also known locally as Bahasa Melayu.
an Austronesian language spoken by the Malay people who are native to the
Malay peninsula, southern Thailand, Singapore and parts of Sumatra.
the official language of Malaysia and Brunei, and one of the four official
languages of Singapore. It is also used as a working language in East
The official standard for Malay, as agreed upon by Indonesia, Malaysia and
Brunei, is Bahasa Riau, the language of the Riau Archipelago, long
considered the birthplace of the Malay language.
Malay is an agglutinative language, meaning that the meaning of the word
can be changed by adding the necessary prefixes or suffixes. Generally the
root word tends to be a verb with quantitative prefixes added to nouns
which are root words.
The Malay language has many words borrowed from
Arabic (in particular many religious terms),
Dutch, certain Chinese dialects and more
recently, English (in particular many scientific
and technological terms).
Not to be confused with the Malayalam
language, spoken in India.