• Language: Kei
  • Alternate names: Kai, Saumlaki, Veveu Evav
  • Language code: kei
  • Language family: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Southeast Maluku, Kei-Tanimbar, Kei-Fordata
  • Number of speakers: 85000
  • Script:


Kei is a language of Indonesia. It is spoken in Southeast Maluku Province, about 207 villages on 10 islands. Kei island group west of Aru islands; Kecil, Besar, and surrounding islands; also, Kur islands, lying west and northwest of Kei group.


Kei Besar, Kei Kecil, Ta’am, Tanimbar Kei (Atnebar), Tayando. Kei Kecil is the prestigious urban dialect. Kei Besar speakers usually also know Kei Kecil, but not vice versa. Kei Besar is more similar to Fordata (See: Fordata?) than other Kei dialects. Tanimbar Kei is spoken in only one village. Lexical similarity: 60% with Fordata (See: Fordata?).

The Kei Verb

Sample Verbs

to bitekik
to blowfrek
to breatheel na:m
to burnāβun
to buyfa'a
to choosefil
to climbrat
to comen-ma
to cookβak
to countwaŋ
to cryron
to cut, hackhafat
to die, be deadmat
to digkal, kear
to dreammif
to drinkt|en
to eatta|ʔan
to falllek
to fearbobar
to flowsβakṿ
to flyṇʔór
to growmel
to heardenar
to hidefakβinik
to hitbaku
to holdker
to huntsteʔe
to killfedan
to know, be knowledgeable[u]ká
to laughmalit
to lie downfalo tetaŋ
to live, be aliveβat
to open, uncoverβaku
to plantfo
to pound, beatha'aʔ
to say[t]nar
to scratchker
to seeliʔik
to sewfhoar
to shoot-fan
to sitduk
to sleeptub
to sniff, smellhumak
to spitftuk
to splitkakṿ
to squeezekatam
to stab, piercehaʔa
to standdir[ṿ]
to stealbor
to suckbu:k, toʔ
to swelln|bar
to swims|nan
to thinkfikir
to throwteβṿ
to tie up, fastenkeat
to turnfutar
to walkmti
to vomitdolaŋ
to workót [unat]
to yawnk|móa|t