Ninde language

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Region Malekula, Vanuatu
Native speakers
1,100 (2001)[1]
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mwi
Glottolog labo1244[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Ninde, or Labo (also Nide, Meaun, Mewun) is an Oceanic language spoken by about 1,100 people in the Southwest Bay area of Malekula island, in Vanuatu.

One unusual feature is that it has both a voiced and a voiceless bilabial trill.[3]

In popular culture

In an episode of the British television programme An Idiot Abroad, Karl Pilkington meets the son of the chief, who comments upon the Ninde language. He explains that “all the words of Ninde begin with /n/”, such as the word nimdimdip for palm tree, naho for fruit, or nuhuli for leaf. They then visit the grave of a woman who was named Nicola.

However, this general statement is actually not true. The only words of Ninde that start with /n/ are the inanimate common nouns of the language; the /n/ reflects an old nominal article which has been fused to the radical of these common nouns. As for the name Nicola, which is a borrowed European name, it cannot be taken as representative of the Ninde language.


  1. Lynch & Crowley (2001).
  2. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Labo". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. LINGUIST List 8.45: Bilabial trill. Retrieved on 2010-12-08.


  • Lynch, John and Crowley, Terry. 2001. Languages of Vanuatu: A New Survey and Bibliography. Pacific Linguistics. Canberra: Australian National University.