Malay (Bahasa Melayu / بهاس ملايو)

Malay is a Malayic language spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. The total number of speakers of Standard Malay is about 18 million. There are also about 170 million people who speak Indonesian, which is a form of Malay.

The earliest known inscriptions in Malay were found in southern Sumatra and on the island of Bangka and date from 683-6 AD. They were written in an Indian script during the time of the kingdom of Srivijaya.

When Islam arrived in southeast Asia during the 14th century, the Arabic script was adapted to write the Malay language. In the 17th century, under influence from the Dutch and British, the Arabic script was replaced by the Latin alphabet.

Latin alphabet for Malay (Tulisan Rumi)

Latin alphabet for Malay (Tulisan Rumi)

A recording of the Malay alphabet by Ng Kiat Quan

Hear the Malay alphabet, with example words:

Malay pronunciation

Malay pronunciation

Notes

Jawi alphabet (توليسن جاوي‎)

The Jawi alphabet (Tulisan Jawi) is a way to write Malay, and Indonesian, with a version of the Arabic alphabet. It is one of the official scripts in Brunei. It is used in religious and cultural administration in Malaysia. In the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang is has co-official status and business have to use Jawi on signs. Jawi is sometimes used by Muslims in Indonesia and Thailand.

Jawi alphabet for Malay

Download alphabet charts for Malay (Excel)

Sample text in Malay (Jawi alphabet)

Sample text in Malay (Jawi alphabet)

Sample text in Malay (Latin alphabet)

Semua manusia dilahirkan bebas dan samarata dari segi kemuliaan dan hak-hak. Mereka mempunyai pemikiran dan perasaan hati dan hendaklah bertindak di antara satu sama lain dengan semangat persaudaraan.

A recording of this text

Translation

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)

Sample video in Malay

Information about Malay | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Learning materials

Links

Information about the Malay language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_alphabet
http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/malaysia.html

Malay lessons
http://pgoh13.free.fr/mycourse2/
http://www.bahasa-malaysia-simple-fun.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMtJYGHsg4E
http://polymath.org/malay.php

Malay phrases
http://mcs-bristol.tripod.com/learnmalay.htm
http://linguanaut.com/english_malay.htm
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293951-s604/Malaysia:Important.Phrases.html
http://www.expatypus.com/wiki/malay-language-bahasa-malaysia
http://www.digitaldialects.com/Malay/Phrases.htm
http://www.voyage99.com/useful-phrases.html

Malay dictionaries
http://kamus.lamanmini.com
http://pgoh13.com/dictionary.php
http://www.lexilogos.com/english/malay_dictionary.htm
http://www.stars21.com/dictionary/English-Malay_dictionary.html
http://www-clips.imag.fr/geta/services/dicoweb/dicoweb.html
http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~qntal/dictionary/
http://www.dictionary.tamilcube.com/malay_dictionary.aspx

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Amarasi, Anuki, Araki, Balinese, Banjarese, Barai, Batak, Bima, Bugis, Bushi, Chamorro, Cia-Cia, Dawan, Dhao, Duri, Ende-Li'o, Fijian, Galoli, Hawu, Hoava, Iban, Indonesian, Javanese, Kerinci, Lampung, Ledo Kaili, Madurese, Makasarese, Malagasy, Malay, Mandar, Manggarainese, Mbula, Minangkabau, Moronene, Mualang, Muna, Musi, Ndrumbea, Nias, Paicî, Palauan, Sasak, Sumbawa, Sundanese, Tetum, Tii, Tolaki, Toqabaqita, Toraja-Sa'dan, Wandamen, Western Rote, Xârâcùù, Yakan

Languages written with the Arabic script

Adamaua Fulfulde, Afrikaans, Arabic (Algerian), Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Hassaniya), Arabic (Lebanese), Arabic (Modern Standard), Arabic (Moroccan), Arabic (Syrian), Arabic (Tunisian), Arwi, Äynu, Azeri, Balti, Baluchi, Beja, Belarusian, Bosnian, Brahui, Chagatai, Chechen, Comorian, Crimean Tatar, Dargwa, Dari, Dogri, Domari, Gilaki, Hausa, Hazaragi, Indus Kohistani, Kabyle, Kalkoti, Karakalpak, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khowar, Khorasani Turkic, Konkani, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lezgi, Luri, Malay, Mandinka, Marwari, Mandekan, Mazandarani, Morisco, Mozarabic, Nubi, Ormuri, Palula, Parkari Koli, Pashto, Persian/Farsi, Punjabi, Qashqai, Rajasthani, Rohingya, Salar, Saraiki, Sawi, Serer, Shabaki, Shina, Shughni, Sindhi, Somali, Tatar, Tausūg, Tawallammat Tamajaq, Tayart Tamajeq, Torwali, Turkish, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Wakhi, Wolof

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 09.06.21


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:

 

If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.

 

Learn a nuevo language while you browse with toucan

Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.