct outside his family, so that he can live in harmony at home with his wife and children. After about a year, all the relatives and those who had a debt owing to them, or those who had an alliance with the deceased were invited to a KORE METAN (celebration of departure) back to where the soul of the deceased had emerged form the womb of Mother Earth. Many final debts were repaid in the work involved in the preparation of the feast. The guests gorged themselves with meat and TUAKA (palm wine) for anything up to a week of dancing and telling stories of the virtues of the departed.
I do not purport that what has been written is anything but a thumbnail sketch of the psyche of East Timorese culture, because it is difficult to obtain more than a glimpse into the religious life of the Timorese Animist world. I am happy if it helps the traveller have a greater understanding and appreciation of life in East Timor.

Tetun is a soft language, because of the lack of harsh gutteral sounds. The stress is usually on the penultimate syllable with a few exceptions.

Capital letters denote stress:

HA-re, to see
ha-FI-la, to return
ha-LU-ha, to forget
ba-BU-rit, a syringe
hak-FI-lak, to alter
nak-FU-nan, to become mouldy
a-RU-ma, some (mostly said as RU-ma)
KU-ak, hole
IS-in, body
BA-dain, tradesman
KA-rau, buffalo
RAI, earth

Sometimes the letter U may act as a consonant similar to English W. In some areas this sound is changed to B as more natural sound for that district:

la-UA-rik, youth (la-BA-rik)
UA-ni, honeybee (BA-ni)
UE, water (BE)

A small number of Tetun words are stressed irregularly on the last syllable.

ha-RE, riceta-FE, to spiteha-HU, to beginko-A, to crow

Tetun also has double vowels, which are an extension of a single sound, e.g.

BOOT, big
AAT, bad, evil
ba-DAAK, rice powder

The glottoral stop is common and important practice of speech in Tetun between vowels, as a break or hiatus, and is indicated by '. It can be described as a click at the back of the throat:

KO-'-a, to cut
NA-'-uk, to steal
BE-'-u, to thresh grain

Hyphenated words are pronounced as two words, but the stress is on the last penultimate syllable:

aman-IKun, uncle
bere-LOik, spider
bai-RUa, day after tomorrow

Consonants are sometimes prefixed to root words, mostly as expletives, to become part of the first syllable, but to be pronounced in such a way to be barely distinguishable:

KBA-but, troublemaker
KBE-lak, disc
KDO-ran, water vessel

Some words are pronounced differently in two or more districts:

BUU, KBUU, sack

A number of words from other languages are included because they are in such common usage they can be regarded as part of the alphabet. The are spelt phonetically:

AMIGU, friend (from Portuguese AMIGO)
BARLAKE, marriage (from Indonesian BERLAKI)

Diphthongs (double vowel sounds):

AI like i in ice, AIN, foot
EI like e in below, TEIK, to stamp the feet
OI like oy in boy, HAKOI, to bury
UI like we, TAFUI, to spit
AU like ou in pound, BAUR, rainbow
EU like ew in sew, KAKEU, a tree
OU like ow in bow, BOU to heap

Some letters of the English language are not natural to the Tetun language, but may appear in loan words (i.e. introduced words.) Some words are changed to a more natural sound and some letters are interchangebale from district to district, especially where Tetun is spoken as a second language.

letter, changed to, examples

foreign letters
C or Cceil;, S, AC¸U ASU

Some English combinations like "CH", "TH" are unpronounceable by Timorese, "thing" being siad as "ting".

The approximate sounds of the alphabet are:

A, like "a" in father
B, as in English
D, as in English
E, like "e" in set or "a" in fake
F, like "f" in father
H, like "h" in harm
I, like "ea" in tea
K, like "k" in kite
L, like "l" in like
M, as in English
N, as in English
O, like "o" in hot or not.
P, as in English
R, like scottish rr with a roll of the tongue
S, like "s" in some
T, as in English
U, like "w" in wake as first letter other letters like "oo" in boot
Note: The letters C, G, J, Q, V, W, X, Y, Z are not normally used in Tetum (see above notes on loan words). However loan words still retain their original form, so it is possible to find all letters of the English alphabet.

Vowels and consonants at the end of words.

E & O are at the end of words are pronounced slightly open.

HARE, to see
SELE, to destroy
KOKO, to try
LEBO, to carry

Final AE, OE, EO are pronounced slightly open and are articulated as two syllables.

HAE, grass
MALAE, foreigner
SASOE, palm leaf cape
LALEO, hut
KULEO, seasickness
KAKAE, cockatoo

In final -EK, -ET, -OK, -OT the consonant is weakly pronounced.

This section is a summary of the morphology and syntax of well-spoken Tetun-Los, though it should be noted that the number of of Tetun dialects, and the intrusion of the neighbouring languages, has not made the task of what constitutes good Tetun an easy one.


Nouns are both singular and plural, but can be made either by the insertion of "IDA" for singular, "SIRA" for plural after the noun.

KUDA IDA, a horse;
UMA IDA; a house,
EMA IDA, a person;
ASU SIRA, the dogs;
EMA SIRA, the person, or the people.

Some words express emphatic degees of the meaning by partial repition, i.e. by omitting the last consonant in the first part:
TEBES, true;
TETEBES, very true;
MANAS, hot;
MANAMANAS extremely hot.

Note: this applies to all parts of speech.

Words which require emphasis repeat the first syllable of the word as a prefix: MOURIS, MOUMOUSIS, alive.
Also refer to HAE and MAKA in dictionary text.

Gender of Nouns

Nouns have no formal gender, but masculinity and feminity may be expressed by adding the following words to the noun:

Tetun Dili
other dialects

OAN MANE, boy;
KUDA INAN, mare;
AI DILA MANEN, male pawpaw (one that does not bear fruit).

Expression of Possession

Possession is shown in nouns by placing NIA between the possessor and the person or thing possessed:
KARAU NIA DIKUR (buffalo's horn), or horn of (the) buffalo (literally: 'buffalo-his-horn'); KUDA NIA AIN, horse's leg, or leg of horse (literally: 'horse-his-leg').
In conversation NIA is often dropped; e.g. KARAU DIKUR etc.

Definite and Indefinite Articles

Tetun has no special words for "a", "an", or "the" but "IDA" meaning "one" can perfrom these functions, e.g. FAHI IDA a/the pig.
The plural article is formed by adding "SIRA", e.g. FAHI SIRA, the pigs.


Adjectives always follow the noun without exception. They may be formed from other words that end in a vowel by adding the letter K.
Nouns and other words ending in N may change this to Km but are often left as they are. Some adjectives are formed by prefixing "HAK" but mostly "NAK", particularly those with a verbal sense.

Personal Pronouns

1st pers. sing., I me, HA'U
2nd pers. sing., you you (polite), O ITA
3rd pers. sing., he she her it, NIA
1st pers. pl., we us (exclusive) we us (inclusive), AMI ITA
2nd pers. pl., you, IMI EMI3rd pers. pl., they them they (Tetum-Belu), SIRA SIA
Pronoun subjects and objects are not distinguished in Tetun. 'We' and 'us' inclusive includes those being spoken to (i.e. 'we and you'), while 'we' and 'us' exclusive (i.e. 'we alone') do not include those spoken to.

We come to see you, because we are all friends.

Possessive Pronouns

The possessive pronouns are formed by placing the pronoun before the noun with NIA between them, e.g. HA'U NIA ASU, my dog. NIA NIA 'his' is normally shortened to NINIA, e.g. NIA NIA ASU or NINIA ASU, 'his dog, her dog'. In conversation NIA can be dropped when the known ends a vowel provided N or K is added to the end of the noun, e.g. HA'U ASUN, my dog.
HA'U NIAN, HA'UN, HA'UK, NIAN, NINIAN etc. are used as possessive pronouns where there is no noun at the end of a sentence.


Root verbs are in the present tense. Verbs may be changed by the addition of particles and/or participles to make them active, reflexive infinite, past, future or present, as well as some conditions not found in English.

Tetun has no verb "to be", therefore care should be taken when transposing to English; OAN FETO MOE, the girl is shy, literally 'girl shy'.

Verbs beginning with H and O change with person. Other verbs prefix K for the first person singular; HA'U KBA, I go.

1st pers. sing., use letter K, HA'U KA I eat HA'U KBA I go
2nd pers. sing., use letter M, O MA you eat
2nd pers. sing. (polite)., use letter H, ITA HA you eat
3rd pers. sing., use letter N, NIA NA he eats
1st pers. pl. (inc)., use letter H, AMI HA
2nd person. pl. (exc)., use letter H, ITA HA we eat
3rd person pl., use letter R, SIRA RA they eat
3rd person pl. (Belu), use letter R, SIA RA they eat

Tense of Verbs

All verbs are naturally in the present tense, but may give the meaning of another tense by the context of sentence; NIA BA BASAR ABAN, he will go to the market tomorrow; NIA BA BASAR HORISEK, he went to the market yesterday. Tense may also be indicated by tense particles:
past tense ONA, TIHA
future tense SEI
Since all these particles can be used in other ways, examples are given of their use.

