200,000 in Indonesia (1987 J. Collins). L2 users: 1,400,000 in Indonesia (2013 M. Connor). Total users in all countries: 1,645,020 (as L1: 245,020; as L2: 1,400,000).
Maluku Province, Seram Bagian Barat regency, Kota Ambon, Hoamoa peninsula, coastal strip on Piru bay, east shore of bay from Kamarian to Seriholu; Makulu Tengah regency, Banda seacoast, Kota Ambon, Nusa Laut island, upper Elpaputih bay past Amahai, east to Sepa; Ceram sea coast from Karlutu east around Cape Namaa to Sawai on Sawai bay; Kepulauan Aru regency, northwest Aru island group, Wamar island.
3 (Wider communication). Became an LWC through trade, and is used in inter-cultural communication, market, and some media.
Also use Dutch [nld], Indonesian [ind]. Used as L2 by Aputai [apx], Buru [mhs], Dai [dij], Dawera-Daweloor [ddw], Dobel [kvo], Fordata [frd], Galolen [gal], Haruku [hrk], Ili’uun [ilu], Imroing [imr], Laha [lhh], Lisabata-Nuniali [lcs], Lola [lcd], Luang [lex], Luhu [lcq], North Babar [bcd], Perai [wet], Seit-Kaitetu [hik], Southeast Babar [vbb], Tela-Masbuar [tvm], Tugun [tzn], Wemale [weo], West Masela [mss], West Tarangan [txn], Yamdena [jmd].
Latin script [Latn].
Developed from Sabah Malay [msi] and still reflects some archaic forms. Further diverged by adapting to the vernaculars of central Maluku. Many varieties of trade Malay are considered Malay-based creoles (Grimes 1991a, Grimes 1991b, Holm 1989) and as Austronesian with contact features (Collins 1980, Gil 2001, Wolff 1988). Christian, Muslim.