Dawan love poem
Ho mafom on nino
Njail tonis amasat
Nane au hanaf afinit
Au umasan "nek ko"!
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Uab Meto language
My love poem translated into Uab-Meto (Dawanese, Timorese, Dawan, Atoni, Timor, Molok Meto, Timoreesch, Meto, Orang Gunung, Timol, Timoreezen, Uab Atoni Pah Meto, Uab Pah Meto, Rawan, Timor Dawan), the Austronesian language, agglutinating, of the Aton people.
Uab meto, is spoken throughout the island of Timor, and more particularly in West Timor, in the district of Timor Tengah Selatan (Amanuban, Amanatun and sub-districts), in North Central Timor (Miomafo, Biboki sub-tribes and Insana), and in parts of Kota and Kabupaten Kupang (sub-Kopas, Timaus, Amphoans, Sonba'i and Nairasis). This language is also spoken in the enclave of Oecussi-Ambeno (Baikenu or Baikeno).
The dawan counts less than 1 million speakers, who according to the regions where they reside, speak different dialects; these dialects can include sub-dialects ... some being influenced by Portuguese (Oecussi-Ambeno), others by Indonesian (East of Nusa Tenggara). The Baikenu spoken in East Timor is very similar.
The word Dawan would come from a neighboring language and it would mean enemy, an offensive word, which is however now integrated. The word Atoni means man and is more generally associated with the name of the ethnic group, than with the language.
Among the peculiarities of Dawanese, and especially in the Mollo dialect (East Timor), a word can change depending on the context.
The presence of other languages, combined with mixed marriages, with a dwindling number of speakers, puts the Dawanese language in danger, and the risk of gradually losing it, is very real. Awareness, with in reaction the use of the language on a daily basis, would be enough to prevent its disappearance. Teaching in schools should also help to preserve it.
Dawanese is a language that has several ways of speech. There is the common, simple language, with which we can communicate every day, and the language reserved for traditional rituals and ceremonies, which is reserved for certain people.
The Dawanese of the Aton people
The Dawanese are an ethnic group, also called Atoni or Atoin Pah Meto ... all will be able to understand what my poem says in uab meto.
When I see all the translations I have in Indonesian languages, I hope that one day, a pretty Indonesian woman will show the tip of her little nose to the magic of a starry rainbow.
But I know that with this page, many will already be those of the Aton people, who will be able to smile while reading it ... but all are waiting, the starry rainbow, of your burst of voice in this language.