Gayo is the spoken language of some 80,000 people (2010) in the mountain region of North Sumatra around Central Aceh 15-20%, Bener Meriah 15-20% and Gayo Lues 20 - 40%. It is classified as belonging to the Western Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages, but is not closely related to other languages. Ethnologue lists Deret, Lues, Lut, and Serbejadi-Lukup as dialects.
Gayo is distinguished from other languages in Aceh. The art and culture of Gayo people and also significantly different compared with other Acehnese people.
In 1907, G.A.J. Hazeu wrote a first Gayo–Dutch dictionary for the colonial authorities of the Dutch East Indies.
- ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Gayo". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- ^ Gajosch-Nederlandsch Woordenboek, by G.A.J. Hazeu, Landsdrukkerij Batavia 1907. It is available online as a Google scan.