List of endangered languages of the Pacific

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This is a list of endangered languages of the Pacific, based on the definitions used by UNESCO.

An endangered language is a language that it is at risk of falling out of use because there is little transmission of the language to younger generations. If a language loses all of its native speakers, it becomes an extinct language.


Federated States of Micronesia[edit]

Main article: Micronesian languages
Language Speakers Status Comments Ref
Kapingamarangi language[1]   Severely endangered    
Kosraean language[1]   Severely endangered Micronesia & Nauru  
Mokilese language[1]   Critically endangered    
Mortlockese language, Mortlockese[1]   Definitely endangered    
Namonuito language, Namonuito[1]   Severely endangered    
Ngatikese Men's Creole language, Ngatikese Men's Creole[1]   Definitely endangered    
Nukuoro language, Nukuoro[1]   Definitely endangered    
Nguluwan language[citation needed]      
Paafang language, Paafang[1]   Severely endangered    
Pingelapese language, Pingelapese[1]   Severely endangered    
Puluwat language, Puluwat[1]   Severely endangered    
Satawal language, Satawal[1]   Severely endangered    
Ulithian language, Ulithian[1]   Severely endangered    
Woleaian language, Woleaian[1]   Severely endangered    


The UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger lists 88 endangered languages in Indonesia.


New Caledonia[edit]

The following languages of New Caledonia may be considered endangered.

Language Speakers Status Comments Ref
Arha language[1] 35 Critically endangered Arhâ language (1996 census)
Arho language[1]   Critically endangered    
Caac language[1]   Vulnerable    
Drubea language[1]   Vulnerable    
Fagauvea language (Northern)[1]   Vulnerable    
Fagauvea language (Southern)[1]   Vulnerable    
Fwâi language[1]   Vulnerable    
Jawe language[1]   Vulnerable    
Kumak language[1]   Vulnerable    
Neku language[1]   Severely endangered    
Nemi language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Orowe language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Pije language[1]   Severely endangered    
Pwaamèi language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Pwapwa language[1]   Severely endangered    
Tiri language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Voh-Koné dialects[1]   Definitely endangered    
Xaragure language[1]   Vulnerable    

Papua New Guinea[edit]

Solomon Islands[edit]

Language Speakers Status Comments Ref
Asumboa language[1]   Severely endangered    
Blablanga language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Faghani language[1]   Vulnerable    
Gao language[1]   Vulnerable    
Hoava language[1]   Vulnerable    
Kokota language[1]   Vulnerable    
Oroha language[1]   Severely endangered    
Ririo language[1]   Critically endangered    
Savo language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Tanema language[1]   Critically endangered    
Tanimbili language[1]   Severely endangered    
Teanu language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Vano language[1]   Critically endangered    
Zazao language[1]   Critically endangered    


Main article: Languages of Vanuatu
Language Speakers Status Comments Ref
Amblong language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Araki language[1]   Critically endangered    
Aveteian language[1]   Critically endangered    
Baki language[1]   Vulnerable    
Bangsa language[1]   Critically endangered    
Bierebo language[1]   Vulnerable    
Bieria language[1]   Critically endangered    
Dorig language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Emae language[1]   Vulnerable    
Hiw language[1] 280 Definitely endangered   (2010 A.François)
Koro language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Labo language[1]   Vulnerable    
Lakon language[1]   Vulnerable    
Lehali language[1]   Vulnerable    
Lemerig language[1]   Critically endangered    
Lorediakarkar language[1]   Critically endangered    
Löyöp language[1] 240 Vulnerable Lehalurup (2010 A.François)
Mafea language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Malmariv language[1]   Vulnerable    
Matanvat language[1]   Critically endangered    
Mores language[1]   Severely endangered    
Mwesen language[1]   Critically endangered    
Naati language (Näti)[1]   Critically endangered    
Naman language[1]   Critically endangered    
Nasarian language[1] 20 Critically endangered   (1983 SIL)
Navwien language[1]   Critically endangered    
Nisvai language[1]   Critically endangered    
Nivat language[1]   Critically endangered    
Niviar language[1]   Critically endangered    
Olrat language[1]   Critically endangered    
Polonomombauk language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Repanbitip language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Shark Bay language[1]   Vulnerable    
Ske language[1]   Severely endangered    
Sorsorian language (Sösörian)[1]   Critically endangered    
Sowa language[1]   Critically endangered    
Tambotalo language[1] 50 Severely endangered   (1983 SIL)
Tape language[1]   Critically endangered    
Tolomako language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Tutuba language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Umbrul language (Numbuwul)[1]   Critically endangered    
Ura language[1] 6 Critically endangered   (1998 T Crowley)
Vera'a language[1]   Definitely endangered    
Volow language[1]   Critically endangered    


Language Speakers Source Status Ethnologue entry
(ISO 639-3)
Tobian language 22 (1995 SIL) UNESCO critically
Sonsorolese language 600 UNESCO severely


The following Polynesian languages are considered endangered.

Language Speakers Status Ethnologue entry
(ISO 639-3)[1]
Rapa language
(French Polynesia)[1]
Rapa Nui language
Niuafo'ou language
Kapingamarangi language
Nukumanu language
(Papua New Guinea, Nukumanu Islands)[1]
Nukuoro language
Nukuria language
(Papua New Guinea)[1]
Ontong Java language
(Solomon Islands)[1]
Sikaiana language
(Solomon Islands)[1]
Takuu language
(Papua New Guinea)[1]
Tuvaluan language
Anuta language
(Solomon Islands)[1]
Emae language
Futunan language
(Wallis and Futuna)[1]
Futuna-Aniwa language
Mele-Fila language
Rennell-Bellona language
(Solomon Islands)[1]
Tikopia language
(Solomon Islands)[1]
West Uvean language
(New Caledonia)[1]
Vaeakau-Taumako language
(Solomon Islands)[1]
Pukapuka language
(Cook Islands)[1]
Penrhyn language
(Cook Islands)[1]
Tokelauan language
Niuean language


Language Location Speakers Status Comments Ref
Austral language[1] French Polynesia   Definitely endangered    
Chamorro language[1] Guam/Northern Mariana Islands   Vulnerable    
Mangareva language[1] French Polynesia   Severely endangered    
Rakahanga-Manihiki language[1] Cook Islands   Definitely endangered    
Nauruan language[1] Nauru   Severely endangered    
Niuean language[1] Niue   Definitely endangered    
Norfuk language (Norfolk)[1] Norfolk Island   Definitely endangered    
Norfuk language (Pitcairn)[1] Pitcairn   Vulnerable    
Penrhyn language[1] Cook Islands   Severely endangered    
Pukapukan language[1] Cook Islands   Definitely endangered    
Rapa language[1] French Polynesia   Severely endangered    
Cook Islands Māori [1] Cook Islands   Vulnerable Rarotongan language  
Rotuman language[1] Fiji   Vulnerable    
Tokelauan language[1] Tokelau   Severely endangered    
Tuamotuan language[1] French Polynesia   Definitely endangered    
Tuvaluan language[1] Tuvalu   Definitely endangered    
Hawaiian language[1] Hawai'i   Definitely endangered    


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea Moseley, Christopher, ed. (2010). Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Memory of Peoples (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO Publishing. ISBN 978-92-3-104096-2. Retrieved 2015-04-11.