|Linguistic classification:||West Papuan
The (North) Halmahera languages are the Papuan languages of Halmahera and neighboring islands in Indonesia. The best known Halmaheran language is Ternate (50 000 native speakers), which is a regional lingua franca and which, along with Tidore, were the languages of the rival medieval Ternate and Tidore kingdoms of the spice trade.
The classification used here is that of Voorhoeve 1988.
West Makian is divergent, perhaps due to Austronesian influence. It was once classified as an Austronesian language.
There is a degree of mutual intelligibility between the Galela–Tobelo languages, and Voorhoeve 1988 considered them dialects of a language he called Northeast Halmaheran, though most speakers consider them to be distinct languages. Ethnologue adds Kao, which it classifies as Sahu but notes may be a marginal dialect of Pagu.