Language

Most Timorese speak several languages. On the street you'll hear Tetun (also known as Tetum), one of two official languages, and most people also speak a regional dialect (16 are officially recognised, but there are thought to be 32 surviving dialects). Most folk educated before and after the Indonesian occupation speak Portuguese (the other official language), while those who were educated or working between 1975 and 1999 are likely to be more fluent in Bahasa Indonesia. Any attempt to communicate in Tetun will be greeted with big smiles. Lonely Planet's East Timor Phrasebook is a handy introduction.