Est Timor – Special Issues

The new nation of East Timor designated two languages as official languages: Portuguese and Tetum. Two other languages are considered as working languages: Indonesian and English. The language issue is an evolving one (as Tetum is being standardized) and among some sections of the population rather contentious. It is mainly some of the older people who had access to schooling during the Portuguese administration and the former freedom fighters who have some understanding of the Portuguese language. For the guerrilla fighters it was a language of subterfuge, a language not understood my Indonesian soldiers. Center for Southeast Asian Studies Northern Illinois University. Read more…

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