1. placed after the verb to form past tense: AMI HA ONA, we ate; MAU BERE BA ONA BAUKAU, Mau Bere went to Baukau. ONA in this use always indicates the immediate past (a short time ago).
2. placed after the word (not a verb) it qualifies to denote a recently completed action: LEKE MAUK MORAS, MAI BE DI'AK ONA, Leke Mauk was sick, but is well know.
3. placed after the word it qualifies as an adverb, meaning "enough", "sufficient": NE'E DI'AK ONA, that is good enough, also TO'O ONA and NATON ONA have the same meaning.
4. used as an intehection; DI'AK ONA, well, alright.

1. placed after the verb forms past tense: BERE LELIK LA'O TIHA, Bere Lelike has gone (could be a short or long time ago); MAU LETO BA TIHA UMA, Mau Leto went home (some time ago).
2. placed after the word it qualifies to give the meaning of 'instead of': LEKI NAHAK LA BA BASAR, NIA BA TIHA SORO, Leki Nahak did not go to the market; instead he went hunting. NIA BA FILA TIHA SORO, or NIA BA TIHA FILA SORO, would mean instead he went hunting.
3. placed before ONA it indicates that the action is completely finished: LEKI BEREK HALAI TIHA ONA, Leki Berek has run away.
4. as a verb, to fish with a net: AMI TIHA IKAN BARAK, we net many fish.
5. as a verb to cast, fling, or throw: SIRE TIHA FATUK BA UE, they threw a stone in the water.

1. placed before the verb denotes future tense: ORAS ISA HA'U SEI KBA UA KREDA, shortly I will go to church.
2. placed before a verb can indicate that the action is still continuing: TETI BEREK SEI HARIS, Teti Berek is still having a bath.
3. used with DAUK or DAUN indicates negative future tense (sometimes used with LA, LAE): ISULINU SEI DAUK MAI, Isulinu will not come. Note: SEI LA DAUK MAI or LA DAUK SEI are just as correct. PAULU SEI DAUK HALO KNAAR IDA NE'E, Paulo will not do this work. Note: same combination as above applies. SEI DAUK on its own means 'not yet'.
4. placed before a verb can have the meaning of 'must' or 'obliged to': AIDA SEI HEMU AI MORUK NE'E, Aida must drink this medicine. O SEI HALO SERBISU IDA NE'E, you must do this work.


particles placed after the verb to give it a reflexive meaning: NIA OHO AN, he killed himself. When used with RASIK means 'own' or 'self' the construction changes; SUKI NAKENAK RASIK NIA AN, or SUKI NAKENAK NIA AN RASIK, Suki wounds himself.

placed before the verb to indicate purpose or intention: HA'U KBA ATU HARE BASAR, I go to see the market.

a particle following the verb indicating that the action is still continuing: LEKI MAUK LERE DAUDAUN DU'UT, Leki Mauk is cutting the grass.

a causative prefix forming new verbs from verbs, nouns and adjectives: BADAK, short; HABADAK, to shorten; MONU, to fall; HAMONU, to drop; FODAK, timid; HAFODAK, to startle. HA is a contraction of HALO, thus HALO BADAK is contracted to (>) HABADAK, literally 'make short'.

particles prefixed to verbs, nouns, and adjectives to form verbs which describe the state or action of the subject resulting from a continued action of the root word: TA'UK to fear > HAMTA'UK, to be in fear (of something); KUUS, nasal mucus > HAMKUSS, to have a cold; LAHA, hunger > HAMLAHA, to be hungry. Note: HAM- and HAN- are interchangeable.
LEREKparticle placed after verbs to indicate a state of rest, abandonment, or permanence: NIA MAI LEREK TASI IBUN, he came to the seashore (infers that he went no further than the seashore).

particles prefixed to verbs to form nouns denoting the agent which practises the verb's action: HAFETU, to kick > MAFETUK, kicker; KAIR, to hold > MAKAIR LULIK, the keeper of the sacred house; LA'O, to walk > MALA'OK, traveller, HATETE, to talk > MATETEK, speaker; FUAK, fruitful > MAFUAK, fruiting tree. Note: root words beginning with H change to M, those ending in a vowel add K; also MA and MAK are second person forms of HA and HAK.

prefix to form verbs in third person plural; also forms verbal nouns and adjectives.

prefix to form verbs in third person plural and also verbal nouns and adjectives.

an emphatic particle stresstiung the word it preceeds, not translatable in English, used in all dialects. The Tetun-Dili equivalent is MAK, MAKA.

an adverb meaning 'extra', 'plus'. It also forms cardinal numbers over ten: RUANULU RESIN IDA, twenty one, literally, twenty plus one.

a particple affixed after a word to form nouns with a derogatory sense: BARUK, lazu; BARUK TEEN, laziness.

Within East Timor there are two natural systems with decimal (10) and quintic (5) as basic units. The decimal system is universally understood and transposable to other decimal systems.


Larger numbers exist, but for practical purposes they are seldom used as most people using larger numbers do so in the Portuguese or Indonesian systems.

(P) = Portuguese word
(I) = Indonesian word


AAS, high, tall
AAT, bad, evil
ABAN, tomorrow
ABUT, root
AGORA (P), now
AHI, fire
AHI ANAR, ember, glowing coal
AHI HAHAN, cook by charring
AHI LAKAN, flame
AHI OAN, lamp
AHI SUAR, smoke
AHU, lime
AI, tree, wood, firewood
AI ABUT, root
AI BALU, box, chest
AI BEN, AI UEN, sap, juice, resin
AI BUBUR METAN, eucalyptus (black)
AI DILA, pawpaw tree
AI DILA FUAN, pawpaw fruit
AI FARINA, cassava flour
AI FUAN, fruit
AI FUAN ISIN, edible portion of fruit
AI FUAN KULIT, fruit skin
AI FUAN MUSAN, fruit seed
AI FUNAN, flower
AI HUN, tree base
AI KAMELI, sandalwood
AI KEBELAK, plank, board
AI KULIT, bark of tree
AI LARAN, ALAS, forest
AI LELE, kapok
AI LIA, ginger
AI LOLON, trunk of a tree
AI LOS, straight tree
AI MAHON, shade
AI MANAS, chilli
AI MORUK, medicine
AI NAR, rose bush
AI RAHUN, sawdust
AI RII, AI RIIN, stake, post
AI SNAK, branch of a tree
AI SAR, broom
AI SARIAN, mahogany tree
AI SUAK, digging stick
AI TAHAN, leaf
AI TAHAN SOKAT, young leaf
AI TARAK, thorn
AI FUKUN, knot in tree
AIN, leg, foot
AIN FATIN, footprint
AIN HIRA, how many sticks
AI SUKAT, measuring stick
AKA, sago
ALIN, younger brother
ALIN FETO, younger sister
ALU, ALUN, pestle
AMAK, masculine
AMAN, father, male of animals
AMAN BOOT, uncle older than father
AMAN KI'IK, uncle younger than father
AMAN SARANI, godfather
AMAN TUAN, grandfather
AMI, we (exclusive) AMIGU (P), friend
ANANAS (P), pineapple
ANAR, ash (see AHI NAR)
ANIN, wind
ANIN BOOT, strong wind
ANIN FUIK, cyclone
ASU, dog
ASU (P), steel, hard
ASU KUTIN, dog flea
ATAN, slave
ATUS, hundred
AU, bamboo
AU TOUHU, sugarcane


BA, go, proceed, go off
BA, at, in, on, to, for
BABA, drum
BABETA, ankle ornaments
BABOO, horn trumpet
BABUKU, snal, slug
BABURIT, syringe
BADAAK, rice powder, talc
BADAIN, tradesman
BADAIN AI, carpenter
BADAK, short
BAER, BAAR, astringent taste
BAKU, beat, punish
BAKU MALU, fight
BALADA, domestic stock
BALIU, axe
BALU, some, part, half
BALU, middle
BANI, honey bee
BANI BEN, honey
BANIN FETO, mother-in-law
BANIN MANE, father-in-law
BARAK, many, much
BARIA, bitter melon
BARUK, lazy
BARUK TEEN, laziness
BASAR, market
BATAR, maize, indian corn
BATAR FULIN, corn cob
BATAR NURAK, sweet corn
BAUR, rainbow
BE, UE, water
BE KOLAN, swamp
BE MATAN, spring
BEEN, liquid, juice, sap
BEIBEIK, often, continually
BEIK, stupid
BEIN, grandparent
BELAK, disc
BELAR, flat, level
BELE, can, able
BELU, friend
BERO, canoe
BESI, iron
BESI ASU, steel
BESIK, near, close
BE'U, thresh grain
BIBI, goat
BIDU, dance
BIIN, sister
BIIT, strength
BI'IT, lift by fingers
BIKAN, plate
BINATAN, domestic animals
BIRAK, copper
BITI, sleeping mat
BOBAR, roll up, tricky
BOEK, shrimp
BOK, touch
BOKAR, thick
BOKON, wet
BOKUR, fat
BOLU, call out
BOOT, big, large
BOSOK, lie, deceive
BOTIL (P), bottle
BUA, betel nut
BUAN, sorcerer
BUAT, thing
BUAT RUMA, something
BUIS, savage, untamed
BUKA, seek, look for
BULAK, mad, crazy
BUSA, cat
BUU, KBUU, sack


