A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Batavi, Batawi, Betawi Malay, Jakarta Malay, Melayu Betawi, Melayu Jakarte

5,000,000 (2000 census). Population count imprecise due to vague ethnic and linguistic definition of ‘Betawi’.


Java island, Jawa Barat Province, Bogar, Bekasi, and Karawang regencies; Banten Province, from Tangerang east to Jakarta city; dominant in Jakarta Raya.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


None known. A Malay-based creole distinct from both Indonesian [ind] and other Malay-based pidgins and creoles. It evolved mid-19th century. Unique phonological, morphological, and lexical traits. Influences from Peranakan Indonesian [pea] and Bali [ban]. Often not intelligible to Indonesian speakers not familiar with it (1989 R. Allen).

Language Use

Functions as a Low variety in a diglossic situation, but has covert prestige when used by the upper class.

Language Development
Poetry. Radio programs. Films. TV. Grammar.
Other Comments