Malay language

Malay is an Austronesian language predominantly spoken by Malay people in northeastern of Sumatra to the Riau Islands and its surroundings; which includes Singapore and Malay Peninsula, as well as the western and northernmost coast of Borneo (especially in Pontianak and Brunei).

Native speakers12 million  (2007)
Language family
Standard formsStandard Malay
Writing system
Official status
Official language in Brunei
Recognised minority language in Indonesia
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-2ms
ISO 639-3
zsm – Standard Malay
Malayophone world.svg
Countries where Malay is official or recognized

Writing system

Malay is normally written with the Latin alphabet called Rumi. But there is also a modified Arabic alphabet that is called Jawi. Rumi is official in Malaysia and Singapore, and the Indonesian language has a different official orthography that uses also the Latin script. Rumi and Jawi are both official languages in Brunei. Efforts are currently being undertaken to preserve Jawi script and to revive its use amongst Malays in Malaysia, and students taking the Malay language examination in Malaysia have the option of answering questions using Jawi script. But the Latin alphabet is still the most commonly used script in Malaysia, both for official and informal purposes.

Historically, Malay has been written in various types of script. Before the introduction of Arabic script in the Malay region, Malay was written using Pallava, Kawi and Rencong script and are still in use today by the Champa Malay in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Malay Language Media