Tetun DIT header

Tetun (also spelled 'Tetum') is one of the two official languages of Tsenhoraimor Leste, and the main lingua franca used throughout the country.

Dili Institute of Technology’s Language Centre offers Tetun language training to both Timorese and expatriates, as well as producing resources in and about Tetun.

New editions of all our publications were produced in 2015, to reflect a minor revision in the spelling system used. The main change was that Portuguese 'nh' and 'lh' are now written the same way in Tetun (e.g. senhora 'ma'am'. In earlier editions, these were written with 'ny' and 'ly' (e.g. senyora) to avoid confusion with the few native Tetun words that have an n-h sequence (e.g. bainhira 'when').

Teacher and studentLearn to speak Tetun

Learn Tetun language and Timorese culture in-country through intensive courses at DIT. Our three full-time staff offer courses all year round, teaching all levels from absolute beginners to advanced. Join us for one week or more, as your schedule permits. For more information, click here.

CD coverTetun-English interactive dictionary (2015, ed. 2)

This interactive Tetun-English dictionary was produced by Catharina Williams-van Klinken with the assistance of many people. It currently has 5600 Tetun headwords plus 1700 sub-entries, and 6800 English entries. There are 2700 cross-references to related words, such as words with similar or opposite meaning, as well as 700 example sentences. You can search for words through Tetun, English or by categories such as health or agriculture.

The installation file is available on CD from Lalenok Study Group in Dili, or from Dili Institute of Technology ($10), or can be downloaded here. The program runs on Windows XP, Windows 7 or Vista.

Download installation file here (8.4MB) (an easily searchable database for Windows 7, XP, Vista)

Download HTML files here (1.5MB) (a less elegant option, for all platforms)

Book cover

Tetun ba eskola ho servisu 1 (2015)

This book is designed to teach study skills and Tetun writing to first-semester university students. Chapters cover the the history of Tetun, principles of spelling, goal-setting, formal and informal speech, showing time relationships between clauses, writing narratives, looking for information, taking notes from written and spoken texts, and writing summaries and descriptions.

Download here (1.1MB) Download cover here (456KB)

IT coverGlosariu informatika / IT Glossary (2015, ed. 2)

This glossary of computing terms was produced by Catharina Williams-van Klinken, Marcelo Fernandes Xavier Cham and Saleh Abdullah Alkatiri. It has over 700 terms in Tetun, Portuguese, English and Indonesian.

It can be bought in book form for about $5, downloaded as a PDF file, or run as an interactive program. The program runs on Windows XP, Windows 7 or Vista.
Download as PDF file here (1MB)

Download installation file here (5.7MB) (for Windows 7, XP, Vista)

Download HTML files here (200KB) (for all platforms)

Peace Corps coverPeace Corps East Timor Tetun Language Course(2015, ed. 3), with recordings and flashcards

This comprehensive Tetun course written by Catharina Williams-van Klinken for English-speaking foreigners covers a wide range of everyday needs, as well as an introduction to more specialised areas such as administration, education and agriculture. It is available in book form for about US$20 from various shops in Dili, East Timor (including Sylvia, Duta Xerox and Lalenok Study Group in Dili), or on CD together with the recordings and flashcards, or can be downloaded here.

Book: Download PDF files.

Recordings for vocabulary and dialogues of chapters 1-10.

Flashcards for vocabulary of chapters 1-12 (Prepared by Peter Sullivan, using Cuecard), Download as .ZIP file (869KB).

Wordfinder coverWordfinder (2015, ed. 2)

This pocket-sized mini-dictionary by Catharina Williams-van Klinken is designed for beginner and intermediate learners of Tetun and English. With some 4500 Tetun headwords, and 4900 English ones, it focuses on generally known vocabulary on everyday topics.

It is available for about US$5-$10 from Lalenok Study Group, Duta Xerox or Sylvia in Dili, or can be downloaded here. Alternatively, for bulk orders, contact us directly for a discount price of $3.50 per copy for orders of 30 or more, and $4.00 per copy for orders of at least 100. For larger-print copies, the discount price is $4.50 for orders of 30 or more, or $4 for orders of at least 100.

Download: Cover (full-size / small file (75KB), Book minus cover (2.5MB)

Tetun for the Justice Sector coverTetun for the Justice Sector (2015, ed. 2)

This book, produced cooperatively by the Timor-Leste Police Development Program and Dili Institute of Technology, is designed to teach Tetun at intermediate level with special emphasis on policing and justice. It includes chapters on the structure of the government and the national police service PNTL, violence, arrest and detention, traffic, resolving problems within the extended family, interviewing, and search and seizure. The book was written by Catharina Williams-van Klinken together with Alexandre Fernandes Cham, Anabela Maia Santos, Hendriana da Costa Marçal, and Jacinta Canossa Soares

 Download: Full book (2.2MB)

Tetun 1 coverTetun 1, Tetun 2 (2015, ed. 2)

These two books  by Catharina Williams-van Klinken provide the course material for teaching two semesters of Tetun to Timorese university students. 

Tetun 1 covers topics such as the history of Tetun, basic spelling principles, ...

Tetun 2 includes writing descriptions and argumentation, paragraphing, and basic translation principles. Both are available from Sylvia Xerox for under $5, or can be downloaded here.

Download Tetun 1 (1MB)

Download Tetun 2 (425 KB)

DIT Tetun student

Tetun writing courses

All Dili Institute of Technology students study Tetun writing skills for two semesters. When time permits we can  provide writing skills courses for other institutions, as well as training in the use of our "Tetun 1" and "Tetun 2" textbooks for teaching at senior high school or tertiary level.

For futher information, contact us.







Contact us on: tetundit@gmail.com