Talaud is spoken in the Talaud Archipelago. It is the northernmost of all Sulawesi languages, and in fact is located closer to Mindanao Island of the Philippines than to mainland Sulawesi (see map in Sneddon 1984:viii).
Talaud presents a complicated dialect situation. Adriani, after commenting that Talaud “falls into various dialects, which are very numerous to enumerate for such a small language” (1921:252) (my translation), lists (from south to north) one dialect each on Kabaruan and Salibabu islands and two dialects on the central island of Karakelang, while adding that the Nanusa Islands and Miangas Island each have their own language peculiarities. Sneddon (1983) goes further, dividing Karakelang into six dialect areas: South Karakelang, Beo, Awit, Dapalan, Arangka'a, and Essang (according to Sneddon the last of these, Essang, is also spoken in the Nanusa Islands and on Miangas).
The 2000 national census reports 80,000 Talaud in North Sulawesi (Suryadinata, Arifin and Ananta 2003:8).
[Adriani, N.] 1921. Talautsch. Encyclopædie van Nederlandsch-Indië, 2nd ed., vol. 4: Soemb – Z, edited by D. G. Stibbe with assistance from E. M. Uhlenbeck, 251–252. ’s‑Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff ; Leiden: E. J. Brill.
Sneddon, J. N. (compiler.) 1983a. Northern Celebes (Sulawesi). Language atlas of the Pacific area, part 2: Japan area, Taiwan (Formosa), Philippines, mainland and insular South-east Asia (Pacific Linguistics, C‑67), edited by Stephen A. Wurm and Shirô Hattori, map 43. Canberra: Australian National University, Australian Academy of the Humanities and The Japan Academy.
Sneddon, J. N. 1984. Proto-Sangiric and the Sangiric languages. (Pacific Linguistics, B‑91.) Canberra: Australian National University.
Suryadinata, Leo; Evi Nurvidya Arifin, and Aris Ananta. 2003. Indonesia’s population: Ethnicity and religion in a changing political landscape. (Indonesia’s Population Series, 1.) Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.