Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > Indonesia (Maluku) > Malay, Ambonese

Malay, Ambonese

A language of Indonesia (Maluku)

ISO 639-3abs

Population  200,000 in Indonesia (1987 J. Collins). Population total all countries: 245,020.
Region  Central Maluku, Ambon, Haruku, Nusa Laut, Saparua Islands, along the coastal areas of Seram, and south Maluku. Also in Netherlands, United States.
Language maps  Indonesia, Central Maluku
Indonesia, Southern Maluku
Alternate names   Ambonese, Ambong, Malayu Ambon
Dialects  Dobo Malay. Marginal intelligibility with Indonesian [ind]. Difficult intelligibility with Ternate Malay [max]; speakers switch to Indonesian. Lexical similarity: 81% with Standard Malay [zsm].
Classification  Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Malayo-Sumbawan, North and East, Malayic, Malay, Trade, East Indonesian
Language use  Trade language. Many L2 speakers. Also use Indonesian or Dutch [nld].
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Grammar. NT: 1877–1883.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  Developed from Sabah Malay [msi] and still reflects some archaic forms. Further diverged by adapting to the vernaculars of central Maluku. Considered a Malay-based creole by (Grimes 1988, 1991) and (Holm 1989:581–583). Christian, Muslim.