Harman Patil (Editor)

Sarawak Malay

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Covid-19
Native to  Malaysia
Glottolog  None
Linguist list  zlm-sar
Native speakers  500,000 - 600,000 (date missing)
Language family  Austronesian Malayo-Polynesian (MP) Nuclear MP Malayo-Sumbawan Malayic Malayan Malay Sarawak Malay

Sarawak Malay (Standard Malay: Bahasa Melayu Sarawak or Bahasa Sarawak, Jawi: بهاس ملايو سراوق, Sarawak Malay: Kelakar Sarawak) is a Malayan language native to the State of Sarawak, Malaysia. 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. It is more similar to Ibanic languages compared to Malay variants in Sumatra and the Malayan Peninsula, which makes it mutually unintelligible for Malay speakers outside of Sarawak and Borneo..

Contents

Vocabulary

Below is the differences between Standard Malay and Sarawakian Malay.

  1. baring - gurin
  2. bodoh - bakok, paloi, tuyuk
  3. berlari - berekot
  4. cantik - kacak
  5. garang - gaok
  6. hijau - gadong, ijo
  7. juga - juak
  8. kapal terbang - belon
  9. kecil - kecik, salus
  10. kedekut - bedegis (superlative)
  11. kenapa - kenak
  12. kenyang - kedadak (superlative)
  13. mahu - maok
  14. merah jambu - kalas
  15. pakai - pakei
  16. satu, dua, lima - sigek, duak, limak
  17. sekarang - kinek (tok)
  18. singgah - berambeh
  19. sombong - lawa
  20. tembikai - semangka
  21. tidak - si/sik
  22. tipu - bulak
  23. ya - aok

Most of the words used in Sarawak Malay nowadays are influenced by many languages such as English. These are words that came from English that have been modified according to the local accent:

  1. Action - Eksen
  2. Ball - Bol
  3. Carpet - Kapet
  4. Colour - Kaler
  5. Punctured - Pancet
  6. Handphone- Henpon
  7. Motor - Moto
  8. Frying Pan - Prempan
  9. Orange - Oren
  10. Round - Raun

Dialects

There are also other dialects of Sarawakian which is known as Bahasa Laut (Sea Language) Most of the words that are spoken ended with the vowel o. E.g.:

Word formation

Word formation in Sarawak Malay is very different from Standard Malay or Malaysian language. Most West Malaysians do not understand Sarawakian conversation. Sabahan is also different from Sarawak Malay. But, there is one similar word that has been used by both Sabahans and Sarawakians: Bah. It is used to stress a sentence. E.g.: Don't do like that - "Iboh polah kedak ya bah." It is similar usage of "lah" in Singlish and in West Malaysia. E.g.: Don't do like that 'lah'. Some Sarawakian Malay language 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 Aboriginal Malay languages in West Malaysia.

Many words in Sarawak Malay are being simplified from the original pronunciation and some are totally different. E.g.:

Colloquial and contemporary usage

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.:

References

Sarawak Malay Wikipedia


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