Malay, Central


A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Bengkulu, Besemah, Enim, Lintang, Melayu Tengah, Midden Maleisch, Ogan, Pasemah, Semendo, Serawai

1,590,000 (2000 census).


Bengkulu province: central Bukit Barisan highlands west to Indian Ocean along Bengkulu coast; Lampung province; Sumatera Selatan province: Lematang and Ogan river valleys.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Serawai, Bengkulu, Semenda, Lintang, Benakat, Kisam, Pasemah, Kikim, Lematang Ulu, Ogan, Enim, Rambang. Lexical similarity: 75% with Kaur [vkk], 80% between Pekal [pel] and some dialects such as Pasemah and Bengkulu. A member of macrolanguage Malay [msa].

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, village, commerce, religion. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Indonesian [ind], Musi [mui].

Language Development

Indonesian [ind] preferred for educational and religious materials, but L1 for cultural stories and songs. Mixed preference for health and agricultural materials. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1995.


Latin script [Latn], limited usage.

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