DADA, pull, drag
DADER, early morning
DADINIS, mane of horse
DADOLIN, verse in two lines
DADUR, detain EMA DADUR, prisoner
DAHUR, song sung at gatherings
DALAN, track, road
DAMBUA, grapefruit
DASA, sweep
DATO, noble class
DAUN, needle
DA'AN, boil food
DEHAN, say, speak
DELEK, blind
DEROK, orange
DE'IT, only
DIDIN, wall
DIKIN, leaf tip
DIKUR, horn, antlers
DIMA, spear
DINELA (P), window
DIUK, deaf
DI'AK, good, well
DOBEN, darling, dear
DODOK, rotten
DOIS, stink, smell
DOMINGU (P), Sunday
DOOK, far, distant
DUDU, push
DUKUR, sleep SULAS, twist
DUN, LA DUN, few, little
DUUNI, chase
DUUT, grass


EMA, person
EMA FUIK, savage, wild man
ERAVILA (P), pea
ESKOLA (P), school
ETU, rice (cooked)


FAHE, divide
FAHI, pig
FAHO, harrow weed
FAI, pound, crush
FALI, again
FALUK, widowed
FALUN, parcel
FALUR, pigeon
FANUN, awake
FASI, FASE, wash
FASI MOS, wash clean
FATIN, place, spot, position
FATUK, stone, rock
FA'AN, sell
FEHUK, tuber of all kinds
FEHUK MIDA, sweet potato
FEHUK ROPA, potato
FEN, wife (impolite)
FERIK, old woman FETO, woman
FETO FOUN, daughter-in-law
FETO RAN, virgin
FETOK, feminine
FILA, turn
FILA FALI, return, go home
FILKA, change, alter
FUSYR, abscess
FITUN, star
FO, give
FODAK, timid
FOHO, mountain
FOHO RAI, uthin
FOIN, just, already
FOKIT, pull, jerk
FOLIN, price, cost
FOREI, bean
FOREI KELI, soya bean
FOREI RAI, peanut
FOS, rice (husked)
FOUN, new, young
FO'ER, dirty
FUAK, pimply, fruitful
FUAN, fruit, heart
FUI, pour liquid
FUIK, wild, savage
FUKIT, pull out
FULAN, moon, month
FULIN, bunch
FULUN, hair (of body), feathers
FUMA (P), smoke tobacco
FUNAN, flower
FUNU, war
FURAK, tasty, nice
FURIN, foam of sea
FUTU, tie up
FUTUN, parcel, package
FUUK, hair of head


GARFU (P), fork
GOSTA (P), like
GURU (I), teacher


HA, eat
HAAS, mango
HAAT, four
HADAK, bamboo flooring
HADER, awake
HADI'AK, improve
HADOMI, love, like very much
HAE, grass variety
HAFETU, kick
HAFILA, return
HAFOIN, therefore, so, then
HAFULAK, embrace
HAHAN, food, nourishment
HAHANEK, wound
HAHOURIS, give birth
HAHU, begin
HAKARAK, want, desire
HAKAT, span of hand
HAKAT AIN, step, pace
HAKDIRUN, palm of hand
HAKEREK, write
HAFUIK, whistle
HAKILAR, shout, yell
HAKOI, bury
HAKSI'AK, rowdy
HALAI, run away
HALFODAK, astonish, frighten
HALI, banyan tree
HALIBUR, assemble, collect
HALO, make, work, construct, do
HALO LOS, correct
HALUHA, forget
HAMLAHA, hungry
HAMNASA, laugh
HAMOS, cleanse
HAMROOK, thirsty
HAN, food
HANANU, sing
HANEK, plate
HANESA, HANESAN, same, similar
HANOIN, think, remember
HARE, rice
HARE, see, look
HARE FULIN, ear of rice
HARE KAIN, rice stem
HARE NATAR, rice paddy
HARIS, bathe
HASAI, take away
HASAN, jaw, chin
HATAIS, clothes, get dressed
HATAMA, enter, insert
HATAN, answer, reply
HATENU, bark of dog
HATETEN, DEHAN, speak, talk, say
HATUDU, indicate, show way
HA'E, emphatic particle
HA'U, I HA'U NAIN, mine
HEIN, wait
HELA, live, stay, remain
HEMU, drink
HENA, cloth
HETAN, find, discover,
HILI, pick up
HIRA, how many, how much
HIRUS, angry, annoyed
HITU, seven
HO, and, with
HODI, take, carry
HOPU, gallop
HOROK, charm, spell
HORON, smell
HOTU, completed
HOTU, all
HOTU, too
HOURI, from (time)
HOUSI, from (place)
HUDI, banana
HUN, trunk of tree
HUN, base of anything
HUSAR, navel
HUSIK, leave, abandon
HUSU, ask
HUSU LIA, question
HUU, whisper, blow softly
HU'IN, genitals (female)


IBUN, mouth
IDA, one; a
IDA DE'IT, one only
IDA IDA, each one
IDE NE'E, this one, this
IDE NE'E BA, that those
IDE NE'E BE, which, who
IDA NE'E DUNI, this one, definitely
IDA NE'E MAIZ, this one
IDA SELUK, another
IHA, is, have, possess
IHA, to at, on, in
IHA DOOK, far away
IHA KARUK, on left
IHA KIDUN, on the bottom
IHA KLARAN, in middle
IHA KRAIK, below
IHA KUANA, on right
IHA LARAN, inside
IHA LEET, in between
IHA LETEN, at the top, above
IHA LIMAN LOS, on right
IHA MOS NE'E BA, as well
IHA NE'E, here
IHE NE'E BA, there
IHA NIA OIN, in front of
IHA NIA SOURIN, at the side
IHA OKOS, underside
IHA ORAS NE'E, this time, then
IHA TUTUN, on top
IIS, breath
IKAN, fish
IKUN, tail
IKUS, last
IMI, you (plural)
IMI NIAN, yours
INA FERIK, grandmother
INAN BOOT, aunt older than mother
INAN KI'IK, aunt younger than mother
INUS, nose
ISIN, body
ITA, we (incl.), you (polite)
ITA NIA, our
ITA NIAN, ours
IU, shark


JAMBUA, DAMBUA, grapefruit
JANTAR (P), dinner
JOGA (P), play
JOGA SURAT (I), play cards


KA, or KA'AN, sister-in-law
KABAS, cotton
KABAS FATUK, cotton ball
KABAS LAHAN, cotton thread
KABEER, smooth
KABEN, wife (polite)
KABUAR, round, plump
KABUK, pregnant
KABUN, stomach
KABUN DULAS, stomach ache
KABUN MORAS, stomach ache
KADELI, ring
KADI, sharpen
KADO, saw
KAFE, coffee
KAIL, fish hook
KA'I LISIN, fish hook
KAIR, hold, grasp, drive car
KA'IT, hook, girlfriend
KAKATUA, cockatoo, pliers
KAKELUN, bracelet
KAKEU, casuarina tree
KAKOROK, neck, throat
KAKU, owl
KAKUTAK, brain
KAL, maybe, perhaps
KALAN, night
KALEN, tin
KALOHAN, cloud
KAN, greedy
KANEK, wound, injure
KANURU, spoon
KAOA, crow
KAPAS (P), good, capable, beautiful
KARAU, buffalo
KARAU KULIT, hide, leather
KARETA (P), truck, bus
KARIK, maybe, perhaps, if
KARO (P), car
KARUDU, mint
KARUK, left
KATAR, scratch, itchy
KATUAS, old man
KA'UT, bag, sack
KBAS, KEBAS, shoulder
KBELAK, disc
KDORAN, water vessel
KEDAN, KEDAS, immediately, at once
KEDO, frog
KELA, cricket (insect)
KELEN, thigh
KELEUR ONA, long time ago
KESI, fasten, tie
KETA, KETAK, don't
KE'E, dig
KFOLI, loin-cloth
KFUI, whistle
KIAK, poor, orphan
KIDAN, haunch, hindquarters
KIDUN, bottom, buttocks
KIDUN MEAN, haemorrhoids
KILAT, firearm
KILAT FUAN, bullet
KINAS, petal
KINU, yellow
KINUR, saffron
KITI LILI, firefly, glow worm
KIUKAE, quail
KI'IK, little, small
KLAMAR, soul, spirit
KLARAN, middle
KLES, open, bare; a shred
KLEUK, bent, crooked
KLEUR, long time
KLOOT, tight, narrow
KLOSAN, young, single nobleman
KLUNI, pillow
KMAAN, light, not heavy
KMAHA, dew
KMANEK, good, goodness
KMAUS, rich
KMII, candlenut tree
KNAAR, work, job
KNIKU, bamboo water, vessel
KNUA, hamlet, village
KNUUK, nest
KOBARKA, basket
KOHE, purse
KOKO, try, attempt
KOKOK, touch, feel
KOLAR, smallpox
KOLE, KOLEN, tired; wages
KONA, towards KOSAR, sweat
KOSE, wipe, brush
KOTU, break
KOU'US, pregnant, cuddle
KO'A, cut
KO'A LIA, speak, talk
KRAIK, down
KREDA, chruch
KUAK, hole
KUANA, right
KUDA horse
KUDSA, sow seed, plant
KOTU KOTUK, saddle bag
KUDA LUHAN, stable
KUDA LUBUN, kick by horse
KUDA TAILN, halter, harness, rope
KUIK, KURITA, octopus
KULAN, giblet
KULIT, hide, skin, bark
KULU, breadfruit
KULU NAKA, jackfruit
KUNUS, capsicum KURITA, octopus
KURU, scoop water
KUSA, nail
KUTUN, flea
KUUS, snot, nasal mucous
KU'U, pick, gather

