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Spoken in

Indonesia ( Buton and offshore islands)
speaker 79,000
Language codes
ISO 639-3


The Cia-Cia is a Malayo-Polynesian language . It is spoken by about 79,000 people (as of 2005), who are spread over the southern part of the island of Buton and the offshore islands of Binongko and Batu Alas in Indonesia .

The language is divided into several dialects and is considered to be related to the languages ​​Lasalimu, Kamaru, Kulisusu and Pancana, which are also spoken in Buton.


Historically, the language was written in Arabic script ( Gundhul ). Cia-Cia made international headlines when the largest city in the language area, Bau-Bau , decided to use the Korean Hangul script to spell the language. In order to be able to write down all sounds of the Cia-Cia in the Hangeul script, the character ㅸ, which is not used in Korean , was used for the sound / v /. However, the project was abandoned in 2012 and the language is now written in Latin.

Cia-Cia in Latin script
Consonants G k n d ie t r ~ gh l m b v ~ w bra p s ' ng j c H
IPA / ɡ / / k / / n / / ɗ / / d / / t / / r ~ ʁ / / l / / m / / ɓ / / β / / b / / p / / s / / ʔ / / ŋ / / dʒ / / tʃ / /H/
Vowels a e O u i
IPA / a / / e / /O/ / u / / i /
Cia-Cia in Hangeul
Consonants G k n d ie t r l m b v bra p s ' ng j c H
Vowels a e O u i (zero)

Example of the planned Hangeul script:

아디 세링 빨리 노 논또 뗄레 ᄫ ᅵ 시. 아마노 노 뽀옴 바에 이아 나누 몬또 뗄레 ᄫ ᅵ 시 꼴 리에 노몰 렝오.
adi sering pali nononto televisi. amano nopo'ombae ia nanumonto televisi colie nomolengo.


Numbers from one to ten
German one two three four five six seven eight nine ten
Cia-Cia dise, ise rua, ghua tolu pa'a lima no'o picu walu, oalu siua ompulu


  • buri (bughi) "to write"
  • pogau "chat"
  • baca'an "read"


  • ka'ana "home"
  • sikola "school"
  • sayoro "vegetables"
  • boku "book"


  • Tarima kasi. "Thank you."
  • Indau miano Cia-Cia. "I'm a cia-cia."
  • Indau pe'elu iso'o. "I love you."
  • Moapu sia'u. "Sorry."
  • Umbe. "Yes."
  • Cia. "No."

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Cia-Cia - A language of Indonesia (Sulawesi). Retrieved July 20, 2012 from
  2. Mark Donohue: A Grammar of Tukang Besi. Walter de Gruyter, 1999, ISBN 3-11-016188-5 limited preview in the Google book search
  3. AFP: Southeast Sulawesi Tribe Using Korean Alphabet to Preserve Native Tongue. ( Memento of the original from July 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: JakartaGlobe of August 7, 2009 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Adoption of Hangeul by Indonesian Tribe Hits Snag . In: The chosunibo
  5. Yi Whan-woo: Sejong Institute withdrawal to leave Cia-Cia out in cold . In: The Korea Times
  6. slideshow
  7. 印尼 소수 민족, '한글' 공식 문자 로 채택 (Korean)
  8. Numbers in Austronesian languages