Portrait of an Asian Minority Language Bunak, as an Asian minority language, is not the majority language of any country where it is spoken. The language has alternate names: Buna, Bunake, Bunaq, Gae’, Marae. In the following paragraphs, I will report on its history and current status. Linguists always want to know where is a language spoken. Bunak is spoken in East Timor. The specific locations include Timor island central interior, south coast, Cova Lima District, north of Suai town; Bobonaro District, Maliana south; also into Ainaro District, Zumalai subdistrict. Bunak is also spoken in West Timor, Indonesia. The specific locations include Timor island, Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, Belu regency, central interior,
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(Bunak, Ethonologue) There is no accurate record stating what proportion of speakers are literate in the language. There is a difference between the written form and the spoken form. Bunak language is legally recognized in some way but the social status of Bunak is not high. Bunak language is used by Bunak people who live in the mountain region of central Timor. In most of those mountain regions, the economy and education are under developed. The current language status is 6a (Vigorous). 6a (Vigorous) means that the language is used for face-to-face communication by all generations and the situation is sustainable. (Language Status, Ethonologue) Based on its status, we can infer that the language is mainly used for face-to-face communication not for education. In addition, it is rarely used in public life: radio and television, journalism, publishing, the internet. Comparing with other languages used in the society, Bunak language sustains its situation by face-to-face communication, which dose not have a standard form and is rarely used in public life. Bunak language is closely related to the religion tradition of Bunak people because Bunak people are an ethnic group that live in the mountainous region of central Timor. Bunak language develops for a long time in the mountain regions and there is no such a standard form of the language. There are no localized versions of software available in the language.