Bajaw language

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Native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines
Region coastal areas of the Sulu Sea, Sabah, Sulawesi, and the Maluku Islands
Ethnicity Bajau
Native speakers
260,000 (2000–2011)[1]
(may be ethnic population)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
bdl – Sulawesi
bdr – Sabah West Coast
sjm – Mapun
Glottolog born1254[2]

Bajaw is the language of the Bajaw 'Sea Gypsies' of Maritime Southeast Asia. Differences exist between the language's varieties in western Sabah, Cagayan in the southern Philippines (= Mapun Bajaw/Sama), eastern Sabah, and Sulawesi/Maluku, but it is not clear how many languages these would be based on mutual intelligibility.


  1. ^ Sulawesi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Sabah West Coast at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Mapun at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Borneo Coast Bajaw". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.