10,500,000 in Malaysia (2004 census). 10 million in Peninsular Malaysia, 506,000 in Sarawak, and 30,000 in Labuan. Population total all countries: 15,848,500. L2 users: 3,000,000 in Malaysia.
Widespread in Peninsular Malaysia; also in Sarawak State, Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, and Belong districts.
3 (Wider communication).
Akit, Belitung, coastal Jambi, Coastal Terengganu, Deli, Inland Terengganu, Jugra-Muar-Melaka-Johor, Kelantan, Lubu, Northwestern Kalimantan, Orang Hulu, Orang Kuala, Pahang, Riau islands, Riau Mainland, Sakai, Sarawak (Sarawak Malay), Southeast Island, Southwestern Coastal Kalimantan, Tamiang, Upstream Western Kalimantan. Kedah Malay [meo], Negeri Sembilan Malay [zmi], Jakun [jak], Orang Kanaq [orn], Orang Seletar [ors], Temuan [tmw], Sabah Malay [msi], and Brunei [kxd], are so closely related that they may one day be included as dialects of Malay [zlm]. Coastal Terengganu, inland Terengganu, Kelantan most aberrant but evidently mutually intelligible with Patani [ptn]. A member of macrolanguage Malay [msa].
Also use English [eng], Standard Malay [zsm]. Used as L2 by Brunei [kxd], Central Melanau [mel], Cheq Wong [cwg], Gana [gnq], Ida’an [dbj], Jah Hut [jah], Jehai [jhi], Lanoh [lnh], Mah Meri [mhe], Malaccan Creole Portuguese [mcm], Minokok [mqq], Minriq [mnq], Remun [lkj], Salako [knx], Selungai Murut [slg], Semai [sea], Semelai [sza], Southern Sama [ssb], Tamil [tam], Temiar [tea].
This entry refers to, local or vernacular, Malay varieties not well differentiated from each other, and other varieties for which further research is needed to clarify differentiation from mainstream dialects. Distinguished from court-Malay-derived Standard Indonesian [ind] or Standard Malay [zsm] by sociolinguistic status as vernaculars, and other linguistic features.