16 Facts About Malay language


Malay is an Austronesian language officially spoken in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, and unofficially spoken in East Timor and parts of Thailand and the Philippines.

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However, in areas of Central to Southern Sumatra, where vernacular varieties of Malay are indigenous, Indonesians refer to the language as, and consider it to be one of their regional languages.

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Malay, called Court Malay, was the literary standard of the pre-colonial Malacca and Johor Sultanates and so the language is sometimes called Malacca, Johor or Riau Malay to distinguish it from the various other Malayic languages.

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Old Malay language is believed to be the actual ancestor of Classical Malay language.

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Old Malay was influenced by Sanskrit, the literary language of Classical India and a liturgical language of Hinduism and Buddhism.

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Malay language came into widespread use as the lingua franca of the Malacca Sultanate.

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Under the Sultanate of Malacca the language evolved into a form recognisable to speakers of modern Malay.

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Malay language was used solely as a lingua franca for inter-ethnic communications.

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Old Malay language was written using Pallava and Kawi script, as evident from several inscription stones in the Malay language region.

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The extent to which Malay language is used in these countries varies depending on historical and cultural circumstances.

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Malay language originally had four vowels, but in many dialects today, including Standard Malay language, it has six.

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Malay language has many words borrowed from Arabic, Sanskrit, Tamil, certain Sinitic languages, Persian (due to historical status of Malay Archipelago as a trading hub), and more recently, Portuguese, Dutch and English (in particular many scientific and technological terms).

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Aboriginal Malay are the Malayan languages spoken by the Orang Asli in Malaya.

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Extent to which Malay and related Malayan languages are used in the countries where it is spoken varies depending on historical and cultural circumstances.

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In Singapore, Malay language was historically the lingua franca among people of different nationalities.

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Besides Indonesian, which developed from the Malaccan dialect, there are many Malay language varieties spoken in Indonesia; they are divided into western and eastern groups.

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