|(60,000 cited 1981)|
It is a local language of the Minahasa people spoken in the city of Tomohon and in the villages under the Kota Tomohon administration such as Rurukan, Pinaras, Kumelembuai, Woloan, and Tara-Tara. It is also spoken in the villages under the administration of the Minahasa Regency in the Tombulu district, Tombariri district, Pineleng district, and two villages in the Sonder district, namely Rambunan and Sawangan.
The Tombulu language is unique among the Minahasan languages in its pronunciation of the letter l. In the other four Minahasan languages the letter l is pronounced as is, but in Tombulu it is pronounced like the English "th" of the English language.
For example: kulo meaning "white" would be pronounced as kutho
|Eleven||Mapulu wo Esa|
|Twelve||Mapulu wo Zua|
|Twenty||Zua nga pulu|
|Twenty One||Zua nga pulu wo Esa|
|Can I have some?||Wehane toyo|
|Until Then||Teintu Mo|
|Holy Spirit||Aseng Lengas|
|How are you?||Kura-mo?|
|What's your name?||Sei sia ngaranu?|
|Where's are you going??||Mange wisako?|
|What are you doing??||Ma'kura'ko?|
|Where are you from??||Wisako ameye?|
|Who is he/she?||Sei sia?|
|See you tomorrow||Sando mokan|
|Can I have some?||Wehane toyo?|
|Thank you||Makase mo|
|I love you||Ko'rara ateku|
|God of The Highest||Opo Wananatas|
|God Almighty||Opo Wailan Wangko|
The Tombulu language is in critical need of revitalization. It is not being spoken as a first language in highly populated areas such as Tomohon, Pineleng, and Tanawangko. Traditionally Tombulu-speaking villages such as Woloan, Tara-Tara, Lolah, and Lemoh are not as so today. The Board of Education of the Indonesian government has not offered any help either to the Tombulu language or any other local languages that are in decline. It is responsible for the removal of the Muatan Lokal from the daily curriculum of all grade schools across the nation in the past few years. Muatan Lokal, if available, is a daily class which most provinces in Indonesia use to teach their new generation the local languages.
Tombulu is still spoken in villages such as Kayawu, Rurukan, Kumelembuai, Pinaras, Masarang, Suluan, Kembes, Tombuluan, Rumengkor, Kali, Tondangow, Sawangan, and Rambunan all the way to the kids. Once in every month, it is used in sermons in all local churches.
At the beginning of 2013, an Indonesian-Tombulu dictionary was first released.