1,600,000 in Indonesia, all users. 200,000 (1987 J. Collins). 1,400,000 (2013 M. Connor). Total users in all countries: 1,649,020 (as L1: 249,020; as L2: 1,400,000).
Maluku province: Kepulauan Aru regency, Aru island group, Wamar island; Seram Bagian Barat regency, Ambon city, Kamarian to Seriholu on Hoamoa peninsula; Maluku Tengah regency, Nusa Laut island, upper Elpaputih bay east to Sepa; Ceram sea coast from Karlutu east to Sawai.
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.