Galela is the most populous Papuan language spoken west of New Guinea, with some 80,000 speakers. Its dialects are Kadai (41,000), Morotai (24,000), Kadina (10,000), and Sopi (4,000). Its closest relative is the Loloda language.
Galela is spoken on the eastern side of the northern tip of Halmahera island (in Galela district and in neighbouring villages in Tobelo and Loloda districts), on Morotai Island to the north, on the Bacan and Obi islands to the south of Halmahera, and in scattered settlements along the southwest coast. All are in North Maluku province of Indonesia.