LA, LAE, no, not LA BELE, can not LA BUAT IDA, nothing LA DUN BARAK, not much LA IDA, none LA IHA, none LA LOS, wrong LA TOS, easy, not difficult LA TO'O, lacking LABADAIN, spider LABARIK, LAUARIK, youth LABARIK FETO, girl LABARIK MANE, boy LAEK, without, not any LAFAEK, crocodile LAFATIK, winnowing basket LAHA, hunger LAHAN, thread LAHAT, net for shrimps LAHO, rat LAI, first, formerly LAKAN, flame LAKETEU, pigeon LAKERU, pumpkin LAKLEUR, not long, soon LAKOI, don't want, refuse LAKON, lost LAKU, possum LALAIS (LAILAIS), quickly LALAR, fly (insect) LALATIK, earthworm LALEHAN, sky LALENOK, mirror LALKIKA, unnecessary LALORON, wave LAMAS, touch, feel LANTENT, sleeping area LANU, drunk LAPIS (P), pencil LARAN, inside, conscience LARAN AAT, evil LARAN MAKEREK, treacherous LARAN MORAS, sick LASAN, penis LASAN FUAN, testicles LA'EN, husband LA'O, go, walk, travel LA'O DE'IT, on foot, walk only LA-OS, nothing LEBO, carry LEKIRAUK, monkey LELE, float LEMU, travel about LENA, sesame LENUK, turtle LERE, trim, cut (garden, grass) LES, tear, rip LESU, hollow log for grinding LET, LEET, gap, space, between LETEN, above LE'U, fence in LIA, word, speech LIA SUIK, secret LIAN, voice, noise LIBRU (P), book LILIN, wax LIMA, five LIMAN, arm LIMAN FUAN, finger LIMAN KABON, arm LIMAN KUKUUN, finger nail LIMAN TANEN, palm LIPA, sarong LIS ASU, garlic LIS BOT, onion LIU, superlative LIU TAN, more, too much LIU TIHA, later LIUR, outside LIUR FATIUN, toilet LIURAI, king LOJA (P), shop LOKE, open LOLON, mass, body LORAIK, afternoon LORO, sun LORO LOR, south LORO MANAS, midday LORO NATUNTUN, midday LORO RUAI, north LORO SA'E, sunrise, east LORON, day LRORON MONU, sunset, west LORON NAROMAN, dawn LORU, LORU TAHAN, laurel tree, bay leaf LOS, right, correct, straight LOTUK, slender Slim LOURI, carry LUAN, courtyard LUHAn, stable LULIK, sacred LUTU, fence LUUN, tears LUUN TURU, cry tears
MAHAN, shade MAHAR, thick MAI, come MAI BE, but MAI FALI, come back MAK, MAKA, empathic particle MAKA'AS, strong, sturdy MAKEREK, tricky, variegated MAKIKIT, kite, eagle MAKSOURIN, kidney MALAE, stranger, foreigner MALAHUK, grey MALAIRIN, cold MALU, mutual, reciprocal MALUK, relatives MALUS TAHAN, betel leaf MAMAR, soft, gentle MAMIIK, bladder MAMUK, empty, hollow MANAN, win, earn MANAS, hot MANDUKO, frog MANE, man, male MANTOLUN, egg (hen) MANU, bird MANU FUTU, cockfighting MANU RADE, duck MANU RADE BOOT, goose MARAN, dry MAROMAK, good MASAR, asthma MASIN, salt MASIN MAIDAR, sugar MATAK, green, unripe MATAN, eye, lid MATAN DOOK, native doctor MATAN FUKUN, eyebrow MATAN KULIT, eyelid MATAN OAN, pupil MATE, dead MATE KLAMAR, spirit (of dead) MATEK, dormant, ignition off MATENEK, clever MAU, MAUK, male of names MAUN, brother MAUS, tame MEAN, red MEDA, small marsupial MEHI, dream MEIAS (P), sock MESA, MESAK, only, alone MESTRE (P), teacher METAN, black METI, short, reef METIN, solid, firm ME'AR, cough MIDAR, sweet MIHIS, thin MII, urinate, MEINA, fat, oil MODO, vegetable MODO BEN, soup MODOK, green, yellow MOE, shy, ashamed MOLOK, before (time) MONU, fall MORANGU (P), strawberry MORAS, sick MOS, clean; also too MOSU, appear MOTA, river MOTA AIN, reiver lower reaches MOTA IBUN, river mouth MOTA SULI, river bed MOULIK, bald MOURIN, scent MOURIS, alive MOUT, sink MUDA (P), move MURAK, gold MUSAN, seed MUTA, vomit MUTIN, white MUU, kiss
NA'AN, meat NAFATIN, always, ever NAHAN, cargo, goods NAHE, spread out, divide NAHUN, so, so much NAKDED AR, tremble NAKALI (BE), boil (water) NAKDOKO, rattle NAKFUNAN, mouldy NAKONU, full NAKUKUN, dark NALIUN, lake NANAL, tongue NANI, NANIN swim NARAN, name NARAN BUAT, anyone NARAN IDA, whoever NAROMA, daylight, not dark NARUK, long NATA, chew NATAR, paddy field NATI, bed bug NA'IN, sir (polite title) NA'UK, steal NEEN, six NEHAN, tooth NEHEK, ant NEINEIK, slowly NEON, conscience NESUN, mortar NE'E, this, that NE'E BA, that NE'E BE, which, who NE'E DUNI, therfore NE'E MAI, these NIA, he, possessive particle NIKI, bat (animal) NONA, mistress NONOOK, silent, keep quiet NUDAR, as, as well NURAK, young immature NUU, coconut NU'U NE'E, so, therefore NU'U NE'E DUNI, exactly NU'U SA, why
O, you (singular) OAN, child OAN FATIN, uterus OAN FETO, young girl OAN KIAK, orphan OAN MANE, young boy OBRIGADO (P), thanks ODA MATAN, door ODAN, step OHIN, today OHO, kill OIN, face, appearance OIN AAT, ugly, deformed OIN KRAIK, sad OIN SELUK, different OKOS, below ONA, now; past tense particle ORAS, hour, time OSAN, money OSAN MEAN, gold OSAN MUTIN, silver OSAN NARAN, dowry gift
RAAT, beach RABAT, near, close RAHUN, dust; fate RAI, ground, land, earth, world RAI AHU, fog RAI FOHO, mountain RAI HELA, guard RAI HENEK, sand RAI HORUN, precipice RAI HUN, mountain foot RAI INUS, cape RAI KABURBUR, hillock, mound RAI KLEAN, slope (of hill) RAI KUAK, hole RAI LOLON, ranghe RAI MALIRIN, cold weather RAI MANAS, hot weather RAI MARAN, dry weather RAI MOULIK, bare space RAI NAKDODO, earthquake RAI NAKUDU, dark RAI SADERE, hillside RAI SUUT, volcano RAI TARTUTU, thunder RAI UDAN, wet weather RAMA, bow RAMA ISIN, arrow RAN, blood RATE, grave RAUT, gather, collect REBEN, ten thousand REBU, lake REDI, fishing net RENTOS, forehead RESIN, more RE'I LIMAN, kiss hand RIAN, brother-in-law RIHUN, thousand RIIN, post, stake RITI, copper, brass RO, boat RO AHI, steam ship ROHAN, tip, extremity RONA, hear ROPA (P), clothes RO RII, mast ROSAK, strong RUA, two RUANULU, twenty RUIN, bone RUMAH, RUMA, any, something RUSA, deer
SA, tea SA, what SA IDA, which, what SABAUN (P), soap SABRUKA, orange SABULU, woman's sarong SABURAKA, orange SABURAKA SIIN, lemon SADERE, lean against, support SADIA, compassion SAI, go out SAKUNAR, scorpion SALA, fault, error, sin SALURIK, umbrella SAMA, trample SAMEA, snake SAMODO, green snake SANAK, branch SANAN, pot SANAN BESI, iron pot SANULU, ten SARAK, at least SARANI, Christian SARAUK, black and white SASAN, goods, belongings SASUIT, comb SA'E, climb, rise, mount, go up SA'E RO, board, embark SE, who, whom SEBI (P), chief SEI, future particle SEI DAUK, not yet SELE, destroy, rip up SELU, pay, repay SELUK, other, another SEMO, fly SENTINA (P), toilet SIA, nine SIIN, sour SIMU, answer, take, accept SIRA, they SI'AK, angry SI'IK, guess SOBU, destroy SOE, throw away, discard SOLAN, groin SONA, roast SORO, hunt SOSA, buy SOURI, defend SOURIN BALU, opposite side SOURI-AN, defend oneself SOURU, weave SOURUK, go away, get out SO'O, plough up SUBAR, hide, conceal SUBRAKA, orange SUBRAKA LOTUK, mandarin SUBRAKA SIIN, lemon SUHUK, asthma SUI, extract SUKAIR, tamarind SUKAT, measure SUKU, mend, sew SULAN, shut, cork up SULI, flow SUMIK, secret SUNU, scorch, burn SURA, count SURAT, paper, letter, book SURIK, sword SURU, serve meal SUSAR, difficult SUSU, breast SUSU BEN, milk SUSU MATAN, nipple SUSUK, mosquito SUSUN, suckle SUUT, blow nose
TAA, cut, chop TAA ULUN, decapitate TABAKU, tobacco TAFUI, spit TAHA, knife TAHAN, leaf TAHU, mud, clay TAI TETU, valley TAIS, garment TAKA, shut, close TALAS, yam TALIN, rope TAMA, enter, go in TAN, more; find TAN, more, again TAN BA, why, because TANIS, cry TARA, spur for cock fighting TARATA, insult TASKA, ripe TASI, sea TASI BALUN, overseas TASI BE, sea water TASI BOOT, rough sea TASI IBUN, beach TASI INUS, cape TASI KIDUN, sea bottom TASI MAUS, calm sea TASI NAKONU, high tide TASI SI'AK, angry sea TASTI TUN, low tide TATA, bite TAU, put, place TAUTAN, increase TA'UK, afraid TE, excreta TEBE DAI, dance TEBES, truly TETEBES, certainly TEIN, cook TEKI, gecko TENE, invite TERUS, suffer
TESI, cut


