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The Micronesian languages are descended from the Austronesian language group. The most important indigenous languages are: Marshallese on the Marshall Islands, Palauan on Palau, Chamorro on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Gilbertees on Kiribati and Nauru on Nauru. There are also many languages and dialects on the remote islands, sometimes spoken by as few as a hundred people.

he major languages developed independently of each other and are therefore completely different. English is spoken throughout Micronesia but often only serves as a means of communication between the different states. On each individual island, the use of one's own language dominates. Palau is spoken at home and in daily life, whereas English is spoken in government circles and in the business world. Both are official languages and most Palauers are bilingual from childhood.

Palau Language

Palauan text with English translation below

"Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty."

The inhabitants of the south-western island of Sonsorol speak Sonsoroese and English as official languages, and the inhabitants of the equally south-western island of Tobi speak Tobian and English as official languages. Sonsorolean and Tobian are languages that are more similar to the Yapees and Chuukees of the Caroline Islands than to Palaus. On the island of Angaur, the official languages are Angaur, English and Japanese. Many Palau words begin with the nasal sound "ng". The "ch" is pronounced as "uh"..


Galbraith, K. / Micronesia
Lonely Planet

Levy, N.M. / Micronesia handbook Moon

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info