East Timor languages (Nestor)

Anon Anon inprekorr at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 11 17:41:14 MST 2003


Nestor:
>>So that the primary language of the clandestine
movement was NOT the language of the main fraction of
the young population. This should make people think
about the relations between Indonesia and East Timor a
little further...<<

Tom:
> I don't think that's the implication.

Thanks, sorry didn't make that perfectly clear.
Indonesian was only learnt in schools in the period
1976-1999, it was certainly not learnt in the home,
except among a tiny number of people
(Indonesian-Chinese traders probably being the largest
group).  Most people under the age of 30 are
bilingual, moreover while Tetum and Indonesian have
similar roots, it would be a mistake to think of them
as similar as portuguese and spanish.  It is truly
difficult to overestimate the linguistic diversity of
the Indonesian archipeligo.  The following may be of
interest:
http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=939

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