Central Sinama (Bahasa Sinama / Bajau / Badjao)
Central Sinama is a member of the Sama-Bajaw group of the Malayo-Polynesian
languages, which is part of Austronesian language family. It is closely
related to Sinama Banguingi and Southern Sinama.
Estimates of Central Sinama speakers range from 100,000-400,000 people.
They can be found throughout Southeast Asia especially in the Sulu Archipelago
and Zamboanga Peninusla of the Philippines and in Sabah Malaysia. Sama
communities are present in the coastal areas of the three major regions
of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
There is a great number of dialects within the Central Sinama
language depending upon the island of origin of the Sama group. These
are some of the significant Central Sinama dialect groups: Sama Laminusa,
Sama Tabawan, Sama Sibaud, Sama Manubal, Sama Musu', Sama Silumpak,
and the Sama Dilaut, the sea gypsies well known throughout the Philippines
as the Badjao. Sama Dilaut is the largest dialect group.
Sinama is written with the Latin alphabet.
Central Sinama alphabet and pronunciation
- Ng represents the ŋ sound.
- Tagalog includes ng as a letter. Bahasa Melayu does not. Ng is left out of the Sinama alphabet.
- b becomes [β] and g becomes [Ɣ] when found between two vowels.
- ꞌ represents the 6th vowel sound and is always found before two consonants
- ꞌ is not written when in the word initial position.
- ꞌ represents the glottal stop (hamsaꞌ) when found between two vowels or in the word final position.
- ꞌ is commonly written with an apostrophe following Arabic transcriptions in the Latin Alphabet.
- Lengthened vowels a, e, i, o, and u are written with a macron i.e. ā, ē, ī, ō, and ū.
Information about Sinama compiled by Kauman Sama Online
Sample text in Sinama
Sai na mbal alasa ma bahasana akalap lagi' min hayop maka min daing alangsa.
Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, masahol pa sa hayop at malansang isda.
He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal or a rotten fish.
Information about the Sama people and the Central Sinama language
Sinama Alphabet Song
Sinama Pronoun Chart
Common Sinama phrases
Linguistic Teaching in the Sinama Language
Other languages written with the Latin alphabet