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Fordata

A language of Indonesia (Maluku)

ISO 639-3frd

Population  50,000 (Marshall 2000). 25,000 in the language area and 25,000 elsewhere (Marshall 2000).
Region  Southeast Maluku, north Tanimbar Islands of the Fordata, Larat, the Molu-Maru group, a few villages on the northwest part of Yamdena, and on Seira off the west coast of Yamdena. 30 villages. Also Saumlaki, Ambon, Tual, Sorong, Hayapura, Jakarta.
Language map  Indonesia, Southern Maluku
Alternate names   Larat, Vai Fordata, Vai Tnebar, Vaidida
Dialects  Fordata-Larat I, Fordata-Larat II, Molo (Molo-Maru), Sera (Seira). Sera is most divergent dialect. Lexical similarity: 68% with Kei [kei].
Classification  Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Central Malayo-Polynesian, Southeast Maluku, Kei-Tanimbar, Kei-Fordata
Language use  Former trade language of Tanimbar Islands and the language of ritual. Now not well known by speakers of the other 3 languages, except older people who use it for ritual. Vigorous. 2 villages of mainly Muslim Geser and Bugis use Fordata as L2. All domains. Positive attitude. Most also use Ambonese Malay [abs]; Some also use Standard Indonesian [ind].
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. 2,500 read; 1,500 can write. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1996.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  Primary schools in nearly every village, secondary schools for every 3 or 4 villages. Swidden agriculturalists with diversification of crops and planting cycles: dry field rice, maize, tubers, beans; cash crop is copra; palm brandy; fishermen. Christian, Muslim.