PNG Languages

Primary language names, alternate names, and dialect names

Papua New Guinea is linguistically the most complex nation of the world. Over 800 languages are spoken in this Pacific country as summarized in Ethnologue: Languages of the World. In cooperation with the PNG Department of Education since 1956, research has been carried out in more than 389 languages. There are currently 842 primary names and 1368 alternate and dialect names listed in the Ethnologue for Papua New Guinea.

Over the years there have been many changes in language names in Papua New Guinea. Many languages are known by more than one name. Some names in use by others are offensive to the speakers of the language; those are identified by double quotation marks. See Layout of language entries in the introduction to the Ethnologue for information about the use of primary and alternate language names.

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  • East Angal [alternate name for Angal]
  • East Elema [alternate name for Toaripi]
  • Ebadidi [alternate name for Molima]
  • Edawapi [alternate name for Namia]
  • Edolo [etr]
  • Edolo Ado [alternate name for Edolo]
  • Egum [alternate name for Muyuw]
  • Ehija [alternate name for Orokaiva]
  • Eitiep [eit]
  • Eivo [alternate name for Askopan]
  • Eivo 1 [alternate name for Askopan]
  • Eivo 3 [alternate name for Ounge]
  • Ek Nii [alternate name for Nii]
  • Eklep [alternate name for Aiklep]
  • Elepi [ele]
  • Elkei [elk]
  • Elu [elu]
  • Elu-Kara [alternate name for Lele]
  • Em [alternate name for Garus]
  • Eme-Eme [alternate name for Minanibai]
  • Emerum [alternate name for Apali]
  • Emira-Mussau [alternate name for Mussau-Emira]
  • Endangen [alternate name for Kombio]
  • Enga [enq]
  • Enga-Kyaka [alternate name for Kyaka]
  • English [eng]
  • Epai [alternate name for Ipiko]
  • Erap [alternate name for Uri]
  • Erave [kjy]
  • Erawa [alternate name for Rawa]
  • Ere [twp]
  • Erempi [alternate name for Rempi]
  • Erewa [alternate name for Rawa]