A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Palembang, Palembangnese, Sekayu

3,105,000 (2000 census).


Sumatera Selatan Province, mainly northern 2 thirds of province; Musi river upstream to Bukit Barisan mountains, downstream to eastern coastal swamplands; into northeast Lampung Province; a few small border areas in Jambi and Bengkulu provinces.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication).Much of the population from other language groups in South Sumatra Province learn enough Urban Palembang dialect to use it as a trade language.


Belide, Burai, Coastal Malay, Kelingi, Lematang Ilir, Meranjat, Musi Sekayu, Palembang Lama, Pegagan, Penesak, Penukal, Rawas. A mutually-intelligible dialect chain stretching along the Musi River with 2 subgroups: Musi and Palembang. A member of macrolanguage Malay [msa].

Language Use

Home, village, market, religion. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Indonesian [ind]. Used as L2 by Central Malay [pse], Col [liw], Javanese [jav], Komering [kge].

Language Development
Not currently a written language. Preference is for Indonesian for educational and religious materials. Preference is for L1 for cultural stories and songs. Mixed preference for health and agricultural materials. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar.
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