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  • 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 Timor.

  • 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), Sanskrit, Portuguese, 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.

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