Iban (Jaku Iban)

Iban is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 1.4 million people on the island of Borneo, mainly in Sarawak in Malayasia, and in neighbouring parts of Indonesia and Brunei. Iban speakers belong to the Dayak ethnic group and used to be known as "Sea Dayak". The Iban language is also known as Iban Sabah or Sea Dayak, and is closely related to Malay, particularly the Malay of Sarawak.

In Malaysia Iban is spoken by about 1.4 million people mainly in the state of Sarawak, and also in the Tawau district in the state of Sabah. It is taught in primary schools and used in literature and the media. In Brunei there are about 15,800 speakers of Iban in the districts of Belait, Tutong and Temburong. There are also about 15,000 Iban speakers in Indonesian, particularly in the Kapuas Hulu regency of West Kalimantan province.

Written Iban

Iban is usually written with the Latin alphabet, however there is an alternative script, known as the Dunging Script (urup Dunging) or the Iban alphabet, which was invented between 1947 and 1962 by Dunging Anak Gunggu. It is rarely used.

Iban pronunciation

Iban pronunciation

Sample text in Iban (Lord's Prayer)

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

Hear a recording of this:


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.

Sample videos in Iban

Information about Iban | Dunging Iban script | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about the Iban language

Iban-Malay dictionary

Iban phrases

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Alorese, Amarasi, Ambai, Ambel, Anuki, Balinese, Bambam, Banjarese, Batuley, Bengkulu, Bima, Bugis, Bushi, Chamorro, Dawan, Duri, Fijian, Fordata, Galoli, Gayo, Iban, Indonesian, Javanese, Kei, Kerinci, Komering, Lamaholot, Lampung, Ledo Kaili, Madurese, Makasarese, Malagasy, Malay, Mamasa, Mandar, Mandar, Mbula, Mentawai, Minangkabau, Mualang, Musi, Ngaju, Nias, Ogan, Palauan, Sasak, Selaru, Sumbawa, Sundanese, Tetum, Tii, Toqabaqita, Toraja-Sa'dan, Ulumandaʼ, Urak Lawoi’, Wamesa, Western Rote, Yamdena


Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 08.05.21


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