Tontemboan language

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Native toIndonesia
Regionnorthern Sulawesi
Native speakers
(150,000 cited 1990)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tnt
Tontemboan Bible, by M. Adriani-Gunning and J. Regar, published in 1907 by Firma P.W.M Trap, Leiden, Holland.

Tontemboan is an Austronesian language, of northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is a Minahasan language, a sub-group of the Philippine languages.[2]

Name and dialects[edit]

Other names and dialect names are: Makela'i-Maotow, Makelai, Matana'i-Maore', Matanai, Pakewa, Kumawangkoan, Tompakewa, Tumompaso, Sonder, Tountemboan.[3]


As of 2013, an estimated 100,000 people speak the language, but it is not being passed on to children. It is used in the areas of Sonder, Kawangkoan, Tompaso, Langowan, Tumpaan, Suluun, Amurang, Kumelembuai, Motoling, Tompaso Baru, and Modoinding.[4] Documentation of the language assembled by missionaries a century ago is relatively inaccessible to Tontemboan speakers, as it is written in the Dutch language.[5]

In 1907, Firma P.W.M Trap, Leiden, Holland published a Bible in the Tontemboan language. It was edited by Maria Lamberta Adriani-Gunning and Johannis Regar.


English Tontemboan[6] Pronunciation
one esa
two rua
three tellu
four epat
five lima
six enem
seven pitu
eight wallu
nine siou
ten mapulu
north monge
south meko
west mako
east mico
water rano
shower lemele
eat kuman
work tamawoy
fire api
ear lunteng
cold utiŋ
large wangkər
I aku
you angko
know -taʔu
say nuwu


  1. ^ Tontemboan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Liao (2008), p. 3
  3. ^ OLAC resources in and about the Tontemboan language
  4. ^ Sneddon (1970), p. 16
  5. ^ Bruce Wallace (Director) (2013-10-10). "When New Yorker Rose Monintja speaks her native tongue, the memories flood back". The World. Public Radio International. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  6. ^ Sneddon (1970), pp. 20–26


External links[edit]