Native toNicobar Islands, India
RegionKatchal & formerly Trinket Islands
Native speakers
5,700 (2001 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottologkatc1248  Katchal
trin1269  Trinkut

Katchal (Katchall, Katchál, Kachel), or Tehnu (Tēhnyu),[2] is a Nicobarese language spoken in the central Nicobar Islands. Apart from the dialect of Trinket[3] (Trinkat, Trinkut, or Lâfūl),[2] it is not mutually intelligible with the other Central Nicobarese languages. The population of Trinket was evacuated to Nancowry and Camorta after the 2004 tsunami, and can be expected to disappear as speakers assimilate.


  1. ^ Nicobarese, Central at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Edward Horace Man, 1889, A dictionary of the central Nicobarese language
  3. ^ Robert Parkin, 1991, A guide to austroasiatic speakers and their languages, pp 37–38