UALU, eight
UARTA, strong wind
UAT, vein
UDAN, rain
UDAN RAHUN, light rain
UDAN TAU, raining
UE, water also BE UIT OAN, small, little
UIT OAN DEIT, very little
UKUN, govern, rule
ULAR, worm
ULU, ULUM, first, before, in front
ULUK, formerly, in the past
ULUN, head
ULUN MORAS, headache
UMA, house
UMA HAN, restaurant
UMA KAKULUK, house roof
UMA KREBEK, house ruins
UMA KREDA, church
UMA TALIN, house thatch
UTUR, mould
UUD, whale
UUT, dust


above, LETEN abscess, FISUR afraid, TA'UK afternoon, LORAIK again, FALI alive, MOURIS all, HOTU all, TOMAK always, NAFATIN and, with, HO angry, SI'AK angry, annoyed, HIRUS angry sea, TASI SI'AK ankle ornaments, BABETA another, IDA SELUK answer, reply, HATAN answer, take, accept, SIMU ant, NEHEK any, something, RUMAH, RUMA anone, NARAN BUAT appear, MOSU arm, LIMAN KABON arm, LIMAN arrow, RAMA ISIN as, as well, NUDAR as well, IHA MOS NE'E BA ash, AHU KRESAN ash, AHI KELAN ash, (see AHI ANAR), ANAR ask, HUSU assemble, HALIBUR asthma, MASAR asthma, SUHUK astonish, frighten, HAKFODAK astringent taste, BAER, BAAR at, in, on, to, for, BA at least, SARAK at the side, IHA NIA SOURIN at the top, above, IHA LETEN aunt older than mother, INAN BOOT aunt younger than mother, INAN KI'IK awake, HADER awake FUNUN axe, BALIU
bad, evil, AAT bag, sack, KA'UT bald, MOULIK bald, ULUN MOULIK bamboo, AU bamboo flooring, HADAK bamboo water vessel, KNIKU banana, HUDI banyan tree, HALI bare space, RAI MOULIK bark of dog, HATENU bark of a tree, AI KULIT base of anything, HUN basket, KOBARKA bat, NIKI bathe, HARIS beach, TASI IBUN bean, FOREI beard, IBUN RAHUN beat, punish, BAKU bed, TOBA FATIN bead bug, NATI bee, BANI before (time) MOLOK begin, HAHU below, IHA KRAIK below, OKOS bent, crooked, KLEUK betel leaf, MALUS TAHAN beten nut, BUA big, large, BOOT bird, MANU bite, TATA bitter melon, BARIA black, METAN black and white, SARAUK bladder, MAMIIK blind, DELEK blood, RAN blow nose, SUUT board, embark, SA'E RO boat, RO body, ISIN boil food, DA'AN bone, RUIN book (P), LIBRU bottle (P), BOTIL bottom, buttocks, KIDUN bow, RAMA box, chest, AI BALU boy, LABARIK MANE bracelet, KAKELUN branch, SANAK branch of a tree, AI SANAK breadfruit, KULU break, KOTU break, fracture, TOHAR breast, SUSU breath, IIS broom, AI SAR brother, MAUN brother-in-law, RIAN buffalo, KARAU bull, KARAU UAKA AMAN bullet, KILAT FUAN bunch, FULIN bury, HAKOI but, MAI BE buy, SOSA
calf, KARAU UAKA OAN call out, BOLU calm sea, TASI MAUS camp, HAKMAHAN can, able, BELE can not, LA BELE candlenut tree, KMII canoe, BERO cape, TASI INUS cape, RAI INUS capsicum, KUMUS car, KARO (P) cargo, goods, NAHAN carpenter, BADAIN AI carry, LEBO carry, LOURI cassava, AI LUKA, AI FARINA cassava flour, AI FARINA casuarina tree, JAJEY cat, BUSA cave, FATU KUAK certain, sure, TETEBES change, alter, FILAK charm, spell, HOROK chase, DUNI chest, HIRUS MATAN chew, NATA chief, SEBI (P) child, OAN chilli, AI MANAS Christian, SARANI church, UMA KREDA church, KREDA cleanse, HAMOS clean; also, too, MOS clever, MATENEK climb, mount, go up, SA'E cloth, HENA clothes, FARU, ROPA (P) clothes, get dressed, HATAIS cloud, KALOHAN cockatoo; pliers, KAKATUA cickfighting, MANU FUTU coconut, NUU coffee, KAFE cold, MALIRIN cold weather, RAI MALIRIN collect, assemble, HALIBUR comb, SASUIT come, MAI come back, MAI FALI compassion, SADIA complain, nag, TOLOK completed, HOTU conscience, NEON cook, TEIN cook by charring, AHI HAHAN copper, BIRAK copper, brass, RITI corn cob, BATAR FULIN correct, HALO LOS cotton, KABAS cotton ball, KABAS FATUK cotton thread, KABAS LAHAN cough, ME'AR count, SURA courtyard, LUAN circket (insect) KELA crocodile, LAFAEK crow, KAOA cry, TANIS cry tears, LUUN TURU cuddle, KOU'US cut, TESI cut, KO'A cut, chop, TAA cyclone, ANIN FUIK
dance, BIDU dance, TEBE DAI dark, NAKUNUN darling, dear, DOBEN daughter-in-law, FETO FOUN dawn, LORON NAROMAN day, LORON day, BAIN, UAIN daylight, not dark, NAROMA dead, MATE deaf, DIUK debt, TUSAN decapitate, TAA ULUN decide, TESI LIAN deer, BIBI RUSA deer, RUSA defend, SOURI defend oneself, SOURI-AN destroy, SOBU destroy, rip up, SELE detain, DAHUR dew, KMAHA different, OIN SELUK difficult, SUSAR dig, KE'E digging stick, AI SUAK dinner, JANTAR (P) dirty, FO'ER disc, KBELAK, BELAK divide, FAHE doctor (native), MATAN DOOK dog, ASU domestic animals, BINATAN domestic stock, BALADA don't, KETA, KETAK don't want, reject, LAKOI door, ODA MATAN dormant, ignition off, MATEK down, KRAIK down, descend, TUN dowry gift, OSAN NARAN dream, MEHI drink, HEMU drop, HAMONU drum, BABA drunk, LANU dry, MARAN dry weather, RAI MARAN duck, MANU RADE dust, UUT dust; fate, RAHUN
each one, IDA IDA ear, TILUN ear hole, TILUN KUAK ear of rice, HARE FULIN early morning, DADER earthquake, RAI NAKDODO earthworm, LALATIK easy, not difficult, LA TOS eat, HA edible portion of fruit, AI FUAN ISIN eel, TUNA egg, TOLUN egg (hen), MANTOLUN eight, UALU ember, glowing coal, AHI ANAR embrace, HAFULAK emphatic particle, HA'E emphatic particle, MAK, MAKA empty, hollow, MAMUK enough, TO'O ONA enter, go in, TAMA enter, insert, HATAMA eucalyptus, AI BUBUR METIN eucalyptus, AI BUBUR MUTIN evil, LARAN AAT exactly, NU'U NE'E DUNI excreta, TE extract, SUI eye, lid, MATAN eyebrow, MATAN FUKUN eyelid, MATAN KULIT
face, appearance, OIN fall, MONU far, distant, DOOK far away, IHA DOOK fasten, tie, KESI fat, BOKUR fat, oil, MINA father, male of animals, AMAN father-in-law, BANIN MANE fault, error, sin, SALA feel, HORON KATAK feminine, FETOK fence, LUTU fence in, LE'U fever, ISIN MALRIN fever, ISIN MANAS few, little, DUN, LA DUN fight, TUKU MALU fight, BAKU MALU find, discover, HETAN finger, LIMAN FUAN finger nail, LIMAN KUKUN fire, AHI firearm, KILAT firefly, KITI LILI first, before, ULU, ULUN first, formerly, LAI fish, IKAN fish hook, KAIL fish hook, KA'I LISIN fishing net, REDI five, LIMA flame, LAKAN flame, AHI LAKAN flat, level, BELAR flea, ASU KUTIN flea, KUTUN float, LELE flour, FARINA (P) flow, SULI flower, FUAN flower, AI FUAN fly, SEMO fly (insect), LALAR foam of sea, FURIN fog, RAI AHU follow, obey, TUIR food, HAN food, nourishment, HAHAN footprint, AIN FATIN forehead, RENTOS forest, AI LARAN forget, HALUHA fork, GARFU (P) formerly, in the past, ULUK four, HAAT friend, AMIGU (P) friend, BELU frog, KEDO from (place), HOUSI from (time), HOURI fruit, AI FUAN fruit, heart, FUAN fruit seed, AI FUAN MUSAN fruit skin, AI FUAN KULIT full, NAKONU future particle, SEI
gallop, HOPU gap, space between, LET, LEET garden, TO'OS garlic, LIS ASU garment, TAIS gather, collect, RAUT gecko, TECKI genitals female, HU'IN giblet, KULAN giner, AI LIA girl, LABARIK FETO girth, KUTA HETIN give, FO give birth, HAHOURIS go, proceed, go off, BA go, walk, travel, LA'O go away, get out, SOURUK go out, SAI goat, BIBI god, MAROMAK godfather, AMAN SARANI gold, OSAN MEAN gold, MURAK good, beautiful, KAPAS (P) good, goodness, KMANEK good, well, DI'AK goods, belongings, SASAN goose, MANU RADE BOOT govern, rule, UKUN grandfather, AMAN TUAN grandmother, INA FERIK grandparent, BEIN grapefruit, DAMBUA grass, DUUT grass variety, HAE grave, RATE greedy, KAN green, unripe, MATAK green, yellow, MODOK grey, MALAHUK groin, KELEN SOLAN groin, SOLAN ground, land, earth, world, RAI guard, RAI HELA guess, SI'IK


