Sarawak Malay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sarawak Malay
Bahasa Melayu Sarawak
Native to Malaysia
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguist list
Glottolog None

Sarawakian dialect is a common language used by natives in Sarawak. This dialect somewhat related to Bruneian Malay and the Pontianak Malay which is spoken in the neighbouring West Kalimantan province in Indonesia.[citation needed] It is quite similar to the Ibanic Languages compare to Peninsular Malay language.[citation needed] These are some simple examples of Sarawakian dialect:

  1. pakai - pakei
  2. ayam - manuk
  3. tak - si/sik
  4. ya - aok

Most of the words used in Bahasa Sarawak 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. Carpet - Kapet
  2. Punctured - Pancet
  3. Handphone- Henpon
  4. Motor- Moto

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

English Bahasa Sarawak Bahasa Laut
What Nakpa Nakpo
you Kau/ Kitak Au/ Itak
Like that Kedak ya Pia

Word Formation[edit]

Bahasa Sarawak formation is a very different from Bahasa Malaysia. In fact, most West Malaysian do not understand Sarawakian conversation. Sabahan dialect is very much different from Bahasa Sarawak too. But, there is one similar word that has been used by both Sabahan and Sarawakian- "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. E.g.: Don't do like that 'lah'. Some Sarawakian Malay dialect have a similar pronunciation of ai as ei, as in some districts of Perak: serai > serei, kedai > kedei. Some Sarawakian Malay verbs have a have a final glottal stop after a vowel or in place of final /r/: kena > kenak, air > aik, beri > berik.

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

English Bahasa Malaysia Bahasa Sarawak
Sweeping Menyapu Nyapu
Coconut Kelapa Nyior[1]
More Lagi lagik/ Agik/Gik
Road Jalan Raya Jeraya
Clever Pandai Pandei
Teach Mengajar Ngaja
Yes Ya aok
Cat Kucing Pusak
Dog Anjing Asuk
Chicken Ayam Manok
Knife Pisau ladin (Malay/melanau) Dandin/ pisok

Colloquial and contemporary usage[edit]

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
You Kitak ktk
me Kamek kmk
No Sik x
Message Mesej msg
Nothing Sikda xda


  1. Daftar Kata DIALEK MELAYU SARAWAK Edisi Kedua (ISBN 9836263241)
  1. ^ In Indonesian Language: Kelapa means Coconut, Niyur means Coconut Tree.