Online dictionaries


A dictionary of Mwotlap   (Banks Is., Vanuatu) 


Welcome to the official page of the Mwotlap – English – French dictionary!

    • François, Alexandre. .
      A Mwotlap–English–French cultural dictionary.
      Electronic files. Paris: CNRS.   []
→  Online version ()
updated regularly; includes interactive links, and a search engine.
→  pdf     Pdf version (2023)
reference version, easy to cite, print, read offline

Mwotlap is an Oceanic language spoken on the island of Mota Lava – or Motalava – in the Banks group, in the northern part of the Vanuatu archipelago. (See more info on this page or that one.)

dicoStarted in 1998, this Mwotlap dictionary is still very much in progress, due to the various projects I am committed to regarding the various languages of northern Vanuatu. While some entries are already reasonably detailed (e.g. sēm 'money'), others still need to be written, or completed. Yet with 2570 entries at this point, this dictionary already contains a fair portion – perhaps two thirds – of the vocabulary I have collected in Mwotlap. This dictionary belongs to my long-term projects. Feel free to contact me for any follow-up question.

I am grateful to LabEx EFL for their support in 2016 and 2017; and particularly to the two IT engineers who helped me for this project: Céline Buret and Benjamin Galliot. They wrote the Python code (respectively Pylmflib and Lexika) that allowed me to convert my dictionary from the Toolbox format to an XML file. Clément Plancq (Lattice-CNRS) wrote the script for the search engine, and helped reduce the size of the final files. I also contributed to all segments of the chain: Lex (the original dictionary), Python, Xml, Xslt, Js, Css, Html.

skul Noyobem gōh, nidiksoneri bavap to M̄otlap. No meqtēg tō lēte 1998, tō memwumwu liwo van aē gaydēn̄ a qiyig agōh. Ba nemgaysēn, veg namwumwu mino nilwo len̄ meh, ak so nidiksoneri nan et bah galsi qete. En tō nōk, navavap 2500 heleg alon; togoy hip so nok so hēn̄ēn se hōw. Ēwē so nēte tile ēte goy lok se, tō namyōs mino so nok so qisen̄ hōw nokopi vitwag gōh tō hog van hiy kimi to M̄otlap en.

Loyobem gōh en, nagatgat vētēl: M̄otlap, tō Franis, tō In̄glis. Nototgal yatkelgi en, ignik Wako mayap tō. Yatkel dēmdēm alon namun ige telelam en, so nok so vasem van hiy kēy so navap to M̄otlap nivan lō qele ave. Tō yatkel dēmdēm se, namungēn to M̄otlap so gēn so vatah aē tō ēglal galsi namtehal wē so yapyap nohohole timigēn. Nok dēmtig so kimi temlaklak aē. Kimi wo nemyōs so vēhge te hap me hiy no en, ami rin̄ tog me, so nethap, kimi yap me nimel a lokobyuta. Vēwē kimi. No natam kimi del.

Alex François — Paris, May 2023