|Bahasa Melayu Brunei|
|بهاس ملايو بروني|
|Native to||Brunei, Malaysia|
|Ethnicity||Bruneian Malay, Kedayan|
|Latin (Malay alphabet)|
Area where Brunei Malay is spoken
The Brunei Malay language (Malay: Bahasa Melayu Brunei Jawi: بهاس ملايو بروني) is the most widely spoken language in Brunei and a lingua franca in some parts of Sarawak and Sabah, such as Labuan, Limbang, Lawas, Sipitang and Papar. Though Standard Malay is promoted as the official national language of Brunei, Brunei Malay is socially dominant and it is currently replacing the minority languages of Brunei, including the Dusun and Tutong languages. It is quite divergent from Standard Malay to the point where it is almost mutually unintelligible with it.
The consonantal inventory of Brunei Malay is shown below:
Brunei Malay has a three-vowel system: /i/, /a/, /u/. Acoustic variation in the realisation of these vowels is shown in the plot on the right, based on the reading of a short text by a single female speaker.
While /i/ is distinct from the other two vowels, there is substantial overlap between /a/ and /u/. This is partly because of the vowel in the first syllable of words such as maniup ('to blow') which can be realised as [ə]. Indeed, the Brunei Malay dictionary uses an 'e' for the prefix in this word, listing it as meniup, though other analyses prefer to show prefixes such as this with 'a', on the basis that Brunei Malay just has three vowel phonemes.
Main article: Languages of Brunei
Brunei Malay, Kedayan and Kampong Ayer can be regarded as different dialects of Malay. Brunei Malay is used by the numerically and politically dominant Brunei people, who traditionally lived on water, while Kedayan is used by the land-dwelling farmers, and the Kampong Ayer dialect is used by the inhabitants of the river north of the capital. It has been estimated that 94% of the words of Brunei Malay and Kedayan are lexically related.
Coluzzi studied the street signs in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei Darussalam. The researcher concluded that except Chinese, "minority languages in Brunei have no visibility and play a very marginal role beyond the family and the small community."
|Bruneian Malay||Peninsular Malaysia Malay
(Klang Valley standard)
|Aku/ku||First person singular|
|Peramba||Patik||First person singular when in conversation with a Royal Family Member|
|Awak||Second person singular|
|Awda||Anda||From (si) awang and (si) dayang. It is used like the Malay word anda.|
|Kamu||Second person plural|
|Ia||Dia||Third person singular|
|Kitani||Kita||First person plural (inclusive)|
|Kita||To be used either like kitani or biskita|
|Si awang||Beliau||Male third person singular|
|Si dayang||Female third person singular|
|Biskita||Kita||To address a listener of older age. Also first person plural|
|Cinta||Tercinta||To address a loved one|
|(Di) mana?||Where (at)?|
|Ke mana?||Where to?|
|Kebawah Duli||Baginda||His Majesty|
|kabat||Tutup||To close (a door, etc.)|
|Cali||Lawak||Funny (adj.), derived from Charlie Chaplin|
|Siuk||Syok||cf. Malaysian syok, Singaporean shiok|
|Lakas||Lekas||To be quick, (in a) hurry(ing) (also an interjection)|
|Karang||Akan||At a later time, soon|
|Tarus||Terus||Straight ahead; immediately|
|Manada||Mana ada||Used as a term when in a state denial (as in 'No way!' or 'It can't be')|
|Baiktah||Lebih baik||'Might as well ... '|
|Orang putih||Orang putih; Mat salleh||Generally refers to a white Westerner.|
|Kaling||Refers to a Bruneian of Indian descent. (This is generally regarded as pejorative.)|
The vocabulary of Brunei Malay has been collected and published by several western explorers in Borneo including Pigafetta in 1521, De Crespigny in 1872, Charles Hose in 1893, A. S. Haynes in 1900, Sidney H. Ray in 1913, H. B. Marshall in 1921, and G. T. MacBryan in 1922, and some Brunei Malay words are included in A Malay-English Dictionary by R. J. Wilkinson.
The language planning of Brunei has been studied by some scholars.