haemorrhoids, KIDUN MEAN hair of head, FUUK hair (of body), feather, FULUN halter, harness, KUDA TALIN hamlet, village, KNUA happy, HAKSOLOK harrow, weed, FAHO hunch, hindquarters, KIDAN he, possessive article, NIA head, ULUN headache, ULUN MORAS hear, RONA heavy, TODAN here, IHA NE'E hide, HAMSUMIK hide, conceal, SUBAR hide, leather, KARAU KULIT hide, skin, bark, KULIT high, tall, AAS high tide, TASI NAKONU hillock, mound, RAI KABURBUR hillside, RAI SADERE hold, grasp, drive car, KAIR hole, KUAK hole, RAI KUAK hollow log for grinding, LESU honey, BENI BEN horn trumpet, BABOO horns, antlers, DIKUR horse, KUDA hot, MANAS hot weather, RAI MANAS hour, time, ORAS house, UMA house roof, UMA KAKULUK houe ruins, UMA KREBEK house thatch, UMA TALIN how many, how much, HIRA how many stick, AIN HIRA hundred, ATUS hunger, LAHA hungry, HAMLAHA hunt, SORO husband, LA'EN
I, HA'U immediately, KEDAN, KEDAS improve, HADI'AK in between, IHA LEET in front of, IHA NIA OIN in middle, IHA KLARAN increase, TAU TAN indicate, show way, HATUDU inside, LARAN insult, TARATA insult, criticize, TOLOK MALU invite, TENE iron, BESI iron pot, SANAN BESI is, have, possess, IHA
jackfruit, KULU NAKA jaw, chin, HASAN jump, HAKSOIT just, already, FOIN
kapok, AI LELE kick, HAFETU kick by horse, KUDA LUBUN kidney, MAKSOURIN kill, OHO king, LIURAI kiss, MUU kiss hand, RE'I LIMAN kite, eagle, MAKIKIT knife, TUDIK knife, TAHA knot in tree, AI FUKUN
lacking, LA TO'O lake, NALIUN lake, REBU lamp, AHI OAN last, IKUS later, LIU TIHA laugh, HAMNASA laurel, bay leaf, LORU TAHAN laziness, BARUK TEEN lazy, BARUK leaf, AI TAHAN leaf, TAHAN leaf tip, DIKIN lean against, support, SADERE leave, abandon, HUSIK left, KARUK leg, foot, AIN lemon, SUBRAKA SIIN lemon, SABURAKA SIIN lemon, DEROK MASIN lie, deceive, BOSOK lie down, TOBA lift by fingers, BI'IT light, not heavy, KMAAN light rain, UDAN RAHUN like, GOSTA (P) lime, AHU lip, IBUN KULIT liquid, juice, sap, BEEN little, small, KI'IK live, stay, remain, HELA liver, ATEN METAN loin-cloth, KFOLI long, NARUK long time, KLEUR lost, LAKON love, like very much, HADOMI low tide, TASI TUN
mad, crazy, BULAK mahogany, AI SARIAN maize, indian corn, BATAR make, work, construct, do, HALO male of names, MAU, MAUK man, male, MANE maadarin, SUBRAKA LOTUK mane of horse, DADINIS mango, HAAS many, much, BARAK market, BASAR masculine, AMAK mass, body, LOLON mast, RO RII match, AHI KOSE, AI KOSE maybe, perhaps, KAL maybe, perhaps, if, KARIK measure, SUKAT measuring stick, AI SUKAT meat, NA'AN medicine, AI MORUK mend, sew, SUKIU midday, LORO MANAS midday, LORO MNATUTUN middle, BALU middle, KLARAN milk, SUSU BEN mine, HA'U NAIN mint, KARUDU mirror, LELENOK mistress, NONA money, OSAN monkey, LEKIRAUK moon, month, FULAN more, RESIN more again, TAN more, too much, LIU TAN more; find, TAN mortar, NESUN mosquito, SUSUK mother-in-law, BANIN FETO mould, UTUR mouldy, NAKFUNAN mountain, FOHO mountain, RAI FOHO mountain foot, RAI HUN mountain top, RAI TUTUN mouth, IBUN move, MUDA (P) mud, clay, TAHU mutual, reciprocal, MALU
nail, KUSA name, NARAN navel, HUSAR near, close, RABAT near, close, BESIK neck, KOKOROK needle, DAUN nest, KNUUK net for shrimps, LAHAT new, young, FOUN night, KALAN nine, SIA nipple, SUSU MATAN no, not, LA, LAE noble class, DATO none, LA IDA none, LA IHA north, LORO RAI nose, INUS not long, soon, LAKLEUR not much, LA DUN BARAK not yet, SEI DAUK nothing, LA-OS nothing, LA BUAT IDA now, past tense particle, ONA now, AGORA (P)
octopus, KUIK, KURITA often, continually, BEIBEIK old man, KATUAS old woman, FEIK on foot, walk only, LA'O DE'IT on left, IHA KARUK on right, IHA LIMAN LOS on the bottom, IHA KIDUN on top, IHA TUTIN once, DALA IDA one, IDA one only, IDA DE'IT onion, LIS BOT only, DE'IT only, alone, MESA, MESAK open, LOKE open, bare, a shred, KLES opposite side, SOURIN BALU or, KA orange, SABRUKA, SUBRAKA, SABURAKA orphan, OAN KIAK other, another, SELUK our, ITA NIA ours, ITA NIAN outside, LIUR overseas, TASI BALUN owl, KAKU, KUKU oxen, KARAU UAKA oyster, TIRAN
paddy field, NATAR palm, LIMAN TANEN palm of jand, HAKDIRUN palm wine, TUAKA paper, letter, book, SURAT parcel, FALUN pacel, package, FUTUN pawpaw tree, AI DILA pawpaw fruit. AI DILA FUAN pay, repay, SELU pea, ERAVILA (P) peanut, FOREI RAI pencil, LAPIS (P) penis, LASAN person, EMA pestle, ALU, ALUN petal, KINAS petal, AI FUNAN KINAS pick, gather, KU'U pick up, HILI pig, FAHI pigeon, FALUR, LAKETEU pillow, KLUNI pimply, fruitful, FUAK pineapple, ANANAS (P) place, spot, position, FATIN plain, RAI TETUK plank, board, AI KEBELAK plate, HANEK plate, BIKAN play, HALIMAR play cards, JOGA SURAT (I) play, JOGA (P) plough up, SO'O poor, orphan, KIAK possum, LAKU post, stake, RIIN pot, SANAN potato, FEHUK ROPA pound, crush, FAI pour liquid, FUI precipice, RAI HORUN pregnant, KABUK pregnant, KOU'US prce, cost, FOLIN pull, drag, DADA pull, jerk, FOKIT pull out, FUKIT pumpkin, LAKERU punch, strike, TUKU pupil, MATAN OAN purse, KOJE purse (woven), TIU push, DUDU put, place, TAU python, FOHO RAI
quail, KIUKAE question, HUSU LIA quickly, LALAIS (LAILAIS)
