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Central Sinama (Bahasa Sinama / Bajau / Badjao)

Central Sinama is a member of the Sama-Bajaw group of the Bornean branch of the Malayo-Polynesian 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

Central Sinama aalphabet and pronunciation


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.

Tagalog translation

Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, masahol pa sa hayop at malansang isda.

English translation

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

Bornean languages

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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