|Native to||Malaysia, a few in Thailand|
|1,000 in Malaysia (2006)|
Jahai (Jehai) is an aboriginal Mon–Khmer language spoken by the Jahai people living in the montane rainforests of northern Peninsular Malaysia and southernmost Thailand. It is the largest Northern Aslian language. Though spoken by only a little more than 1,000 people, Jahai does not appear to be in immediate danger of extinction due to the prevalence of Jahai parents passing on the language to their children as their mother tongue.
Jahai has a unique vocabulary for describing odors.
|Close||i ĩ||ɨ ɨ̃||u ũ|
|Open-mid||ɛ ɛ̃||ə ə̃||ɔ ɔ̃|
Odor terms in Jahai are based on abstract qualities rather than specific sources (which is more common cross-linguistically, particularly in European languages).
|Odor terms||Approximate translation||Examples of sources||Notes|
|cŋəs||'to smell edible, tasty'||cooked food, sweets|
|crŋir||'to smell roasted'||roasted food|
|harɨm||'to be fragrant'||various flowers, perfumes, soap||Malay loan; original Malay meaning 'fragrant'|
|ltpɨt||'to be fragrant'||various flowers, perfumes, bearcat|
|haʔɛ̃t||'to stink'||feces, rotten meat, prawn paste|
|pʔus||'to be musty'||old dwellings, mushrooms, stale food|
|cŋɛs||'to have a stinging smell'||petrol, smoke, bat droppings|
|sʔı̃ŋ||'to have a smell of human urine'||human urine, village ground|
|haɲcı̃ŋ||'to have a urine-like smell'||urine||Malay loan; original Malay meaning 'foul odor, stench'|
|pʔih, plʔeŋ||'to have a blood/fish/meat-like smell'||blood, raw fish, raw meat|
|plʔɛŋ||'to have a bloody smell which attracts tigers'||crushed head lice, squirrel blood|