Ahamb (naujin sdrato)

Ahamb is a member of the Southern Oceanic branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. It is spoken by about 950 people in Malampa Province of Vanuatu, mainly on the island of Akhamb in Umbeb Bay just south of Malekula Island, and also on Malekula Island. The language is under pressure from Bislama and English, which are used in schools and churches, and the island of Ahamb itself is at risk due to rising sea levels.

Ahamb is also known as Axamb or Akhamb. Native speakers call it naujin sdrato (our language). The name of their island is also written Ahamb, Akamb, Aham, Akham or Aham. It is pronounced [aˈxaᵐp] in Ahamb.

There are several ways to write Ahamb with the Latin alphabet, and until recently, it was rarely written. Parts of the Bible and some hymns have been translated into Ahamb. The orthography used in Rangelov's A grammar of the Ahamb language (Vanuatu), which was developed with close co-operation with the Ahamb community, appears in the alphabet chart below.

Ahamb was first documented in the 1950s by Arthur Capell and Joyce Trudinger. Since then a number of other researchers have worked on the language, and in 2017, the Ahamb Documentation Project was launched with the aims of boosting the status of the language and increase levels of literacy among Ahamb speakers. A grammar of Ahamb was published in 2020 in the form of a PhD thesis by Tihomir Rangelov of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Ahamb alphabet and pronunciation

Ahamb alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Ahamb (Excel)

Sample text

Vavu tötöt Kalua nga-rohroh drwan nakemhaybbënin s-en ra-ru Balu drwan Malua. Lön naur prahor aven nga-kaykay mhaybb-ën s-en aru mi nga-kar-e, "Rohbay na-r-van sar naven nabrav nha-drato hën drata-r-han-i livher. Mru mra-rohroh aha ro-jav nhabb ngel-drës hën drata-r-tëga nhabb."


Grandfather Kalua lived with his two grandchildren Balu and Malua. One morning he called his two grandchildren and told them, "I am going to bring some breadfruit for us to eat for lunch. You two should stay here and cut some firewood so that we can make fire."

Source: A grammar of Ahamb, Vanuatu, by Tihomir Rangelov

Sample of video in Ahamb

Information about Ahamb | Numbers


Information about Ahamb

Oceanic languages

Adzera, Ahamb, Äiwoo, Aneityum, Apma, Araki, Are, ’Auhelawa, Avava, Babatana, Bariai, Bola, Big Numbas, Buhutu, Bwaidoka, Caac, Cheke Holo, Dorig, Hiri Motu, Hiw, Hoava, Kakabai, Kaninuwa, Kokota, Kove, Kurti, Lakon, Lehali, Lenakel, Lewo, Lote, Lo-Toga, Löyöp, Marovo, Maskelynes, Mato, Mavea, Mono-Alu, Motu, Mussau-Emira, Mwotlap, Nafsan, Nahavaq, Namakura, Nanggu, Nduke, Neve‘ei, Neverver, Ninde, North Efate, Nume, Paamese, Raga, Rotuman, Roviana, Sa, Sakao, Saliba, Siar, Sio, Ske, Tamambo, Tami, Teanu, Tigak, Tirax, Tolai, Touo, Ubir, Ughele, Uneapa, Vatlongos, Vitu, Vurës, Western Fijian, Yabem, Yapese

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 15.04.23. Last modified: 16.04.23


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