Malagasy is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family spoken by about 17 million in Madagascar, where it is the national and official language, and also in Comoros, Réunion and Mayotte. It is related to the Malayo-Polynesian languages of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and more closely to the South-east Barito group of languages spoken in Borneo, particularly to Maanyan.
Malagasy contains words borrowed from Bantu languages, and from Arabic. There are also loanwords from French, the former colonial language which still enjoys official status, and English, thanks mainly to the 18th century pirates who made the island their base.
From the 15th century to 1823, Malagasy was written with the Arabic Ajami script or Sorabe. Since then, it has been written with the Latin alphabet.
Teraka afaka sy mitovy zo sy fahamendrehana ny olombelona rehetra. Samy manan-tsaina sy fieritreretana ka tokony hifampitondra ampirahalahiana.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Malagasy Language
Cours de Malgache (Online Malagasy lessons - in French)
Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de Madagascar