rain, UDAN rainbow, BAUR raining, UDAN TAU range, RAI LOLON rat, LAHO rattle, NAKDOKO red, MEAN relatives, MALUK restaurant, UMA HAN return, HAFILA return, go home, FILA FALI rice, HARE rice (cooked), ETU rice (Husked), FOS rice paddy, HARE NATAR rice powder, talc, BADAAK rice stem, HARE KAIN rich, KMAUS right, KUANA right, correct, straight, LOS ring, KADELI ripe, TASAK river, MOTA river bed, MOTA SULI river (lower reaches), MOTA AIN river mouth, MOTA IBUN roast, SONA roast, TUNU roll up, BOBAR roof, KAKULUK root, AI ABUT root, ABUT rope, TALIN rose, AI NAR rotten, DODOK rough sea, TASI BOOT round, plump, KABUAR rowdy, HAKSI'AK run away, HALAI
sack, BUU, KBUU sacred, LULIK sad, OIN KRAIK saddle bag, KUDA KOTUK saffron, KINUR sago, AKAR salt, MASIN same, similar, HANESA, HANESAN sand, RAI HENEK sandalwood, AI KAMELI sap, juice, resin, AI BEN, AI UEN sarong, LIPA savage, untamed, BUIS savage, wild man, EMA FUIK saw, KADO sawdust, AI RAHUN say, speak, DEHAN scent, MOURIN school, ESKOLA (P) scoop water, KURU scorch, burn, SUNU scorpion, SAKUNAR scratch, itchy, KATAR seas, TASI sea bottom, TASI KIDUN seas water, TASI BE secret, LIA SUIK see, look, HARE seed, MUSAN seek, look for, BUKA sell, FA'AN serve meal, SURU sesame, LENA seven, HITU shade, AI MAHoN shade, MAHN shark, IU sharpen, KADI sheep, BIBI MALAE shop, LOJA (P) shoot, AI TAHAN DIKIN shore, reef, METI short, BADAK shot, discharge of gun, TIRU shoulder, KBAS, KEBAS shout, HAKLALAK shout, yell, HAKILAR shrimp, BOEK shut, close, TAKA shut, cork up, SULAN shy, ashamed, MOE sick, LARAN MORAS sick, MORAS silent, keep quiet, NONOOK silver, OSAN MUTIN sing, HANANU sink, MOUT sir (polite title), NA'I, NA'IN sister, BIIN sister-in-law, KA'AN sit, TUR six, NEEN skull, ULUN FATUK sky, LALEHAN slave, ATAN sleep, DUKUR sleeping area, LANTEN sleeping mat, BITI slender, slim, LOTUK slope (of hill), RAI KLEAN slow, NEINEIK small, little, UIT OAN small marsupial, MEDA smallpox, KOLAR smell, HORON smoke, AHI SUAR smoke tobacco, FUMA (P) smooth, KABEER snail, slug, BABUKU snake, SAMODO snake, SAMEA snot, KUUS snot, INUS BEEN so, so much, NAHUN so, therefore, NU'U NE'E soap, SABAUN (P) sock, MEIAS (P) soft, gentle, MAMAR sold, firm, METIN some, part, half, BALU something, BUAT RUMA song sung at gatherings, DAHUR soon, not long, LA KLEUR sorcerer, BUAN soul, spirit, KLAMAR soup, MODO BEN sour, SIIN south, LORO LOR sow seed, plant, KUDA soya bean, FOREI KELI span of hand, HAKAT speak, talk, KO'A LIA speak, say, HETETEN, DEHAN spear, DIMA spider, LABADAIN spirit (of dead), MATE KLAMAR spit, TAFUI spoon, KANURU spread out, divide, NAHE spring, BE MATAN spur for cock fighting, TARA stable, corral, LUHAN KUDA LUHAN stake, post, AI RII, AI RIIN star, FITUN steal, NA'UK steam shop, RO AHI steel, BESI ASU steel, hard, ASU (P) step, ODAN step, pace, HAKAT AIN stink, smell, DOIS stomach, KABUN stomach ache, KABUN DULAS stomach ache, KABUN MORAS stone, rock, FATUK straight tree, AI LOS stranger, foreigner, MALAE strawberry, MORANGU (P) strength, BIIT strong, ROSAK strong, sturdy, MAKA'AS strong wind, UARAT strong wind, ANIN BOOT stupid, BEIK suckle, SUSUN suffer, TERUS sugar, MASIN MIDAR sugar cane, AU TOUHU sun, LORO Sunday, DOMINGU (P) sunrise, LORO SA'E sunset, west, LORON MONU superlative, LIU swallow, TOLAN swamp, BE KOLAN sweat, KOSAR sweep, DASA sweet, MIDAR sweet corn, BATAR NURAK sweet potato, FEHUK MIDA swim, NANI, NANIN sword, SURIK syringe, BABURIT
tail, IKUN take, carry, HODI take away, HASAI talc, BADAAK tamarind, SUKAIR tame, MAUS tasty, nice, FURAK tea, SA teach, HANOURIN teacher, GURU (I) teacher, MESTRE (P) tear, ripe, LES tears, LUUN ten, SANULU ten thousand, REBEN testicles, LASAN FUAN thanks, OBRIGADO (P) that, NE'E BA that, those, IDA NE'E BA there, IHA NE'EBA therefore, NE'E DUNI therefore, so, then, HAFOIN these, NE'E MAI they, SIRA, SIA thick, MAHAR thick, BOKAR thigh, KELEN thin, MIHIS thing, BUAT think, remember, HANOIN thirsty, HAMROOK this, that, NE'E this one, IDA NE'E MAI this one, this, IDA NE'E this definitely, IDA NE'E DUNI this time, then, IHA ORAS NE'E thorn. AI TARAK thousand, RIHUN thread, LAHAN three, TOLU thresh grain, BE'U throw away, discard, SOE throw; past tense, TIHA thunder, RAI TARUTA tie up, FUTU tight, narrow, KLOOT timid, FODAK tin, KALEN tip, extremity, ROHAN tired; wages, KOLE, KOLEN to, at, on, in, IHA tobacco, TABAKU today, OHIN today, LORON NE'E together, HAMUTU, HAMUTUK toilet, SENTINA (P) toilet, LIUR FATIN tomorrow, ABAN tongue, NANAL too HOTU too, MOS tooth, NEHAN top, summit, TUTUN touch, BOK touch, feel, KOKOK touch, feel, LAMAS towards, KONA track, road, DALAN tradesman, BADAQIN trample, SAMA travel about, LEMU treacherous, LARAN MAKEREK tree, wood, firewood, AI tree base, AI HUN tremble, NAKDEDAR ticky, BOBAR tricky, variegated, MAKEREK trim, cut (garden), LERE truly, TEBES truck, bus, KARETA (P) trunk of tree, AI LOLON trunk of tree, HUN try, attempt, KOKO tuber of all kinds, FEHUK turn, FILA turtle, LENUK twenty, RUANULU twist, DULAS two, RUA
ugly, deformed, OIN AAT umbrella, SALURIK uncle older than brother, AMAN BOOT uncle younger than brother, AMAN KIIK underside, IHA OKOS unnecessary, LALIKA until, TO'O urinate, MII uterus, OAN FATIN


