Next Stop: East Timor!

Next Stop: East Timor!

A trip around the Portuguese-speaking countries

Over a series of articles, L10N Making Translation Invisible will transport you to the Portuguese-speaking world. Find out about the customs and unique characteristics of these countries and (re)discover a universe of diversity and multiculturalism, united by one of the most powerful links imaginable – the Portuguese language!

Guess where we are going!

That’s right… Timor.

In Southeast Asia, on the eastern part of the island of Timor, the Democratic Republic of East Timor:

  • Has maritime borders with Indonesia and Australia;
  • Includes 13 districts, including the enclave of Oecusse (in the Western part of the island);
  • Has approximately 3 million inhabitants.

In terms of Timorese culture, there is a strong tradition of poetry, with authors such as José Alexandre Gusmão or Xanana Gusmão (who was also a revolutionary leader for the country’s liberation), and music, where four musical genres stand out: Tebe; Tebedai; Dansa and Cansaun.

The economy is one of the fastest growing in the world and the main industries of East Timor’s economy include:

  • Oil extraction;
  • Coffee;
  • Marble and sandalwood.

Did you know that, in East Timor, around 80% of the working population is employed in agriculture?

East Timorese Portuguese

The Portuguese language was banned for many years while Timor was under Indonesian occupation and its use was subject to violent reprisals. It was restored as an official language in 2002, after the country gained independence.

The other official language alongside Portuguese is Tetum, the main national language. There are another 15 unofficial national languages in East Timor, besides Indonesian and English, which have been recognised as working languages.

As a result of several decades of instability and repression, a deeper knowledge of the linguistic variants actually used in East Timor, especially Portuguese variants, is lacking.

This means we are only able to demonstrate some cases of phonetic variance and differences in vocabulary:

EN 1
EN 2

At L10N, we are specialists in language variants which is why we have a team of native linguists, hence the meaning of our name, L10N – Localization.

Happy chatting (in Portuguese)!