Roman or Latin alphabet?

Bendy's picture

Quick question:

Bahasa Malaysia uses the Roman alphabet.
Bahasa Malaysia uses the Latin alphebet.

Which is correct? Or are they the same?

AzizMostafa's picture

Khaled Hosny, please follow us here:
http://typophile.com/node/76305

henkm's picture

Bendy, I think it is worth pointing out that 'Bahasa Malaysia' being wrong represents AzizMostafa's point of view and not necessarily the generally accepted practice. The Malaysian government has declared Bahasa Malaysia to be the national language or the 'Malaysian language' and so Bahasa Melayu has (implicitly) come to mean the Malay Language. I'm not sure whether Indonesia uses the term Bahasa Indonesia, which would parallel Bahasa Malaysia.

You might compare this with English (parallel to b.melayu) which is divided in British (b.malaysia) and American English (b.indonesia).

Of course, not everyone agrees with the government and since Malaysia is a heavily politicised country ...

On the topic of older writing systems, the Dutch have left a legacy of dictionaries for various Javanese and regional languages other than Malay, which each have their own script. If you are interested, you might want to try to explore it through those sources.

The language of the Malays in Malaysia has always been Malay, as far as I can tell. There are aboriginal people here, more about which can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orang_Asli .

edit: oops, didn't realise I was talking to a Malaysian, so you're probably better aware of all this than I am.I just let it stand in case anyone might be interested.

AzizMostafa's picture

Henkm, Am confused. Which is correct?
1. The language of the Malays in Malaysia has always been Malay.
2. The language of the Indians in Malaysia has always been Malay.
3. The language of the Chinese in Malaysia has always been Malay.
4. The language of Malaysians has alway been Malay.
5. The mother tongue of Malays in Malaysia has always been Malay.
6. The mother tongue of Indians in Malaysia has always been Malay.
7. The mother tongue of the Chinese in Malaysia has always been Malay.
8. The mother tongue of Malaysians has alway been Malay.

AzizMostafa's picture

@ the Dutch have left a legacy of dictionaries for various Javanese and regional languages other than Malay, which each have their own script.

And the Dutch changed only the Jawi scipt to latin?!

henkm's picture

I meant anyone interested can take a look at those older dictionaries to see other scripts that have now fallen into disuse.

AzizMostafa's picture

@ … other scripts that have now fallen into disuse.

Why fallen into disuse?!
http://topazdiamond.blogspot.com/2009/04/jawi-vs-rumi.html
Or you did not succeed in replacing it with Indian?!
http://typophile.com/node/76305?page1#comment-439644

quadibloc's picture

I was terribly confused. I thought we were talking about Indonesia.

In Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia is one form of Malay - according to Wikipedia, it is based on the Riau dialect, spoken around Sumatra. But the mother tongues of most Indonesians are other languages. Some are closely related to Bahasa Indonesia: thus, Javanese is a relative of Malay.

I see that Balinese is also related to Malay; I had not realized that, thinking that it was a Dravidian language or a relative of Sanskrit. But I should not be too surprised; Tibetan is a relative of Chinese despite being written with a writing system derived from Devanagari.

According to Wikipedia, Malaysian was officially Bahasa Malayu between 1986 and 2007, and now it's back to Bahasa Malaysia again. It is noted as being a second language for more members of Malaysia's ethnic minorities (18 million) than it is a first language for Malaysians in general (10 million).

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