Hawu (Lii Hawu)

Hawu is a member of the Sumba-Flores branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. It is spoken mainly on the islands of Savu/Sawu and Raijua in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. There are also Hawu speakers on Flores, Sumba and Timor islands. In 1997 there were about 110,000 speakers of Hawu, which is also known as Havu, Sawu, Savu, Sabu, Havunese, Savunese or Sawunese.

The most widely-spoken dialect of Hawu is known as Seba (Mèb'a), which is spoken on most of Savu Island, including in the capital, Seba. The Timu (Dimu) dialect is spoken in the east of the island, the Mesara (Mehara) dialect in the west, the Liae dialect in the south, and the Raijua (Rai Jua) dialect on Raijua island.

Hawu alphabet and pronunciation

Hawu alphabet and pronunciation


Long vowels are written by doubling the letters (aa, ee, etc).

Download an alphabet chart for Hawu (Excel)

Smaple text

Pa dꞌara hewari, ta kako rike Yesus la èi lobo Galilea. Ta dèka rike ne dèu do rihi ae la peworle Noo. Ta haꞌe ke Noo la dꞌara hewue kowa do penawo pa ène, jꞌe wie ri Noo lii ajꞌa pa roo. Harièle ne dèu do pa kolo lede dꞌèno ne lii ajꞌa Noo [source].


And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
(Mark, Chapter 4, Verse 1) [source]

Sample videos in Hawu

Information about Hawu | Numbers


Information about Hawu

Sumba-Flores languages

Dhao, Ende, Hawu, Kambera, Kéo, Lio, Manggarainese, Ngadha, Palu’e

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 06.06.23


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