Iban is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 700,000 people in Sarawak in Malayasia, Kalimantan Barat in Indonesia, and in Brunei. Iban speakers belong to the Dayak ethnic group and used to be known as "Sea Dayak". Iban is closely related to Malay, particularly the Malay of Sarawak.
Iban is usually written with the Latin alphabet, however there is an alternative script, which was invented in 1947 Dunging Anak Gunggu (1904-1985). It is a syllabic script consisting of 77 symbols which Dunging taught to a number of his nephews. There was little interest from other members of his community, few of whom were literate.
Dunging continued working on his script and by 1962 he had refined it down to 59 symbols. He was invited to teach the script at a school in Betong, but with little success. There have been a number of unsuccessful atempts to revive this script, since then. In 1990 Bagat Nunui, Dunging's adopted son, gathered together information about the script into a manuscipt, which wasn't published. Then in 2011 Dr Bromeley Philip, an associate professor at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Sarawak, started teaching a course in the script.
Apai kami di serega, kudus mih nama nuan, datai mih perintah nuan, jadi peneka nuan, baka ka dalam serega bakanya dalam bumi. Meri ka kami pengidup tiap ari. Ampunka penyalah kami, baka ka kami ti ngampunka urang ti salah ngelaban kami. Intu kami ari penguji, lepas ke kami ari penyai. Laban nuan ti bempu perintah,enggau kuasa enggau mulia. Dataika belama - lama iya. Amin.
Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come, on earth as in heaven. Gives us our daily bread. Forgive us of our sin, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temtation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and forever. Amen.
Details of the Iban script
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