|bahasa Ternate / bahasa Tarnate|
|Region||North Maluku (Ternate, Hiri, Kayoa, Bacan Islands, some areas of Halmahera)|
|(42,000 cited 1981)|
20,000 L2 speakers (1981)
|Latin script (Rumi)|
Historically Arabic script (Jawi)
Ternate or Ternatese (bahasa Ternate, bahasa Tarnate) is a North Halmahera language of Indonesia. It is spoken on the island of Ternate, and some neighboring areas in North Maluku, including Halmahera, Hiri, Kayoa and the Bacan Islands. Historically, it served as the primary language of the Sultanate of Ternate, famous for its role in the spice trade.
This language should not be confused with Ternate Malay, a local Malay-based creole which it has heavily influenced. Ternate serves as the first language of many indigenous Ternateans, while Ternate Malay is employed as a means of interethnic and trade communication.
Ternate is a member of the North Halmahera branch of the West Papuan language family. It is most closely related to the Tidore language native to the southern neighboring island. There is a high degree of mutual intelligibility between the Ternate-Tidore language varieties, and some classifications identify these idioms as dialects of a single language, collectively termed as either "Ternate" or "Ternate-Tidore".
Ternate, like other North Halmahera languages, is not a tonal language.