19th Edition

Kinabatangan, Upper


A language of Malaysia

Alternate Names
Orang Sungai, Sungai Milian

Ethnic population: 15,000 (2015 L. Rose).


Sabah: Tongod district, primarily upper reaches of Kinabatangan river; Lahad Datu district.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).


Kalabuan (Kolobuan), Makiang, , Sinabu’ (Sinobu’), Sinarupa, Kuamut. Dialects have approximately 87% mutual intelligibility. Lexical similarity: over 90% among all dialects, 80% between Makiang and Sinabu’ dialects.

Language Use

Mixed use: Home, Friends, Religion, Work. Some children and young adults; all adults and elderly. Positive attitudes. All also use Sabah Malay [msi]. Most also use Standard Malay [zsm]. A few also use English [eng].

Language Development
Poetry. New media. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1984–2004. Agency: The Orang Sungai Cultural Association (Sabah Association of Bangsa Sungai = SABAS).

Latin script [Latn], developed in about 1984 till 2004.

Other Comments

Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.

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