Indonesian language

Indonesian (bahasa Indonesia [baˈhasa indoˈnesja]) is the official and national language of Indonesia.[4] It is a standardized variety of Malay,[5] an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, with over 270 million[6] inhabitants—of which the majority speak Indonesian, which makes it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.[7]

Indonesian
Bahasa Indonesia
Pronunciation[baˈha.sa in.doˈne.sja]
Native toIndonesia
EthnicityIndonesians
Native speakers
L1 speakers - 43 million (2010 census)[1]
L2 speakers: 156 million (2010 census)[1]
300 million (2022)[2]
Early forms
Old Malay
Standard forms
  • Indonesian
Latin (Indonesian alphabet)
Indonesian Braille
BISINDO, SIBI (Indonesian Sign Language)
Official status
Official language in
 Indonesia
Recognised minority
language in
 East Timor (Indonesian used as a working language and a trade language with Indonesia)[3]
Regulated byLanguage Development and Fostering Agency (Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa)
Language codes
ISO 639-1id
ISO 639-2ind
ISO 639-3ind
Glottologindo1316
Linguasphere31-MFA-ac
  Countries of the world where Indonesian is a majority native language
  Countries where Indonesian is a minority language
Indonesian is not endangered according to the classification system of the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
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Indonesian speaker

Most Indonesians, aside from speaking the national language, are fluent in at least one of the more than 700 indigenous local languages; examples include Javanese and Sundanese, which are commonly used at home and within the local community.[8][9] However, most formal education and nearly all national mass media, governance, administration, and judiciary and other forms of communication are conducted in Indonesian.[10]

Under Indonesian rule from 1976 to 1999, Indonesian was designated as the official language of Timor Leste. It currently has the status of a working language under the country's present constitution along with English.[11][12]:3[13]

The term Indonesian is primarily associated with the national standard dialect (bahasa baku).[14] However, in a more loose sense, it also encompasses the various local varieties spoken throughout the Indonesian archipelago.[5][15] Standard Indonesian is confined mostly to formal situations, existing in a diglossic relationship with vernacular Malay varieties, which are commonly used for daily communication, coexisting with the aforementioned regional languages.[14][8]

The Indonesian name for the language (bahasa Indonesia) is also occasionally used in English and other languages. Bahasa Indonesia is sometimes reduced to Bahasa, which refers to the Indonesian subject (Bahasa Indonesia) taught in schools, on the assumption that this is the name of the language. However, the word bahasa only means language. For example, Korean language is translated as bahasa Korea. Indonesians generally may not recognize the name Bahasa alone when referring to their national language.[16]


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