|(60,000 cited 1981)|
It is a local language of the Minahasa people tribe spoken in the city of Tomohon and in the villages under the Kota Tomohon administration such as Rurukan, Pinaras, Kumelembuai, Woloan, & Tara-Tara. It is also spoken in the villages under the Minahasa Regency administration in the Tombulu district, Tombariri district, Pineleng district, and two villages in the Sonder district; precisely Rambunan and Sawangan.
Tombulu language is unique compare to the other four Minahasa language. The pronunciation of the letter "L" is what makes the Tombulu language unique. In the other four Minahasa language the letter "L" is pronounce as is, but in Tombulu it is pronounce as "th" of the English language.
For example: kulo meaning white would be pronounce as kutho
|Eleven||Mapulu wo Esa|
|Twelve||Mapulu wo Zua|
|Twenty||Zua nga pulu|
|Twenty One||Zua nga pulu wo Esa|
|Can I have some?||Wehane toyo|
|Until Then||Teintu Mo|
|Holy Spirit||Aseng Lengas|
|How are you?||Kura-mo?|
|What's your name?||Sei sia ngaranu?|
|Where's are you going??||Mange wisako?|
|What are you doing??||Ma'kura'ko?|
|Where are you from??||Wisako ameye?|
|Who is he/she?||Sei sia?|
|See you tomorrow||Sando mokan|
|Can I have some?||Wehane toyo?|
|Thank you||Makase mo|
|I love you||Ko'rara ateku|
|God of The Highest||Opo Wananatas|
|God Almighty||Opo Wailan Wangko|
Tombulu language is in critical need of revitalization. It is not being spoken as a first language in its highly populated area such as Tomohon, Pineleng, and Tanawangko. Villages such as Woloan, Tara-Tara, Lolah, & Lemoh who were traditionally known as first speakers of Tombulu are not as so today. The Board of Education of the Indonesian government didn't offer any help either to the Tombulu language, or any other local languages that are in decline, because of the removal of the Muatan Lokal from the daily curriculum on all grade schools across the nation in the past few years. Muatan Lokal, if available, is a daily class which most provinces in Indonesia use to teach their new generation the local languages.
It is spoken in villages such as Kayawu, Rurukan, Kumelembuai, Pinaras, Masarang, Suluan, Kembes, Tombuluan, Rumengkor, Kali, Tondangow, Sawangan, and Rambunan all the way to the kids and once in every month, it is being use in sermons on all local churches.
At the beginning of 2013, Indonesian - Tombulu dictionary was first released and many was purchased.