Ma'anyan language

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Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
150,000 (2003)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mhy

Ma'anyan or Ma'anjan or Maanyak Dayak is an Austronesian language belonging to the East Barito languages. It is spoken by about 150,000 Ma'anyan people (subgroup of Dayak people) living in the Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. It is closely related to the Malagasy language spoken in Madagascar. The Malagasy language originated from Southeast Barito language, and Ma'anyan language is its closest relative, with numerous Malay and Javanese loanwords.[3][4] It is known that Ma'anyan people were brought as labourer and slaves by Malay and Javanese people in their trading fleets, which reached Madagascar by ca. 50-500 AD.[5][6][7] There is high lexical similarity with other East Barito languages like Paku (77%) or Dusun Witu (75%).


Vocabulary comparison between Malay, Banjarese, Ma'anyan, and Malagasy.

Malay Banjarese Ma'anyan Malagasy English
monyet warik warik varika ("lemur") monkey
bemban bamban waman
bulian balian wadian
patih patih patis regent
lama lawas lawah lava long
kawan kawal kawal/hengau namana friend
obat tatamba tatamba tambavy medicine
senang aray aray faly happy, easy
masih magun pagun manangona (ENG: to accumulate) to keep
arya aria uria
demang damang damhong


  1. ^ Ma'anyan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ma'anyan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Otto Chr. Dahl, Malgache et Maanjan: une comparaison linguistique, Egede-Instituttet Avhandlinger, no. 3 (Oslo: Egede-Instituttet, 1951), p. 13.
  4. ^ There are also some Sulawesi loanwords, which Adelaar attributes to contact prior to the migration to Madagascar: See K. Alexander Adelaar, “The Indonesian Migrations to Madagascar: Making Sense of the Multidisciplinary Evidence”, in Truman Simanjuntak, Ingrid Harriet Eileen Pojoh and Muhammad Hisyam (eds.), Austronesian Diaspora and the Ethnogeneses of People in Indonesian Archipelago, (Jakarta: Indonesian Institute of Sciences, 2006), pp. 8–9.
  5. ^ Dewar, Robert E.; Wright, Henry T. (1993). "The culture history of Madagascar". Journal of World Prehistory. 7 (4): 417–466. doi:10.1007/bf00997802. hdl:2027.42/45256.
  6. ^ Burney DA, Burney LP, Godfrey LR, Jungers WL, Goodman SM, Wright HT, Jull AJ (August 2004). "A chronology for late prehistoric Madagascar". Journal of Human Evolution. 47 (1–2): 25–63. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.05.005. PMID 15288523.
  7. ^ Kumar, Ann. (1993). 'Dominion Over Palm and Pine: Early Indonesia’s Maritime Reach', in Anthony Reid (ed.), Anthony Reid and the Study of the Southeast Asian Past (Sigapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies), 101-122.

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