200,000 in Indonesia (1987 J. Collins). Population total all countries: 245,020.
Maluku Province. Central area: Ambon, Haruku, Nusa Laut, and Saparua islands; coastal areas of Seram island. Southern area: northwest Aru island group, Wamar island. Also in Netherlands, United States.
3 (Wider communication).
Many L2 speakers. Also use Indonesian [ind] or an indigenous language of Maluku.
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 1988, 1991; Holm 1989) and as Austronesian with contact features (Collins 1980; Gil 2001; Wolff 1988). Christian, Muslim.