|900,000 - 1,200,000|
Sarawak Malay (Standard Malay: Bahasa Melayu Sarawak or Bahasa Sarawak, Jawi: بهاس ملايو سراوق, Sarawak Malay: Kelakar Sarawak) is a Malayic language native to the State of Sarawak. It is a common language used by natives of Sarawak. This variant is related to Bruneian Malay, spoken in the districts of Limbang and Lawas (Sarawak) and Pontianak Malay, which is spoken in the neighbouring West Kalimantan province in Indonesia. There is some debate on whether it is a vernacular variety of Malay or a separate language altogether. It is more similar to Ibanic languages compared to the Malay dialects of Sumatra and the Malayan Peninsula, which makes it mutually unintelligible for Malay speakers outside Sarawak and Borneo..
Below is a non-exhaustive list of lexical differences between Standard Malay and Sarawak Malay.
Most of the words used in Sarawak Malay nowadays are influenced by many languages such as English. Some English words that have undergone significant pronunciation changes:
There is also a distinct variant of Sarawakian, which is known as Bahasa Laut (Sea Language). Most of the words that are spoken end with the vowel o. E.g.:
|English||Bahasa Sarawak||Bahasa Laut|
|you||Kau/ Kitak||Au/ Itak|
|Like that||Kedak ya||Piyo|
The word formation rules of Sarawak Malay are very different from those of the normative Malay language. Without prior exposure, most West Malaysians have trouble following Sarawakian conversations. Sabahan is also different from Sarawak Malay, however they do share some lexicon, such as the word Bah, which is used to stress a sentence. E.g.: Don't do like that - "Iboh polah kedak ya bah." It is similar in use to "lah" in Singlish and in West Malaysia. E.g.: Don't do like that 'lah'. Some words in Sarawakian Malay have a similar pronunciation of ai as ei, as in some districts of Perak: serai > serei, kedai > kedei. Some Sarawakian Malay verbs have a final glottal stop after a vowel or in place of final /r/: kena > kenak, air > aik, beri > berik. like in the Aboriginal Malay languages of West Malaysia.
Many words in Sarawak Malay diverge from the original pronunciation and some are totally different. E.g.:
|English||Bahasa Malaysia||Bahasa Sarawak|
|Coconut||Kelapa / Nyiur||Nyior|
|Dog||Anjing / Asu (less used)||Asuk|
|Chicken||Ayam / Manuk (archaic)||Manok|
|Knife||Pisau||ladin (Malay/Melanau) Dandin/ pisok|
Contemporary usage of Bahasa Sarawak includes contemporary Malay words or incorporated from other languages, spoken by the urban speech community, which may not be familiar to the older generation. E.g.: SMS language. E.g.:
|English||Bahasa Sarawak||SMS Text|