Serua language

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Native toIndonesia
RegionSeram Island
Extinct(date missing)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3srw

Serua is an almost extinct Austronesian language originally spoken on Serua Island in Maluku, Indonesia. Speakers were relocated to Seram due to volcanic activity on Serua. The language continues in communities in Waipia in Seram, where the islanders were resettled, along with those also from Nila and Teun. Here, the older generation retain the island language as a strong form of identity.

At the end of WW2, many Seruans were relocated to Netherlands. Having fought on the side of the Dutch during Indonesian independence, they became part of the KNIL resettlement. The TNS (Teun Nila Serua) groups maintain an island community in the Netherlands, but the language is not maintained.

Some words include

Noko may - How are you?

Mel melleh taro'oh - I am well

Kupna - Money

Kupna tell tella waitna - I have no money

Wauka - whisper

Ternosri. Am salalu metoranowa - Farewell till later, I will always wait for you.

And a song of heave-ho to accompanying pulling boats to short

Wauka, wauke; Tiki lowati, Sapi lowati; Timore; Timotei; Wateo

Citation: personal experience. I was strongly connected to the Seruan community in the 80s and 90s



  1. ^ Serua at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Taber, Mark (1993). "Toward a better understanding of the Indigenous Languages of Southwestern Maluku". Oceanic Linguistics. 32 (2): 389–441. JSTOR 3623199.

Further reading[edit]

M. A. Chlenov and Chlenova, Svetlana. 2000. Serua, a vanishing language in Eastern Indonesia. In Nataliya F. Alieva (ed.), Malaysko-indoneziyskiye issledovaniya, XVI, 265-299. Moscow.