valley, TAI TETU vegetable, MODO vein, UAT verse in two lines, DADOLIN very little, UIT OAN DEIT vinegar, TUA SIIN virgin, FETO RAN voice, noise, LIAN volcano, RAI SUUT vomit, MUTA


wait, HEIN
wall, DIDIN
want, desire, HAKARAK
war, FUNU
wash, FASI, FASE
wash clean, FASI MOS
water, BE, UE
water vesssel, KDORAN
wax, LILIN
we (exclusive), AMI
we (incl), you (polite), ITA
weave, SOURU
wet, BOKUN
wet weather, RAI UDAN
whale, UUD
what, SA
where, IHA NE'E BE
which, what, SA IDA
which, who, NE'E BE
which who, IDA NE'E BE
whisper, blow softly, HUU
whistle, KFUI
whistle, HAKFUIK
white, MUTIN
who, whom, SE
whoever, NARAN IDA why, NU'U SA
why, because, TAN BA
widowed, FALUK
wife (impolite), FEN
wife (polite), KABEN
wild, savage, FUIK
win, earn, MANAN
wind, ANIN
window, DINELA (P)
wine, TUA
winnowing basket, LAFATIK
wipe, brush, KOSE
without, not any, LAEK
woman, FETO
woman's song, SABULU
word, speech, LIA
work, job, KNAAR
worm, ULAR
wound, HAHANEK
wound, injure, KANEK
wrong, LA LOS

yam, TALAS
year, TINAN
yellow, KINU
you (plural), IMI
you (singular), O
young, immature, NURAK
young, single nobleman, KLOSAN
young boy, OAN MANE
young girl, OAN FETO
young leaf, AI TAHAN OKAT
younger brother, ALIN
younger sister, ALIN FETO
yours, IMI NIAN


How are you? (lit. are you well or not?)
O di'ak ka lae?

Not bad. (lit. some good, some bad)
Balu di'ak, balu att

Farwell. (by horse, lit. hold tight the horse)
Hatos kuda di'ak

Farewell. (by foot, lit. see the road well)
Hare dalan di'ak

We have (just) arrived.
Ami to'o ona.

They have arrived (some time ago).
Sira to'o tiha.

We will go tomorrow.
Ami sei ba aban.

He came yesterday.
Nia mai tiha horiseik.

We are going home.
Ami fila fali ba uma.

"Ita" is used as you is always polite to strangers."O" for "you" is familar usage.

What is your name?
Ita nia naran sa? (ita=polite)

What is your name?
O nia naran sa? (To servants)

My name is John.
Ha'u nia naran John.

My firend's name is Robert.
Ha'u nia belu nia naran Robert.

What is your wife's name?
Ita nia kaben naran sa?

My wife's name is Betty.
Ha'u nia kaben naran Betty.

How old are you?
Ita tinan hira? (ita=polite)

When will you give birth?
Ita fo hahouris uain hira? (or bain hira?)

When is your birthday?
Bain hira (uain hira) mak o halo o nia tinan?

In my house we have two children.
Iha ha'u nia uma, ami iha oan rua.

Where do you live?
Ita hela iha ne'e be? (ita=polite)

Where are you going?
Ita ba iha ne'e be?

I live in Fatu Kai.
Hau hela iha Fatu Kai.

What is the name of your village?
Ita nia knua naran sa? (ita-polite)

How many days can we stay here?
Ami bele hela iha ne'e, loron hira?

You can stay as long as you wish.
Ita futar bele hela nafatin.

What is the time?
Oras ne'e, tuku hira?

What is that?
Buat ne'e sa?


We want to drive a car.
Ami hakarak atu kair kareta ida.

What time does the bus leave?
Bus ba tuku hira?

What time does the bus arrive?
Bus to'o tuku hira?

The bus arrives at one o'clock.
Bus mai tuku ida.

What is the name of this place?
Iha fatin ida ne'e naran sa?

We want to find a bed.
Ami hakarak atu hetan toba fatin.

We want one bed for tonight.
Kalan ne'e, ami hakarak atu hetan toba fatin ida de'it.

Where is the place for us to sleep?
Ami nia toba fatin, iha ne'e be?

We are looking for an inn (lodging house)
Ami buka pousada ida.

We go overseas at seven o'clock.
Ami ba tasi balu iha tuku hitu.

We will return at two o'clock.
Ami sei fila fali iha tuku rua.

You must take this with us.
O sei lori ida ne'e ho ami.

Can you show me the road to Dili?
Ita bele hatudu ba ha'u, dalan ba Dili iha ne'e be?

I want to talk on the telephone.
Ha'u hakarak atu ko'alia ba arame.

Can I go onthe other side of the river?
Ha'u bele ba iha mota balu ba?

Can we travel this road?
Ami bele la'o dalan ne'e?

We want to trabel to the mountains near the Ainaro district.
Ami hakarak ba atu hare foho iha besik Ainaro.

I want to send a letter overseas.
Ha'u hakarak atu jaruka surat ba tasi balu.

Can we go to see Timor dancing?
Ai bele ba atu hare tebedai Timor?

Wait three hours. The we will come back.
Hein to'o oras tolu. Hafoin ami fila fali.

Buy and Sell

I want to buy food.
Ha'u hakarak atu sosa hahan.

I want to buy fruit.
Ha'u hakarak atu sosa ai fuan.

I want to buy a gold necklace.
Ha'u hakarak atu sosa kaeli osa mean.

I want to buy a gold ring.
Ha'u hakarak atu sosa kadeli osa mean.

We want to buy cigarettes.
Ami hakarak atu sosa sigaro.

Where can we find tobacco?
Ami bele hetan tabaku iha ne'e be?

We want to buy two hands of bananas.
Ami hakarak atu sosa hudi sasuit rua.

We want to buy some woven wallets.
Ami hakarak atu sosa ti'u balu.

We want to buy some tais (indigenous cloth).
Ami hakarak atu sosa tais balu.

Do you sell cloth?
Ita fa'an hena?


What is the name of this food?
Hahan ne'e naran sa?

Is this good?
Ida ne'e di'ak?

Is this water good to drink?
Ue ne'e atu hemu di'ak?

I will only eat vegetables.
Ha'u sei ha modo de'it.

We will eat pork.
Ami bele ha na'an fahi.

We will not accept dog meat to eat.
Ami la kohi ha na'an asu.

Kid meat is all right but I don't want old goat meat.
Na'an bibi oan dia'k mai be ha'u la kohi na'an bibi katuas.

I wish to drink coffee with one spoon of sugar.
Ha'u hakarak atu hemu cafe ho masin midar kanuru ida.


Do those youths go to school?
Labrarik (lauarik) sira ne'e ba eskola?

Is that a nice person?
Ema ida ne'e furak?

When does the school year begin?
Eskola tinan hahu bain hira (uain hira?)

What time does school begin?
Eskola hahu tuku hira?

I want to go to the toilet.
Ha'u hakarak atu ba kakus sentina.

I want to eat sasouru (rice gruel for upset stomach).
Ha'u hakarak atu ha sasouru.

I must take this medicine.
Ha'u sei hemi ai mouruk ne'e.

Put the bandage on this wound.
Tau hena iha kanek ne'e.

You must open the door.
Ita sei loke oda matan.

You must close the door.
Ita sei loke oda matan.

Today we want to go to church.
Ohin, ami hakarak atu ba uma kreda.

Today, we are going to see the market.
Ohin ne'e, ami ba atu hare basar.

Is this your house?
Uma ne'e ita nian.

Where do you live?
O hela iha ne'e be?

Is the government good?
Ema ne'e ukun di'ak?

Will you wash these clothes?
Ita bele fase rope sira ne'e?

I want a shower.
Ha'u hakarak haris.

Do you speak English?
Ita ko'alia English?

The word in English is called ...; what is it in Tetun?
Iha English lia fuan naran ...; iha Tetun naran sa?

How much is this?
Ne'e osan hira?

Does anyone speak English?
Ema rumah hatene ko'alia English?

I can teach you to speak English words.
Ha'u bele hanourin ita atu ko'alia lia fuan English.

It is hot.
Rai manas.

It is wet.
Rai bokon.

It will soon rain.
Udan besik ona.

The wind is strong, therefore it will rain soon.
Anin maka'as, hafoin udan besik ona.

How many children are yours?
Oan hira o nian?

How many wives have you?
O iha kaben hira?

We want to see a cock-fight.
Ami hakarak atu hare futu manu ida.

I want to ride a horse.
Ha'u hakarak sa'e kuda ida.

Maize is traded in the following bundles.

1 bukar = 2 to 3 cobs
10 bukar = 1 talin
10 talin = 1 tur
10 tur = 1 kesak
10 besak = 1 batan

hasai husi :http://au.geocities.com/lev_lafayette/morris.html; ne'e laos atu copia deit maibe ho hanoin ida atu hatutan dalen tetun ba belun sira nebe karik aseso ba blog ida ne'e.