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Bhâsa Madhurâ
بۤاسا مادورۤا‎
Native toIndonesia
RegionIsland of Madura, Sapudi Islands, Java, Singapore and Malaysia (as Boyanese)
Native speakers
6.7 million (2011)[1]
Latin script
Carakan script
Pegon alphabet
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byBadan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa
Language codes
ISO 639-2mad
ISO 639-3
mad – Standard Madurese
Madurese in Javanese script

Madurese is a language of the Madurese people, native to the Madura Island and Eastern Java, Indonesia; it is also spoken by migrants to other parts of Indonesia, namely the eastern salient of Java (comprising Pasuruan, Surabaya, Malang to Banyuwangi), the Masalembu Islands and even some on Kalimantan. It was traditionally written in the Javanese script, but the Latin script and the Pegon script (based on Arabic script) is now more commonly used. The number of speakers, though shrinking, is estimated to be 8–13 million, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the country. Bawean Madurese, which is a dialect of Madurese, is also spoken by Baweanese descendants in Malaysia and Singapore.

Madurese is a Malayo-Sumbawan language of the Malayo-Polynesian language family, a branch of the larger Austronesian language family. Thus, despite apparent geographic spread, Madurese is more related to Balinese, Malay, Sasak and Sundanese, than it is to Javanese, the language used on the island of Java just across Madura Island.

Links between Bali–Sasak languages and Madurese are more evident with the vernacular form (common form).[citation needed]


Latin letters are given according to the 2008 orthography.[2]


Madurese vowels
Front Central Back
unrounded rounded
Close /i/
Mid /ɛ/
ꦄꦼ ⟨e⟩
ꦄꦼꦴ ⟨â⟩
Open /a/

Vowels /a/, /ɛ/, /ə/, /ɔ/ and its higher counterparts /ɤ/, /i/, /ɨ/, /u/ are usually in complementary distribution. The last 4 vowels occur after voiced and aspirated consonants, while the first 4 vowels occur elsewhere. Consonants /l/, /r/, and /s/, although by default lower the vowels, are transparent after higher vowels, for example belli /bɨlli/ "to buy" instead of *bellè /bɨllɛ/.[3]


Madurese consonants
Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/
⟨m⟩ ⟨م⟩
⟨n⟩ ⟨ن⟩
⟨ṇ⟩ ⟨ن⟩
⟨ny⟩ ⟨ۑ⟩
⟨ng⟩ ⟨ڠ⟩
Plosive voiceless /p/
⟨p⟩ ⟨ڤ⟩
⟨t⟩ ⟨ت⟩
⟨ṭ⟩ ⟨ڟ⟩
⟨c⟩ ⟨چ⟩
⟨k⟩ ⟨ك⟩
⟨'⟩ ⟨ء⟩
voiced /b/
⟨b⟩ ⟨ب⟩
⟨d⟩ ⟨د⟩
⟨ḍ⟩ ⟨ڊ⟩
⟨j⟩ ⟨ج⟩
⟨g⟩ ⟨ࢴ⟩
aspirated //
⟨bh⟩ ⟨ب⟩
⟨dh⟩ ⟨د⟩
⟨ḍh⟩ ⟨ڊ⟩
⟨jh⟩ ⟨ج⟩
⟨gh⟩ ⟨ࢴ⟩
Fricative /s/
⟨s⟩ ⟨س⟩
⟨h⟩ ⟨ه⟩
Trill /r/
⟨r⟩ ⟨ر⟩
Approximant /l/
⟨l⟩ ⟨ل⟩
⟨y⟩ ⟨ي⟩
⟨w⟩ ⟨و⟩

Madurese has more consonants than its neighboring languages due to it having voiceless unaspirated, voiceless aspirated (traditionally often transcribed as voiced aspirated), and voiced unaspirated. Similar to Javanese, it has a contrast between dental and alveolar (even retroflex) stops.[4][5]

The letters ⟨f⟩, ⟨q⟩, ⟨v⟩, ⟨x⟩, and ⟨z⟩ are used in loanwords.[6]


Madurese nouns are not inflected for gender and are pluralized via reduplication. Its basic word order is subject–verb–object. Negation is expressed by putting a negative particle before the verb, adjective or noun phrase. As with other similar languages, there are different negative particles for different kinds of negation.[7]

Common words

Madurese Indonesian English
Latin Pèghu
lakè’ لاكَيء laki-laki male
binè’ بِينَيء perempuan female
iyâ إيۤا iya yes
enja′ أٓنجاْء tidak no
aèng [aɛŋ] أئَيڠ air water
arè أرَي matahari sun
mata ماتا mata eye
sengko' سَيڠكَوء aku/saya I/me
bâ'na بۤاءنا kamu/engkau you


Madurese Indonesian English
Latin Pèghu
sèttong سَيتَّوڠ satu one
duwâ' دووۤاء dua two
tello' تٓلَّوء tiga three
empa' اۤمڤاء empat four
lèma’ لَيماء lima five
ennem اۤنّٓم enam six
pètto’ ڤَيتَّوء tujuh seven
bâllu’ بۤالّوء delapan eight
sanga′ ساڠاء sembilan nine
sapolo ساڤَولَو sepuluh ten

Sample text

From Article 1 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Sâdhâjâna orèng lahèr mardhika èsarengè dhrâjhât klabân ha'-ha' sè padâ. Sâdhâjâna èparèngè akal sareng nurani bân kodhu areng-sareng akanca kadhi tarètan.
Aksara Pèghu
[original research?] ساڊۤاجۤانا عَورَيڠ لاهَير مارڊيكا عَيسارۤڠَي ڊ‎رۤاجۤات کلابۤان هاء۲ سَي پادۤا. ساڊۤاجۤانا عَيڤارَيڠَي أکال سارۤڠ نوراني كَوڊو أرۤڠ-سارۤڠ أكانچا كاڊي تارَيتان.
"All Human Beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."


  1. ^ Standard Madurese at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016) Closed access icon
  2. ^ see Davies (2010), p. 59
  3. ^ Davies 2010, p. 29
  4. ^ Davies (2010), p. 59
  5. ^ Stevens, Alan (2001). "Madurese". In Garry, J.; Rubino, C. (eds.). Facts About the World's Languages. New York: H. W. Wilson.
  6. ^ Ejaan Bahasa Madura yang Disempurnakan (in Indonesian). Departemen Pendidikan Nasional, Pusat Bahasa, Balai Bahasa Surabaya. 2008. p. 3.
  7. ^ see Davies (2010), p. 273-275


See also