Teanu is a member of the Oceanic group of Malayo-Polynesian languages. It is spoken by about 800 people mainly on the island of Vanikoro, one of the Santa Cruz Islands in Temotu Province in the east of the Solomon Islands. There are also some Teanu speakers in Honoria, the capital of the Solomon Islands on Guadalcanal Island.

The language is also known as Puma or Buma. Teanu comes from the name of one of the islands near Vanikoro. The language was originally spoken on Teanu Island, and in the northeast of Vanikoro. However, it spread to most of Vanikoro during the 20th century, displacing two other local languages, Lovono and Tanema.

Teanu is written with the Latin alphabet. It was first documented in 1834 by Joseph Paul Gaimard, a French naturalist, who published wordlists in the languages of Vanikoro.

Teanu alphabet and pronunciation

Teanu alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Teanu (PDF)

Sample text

Dapa Niteni li-loko viavia mamdeuko pe moloe, li-la abwa bale li-lateli ne mengela vilo, li-ejau viko iadapa ñei.


The people of Santa Cruz collect the red feathers of the Cardinal honeyeater, then use breadfruit sap to glue them to a piece of wood: that's how they make their traditional money.

Source: https://dictionaria.clld.org/contributions/teanu#texamples


Information about the Teanu language

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: 09.05.24. Last modified: 09.05.24


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