Malay is a language that belongs to the Austronesian family of languages, a group that encompasses languages spoken in parts of Southeast Asia, the Pacific, a small part of continental Asia and the Indian Ocean, in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and Madagascar.
Malay is a language that is very similar to Indonesian. However, each language should be treated independently and translated by native speakers, respectively.
The first Malay writings date back to 683 AD, originating in southern Sumatra and on the island of Bangka.
Written Malay may be found in either of two alphabets:
- It first adopted the Arabic alphabet with the arrival of Islam in Southeast Asia during the fourteenth century.
- The Latin alphabet landed in the region with the arrival of Europeans in the seventeenth century. You could say that this Roman alphabet (Rumi, as it is called) replaced the Arabic alphabet almost entirely.
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