Saro Mandailing
Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
1.1 million (2000 census)[1]
Latin, Mandailing
Language codes
ISO 639-3btm
A Mandailing script, pre-1800s.

Mandailing or Mandailing Batak is an Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, the northern island of Sumatra. It is spoken mainly in Mandailing Natal Regency, North Padang Lawas Regency, Padang Lawas Regency, and eastern parts of Labuhan Batu Regency, North Labuhan Batu Regency, South Labuhan Batu Regency and northwestern parts of Riau Province. It is written using the Latin script but historically used Batak script.


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
voiceless p t () k
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative s h
Rhotic r
Lateral l
Approximant w j

[tʃ] is heard as an allophone of /s/.[2]

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a



Mandailing literary art is transmitted through a distinctive tradition, for example through the following media:[3]

  1. Marturi: Tradition tells the story in a verbal social context. Stories are transmitted from generation to generation. The plot uses advanced themes and a lot of content about manners.
  2. Ende Ungut-Ungut: Differentiated by the theme. Ende is an expression of the heart, a change due to various things, such as the misery of life due to death, abandonment, and others. It also contains knowledge, advice, moral teachings, kinship system, and so on. Ende laments use the pattern of rhymes with ab-ab or aa-aa. Attachments usually use a lot of plant names, because the language leaves.[clarification needed]

Example :

Colonial period

Some of the literary milestones that developed in the colonial period include:

  1. Willem Iskander (1840–1876) wrote the books
    • Hendrik Nadenggan Roa, Sada Boekoe Basaon ni Dakdanak (Translations). Padang: Van Zadelhoff and Fabritius (1865).
    • Leesboek van W.C. Thurn in het Mandhelingsch Vertaald. Batavia: Landsdrukkerij (1871).
    • Si Bulus-bulus Si Rumbuk-rumbuk (1872).
    • Taringot ragam ni Parbinotoan dohot Sinaloan ni Alak Eropa. This text is adapted from the book The Story of the Science of the White Persons written by Abdullah Munsyi, a Malay linguist and linguist (1873).
  2. Soetan Martua Raja (Siregar). He was born into an aristocratic family in Bagas Lombang Sipirok, an educated HIS, an elite school in Pematang Siantar. His works include:
    • Hamajuon (elementary school reading material).
    • Doea Sadjoli: Boekoe Siseon ni Dakdanak di Sikola (1917). This book raises the critique of children's thinking and is written in Latin script (Soerat Oelando), which is relatively developed secular pedagogy. This book adopts a poda, a kind of storyteller that gives advice and moral teachings in a context appropriate for children.
    • Ranto Omas (Golden Chain), 1918.
  3. Soetan Hasoendoetan (Sipahutar), novelist and journalist. His works:
    • Turi-Turian (stories, tells the relationship of interaction between man and the ruler of the sky).
    • Sitti Djaoerah: Padan Djandji na Togoe (1927–1929), an Angkola Mandailing-language series in 457 pages. The series is published in the weekly Pustaha published in Sibolga. This story is believed to be the reason readers buy the newspaper.[citation needed] The series adopts epic tales, turi-turian, and various social terminology of Angkola-Mandailing society and is written in novel style. This is in line with the development of Malay-language novels published by the colonial government. In the history of Indonesian literature, this period is known as the Angkatan Balai Pustaka or Angkatan 1920s. Hasundutan said that he wrote the novel because after being inspired by the novel Siti Nurbaja (Marah Rusli, 1922) which was very popular at that time.
    • Datoek Toengkoe Adji Malim Leman (1941), published by Sjarief, Pematang Siantar.
  4. Mangaradja Goenoeng Sorik Marapi wrote the book Turian-turian ni Raja Gorga di Langit dohot Raja Suasa di Portibi. It is published by Pustaka Murni, Pematang Siantar titled 1914.[clarification needed]
  5. Sutan Pangurabaan. His works include Ampang Limo Bapole (1930), Parkalaan Tondoeng (1937), Parpadanan (1930), and a Malay book, Mentjapai Doenia Baroe (1934). In addition to books written by Willem Iskander, his books were also used in colonial school.
  6. Soetan Habiaran Siregar explores the languages, dances, and songs from Angkola-Mandailing. He writes several royalties, among others: Turi-turian ni Tunggal Panaluan, Panangkok Saring-Saring tu Tambak na Timbo (1983), and others. In addition, he also composed songs using a rhythmic cha-cha beat.

In addition to Mandailing Angkola's literary language, it is important to note the growth of Malay-language Indonesian literature adopting local color: for example, the novel Azab dan Sengsara (1921) written by Merari Siregar. This novel includes contextual customs and cultures such as forced marriage, inheritance, kinship relations, and the local traditions of Mandailing-Angkola.[3]


Contemporary Mandailing literature is no longer developed since pre-independence, as the changing national education curriculum using the national language by itself erodes the use of Mandailing languages.[3]


Lyrics and musical dramas in the Mandailing language include:


Pangaduan Lubis proposes that Mandailing has five registers, each having a distinct vocabulary:[4]

  1. Hata somal is the variety of language that is used in everyday life.
  2. Hata andung is a form of literary language used in the tradition of mangandung (wailing) at traditional ceremonies of marriage or death.
  3. Hata teas dohot jampolak is the kind of language used in quarrels or to berate someone.
  4. Hata si baso is a variety of language used specifically by the baso (figure shaman) or datu.
  5. Hata parkapur is the kind of language that Mandailing people used in the past when they searched for camphor.[5]

Examples of vocabulary:

English Indonesian Hata somal Hata andung Hata teas Hata si baso Hata parkapur
eye mata mata simanyolong loncot -
betel leaf daun sirih burangir simanggurak - situngguk
tiger harimau babiat - - - ompungi/namaradati

In the past, the Mandailing people also had a particular communication tool or kind of language called Hata bulung-bulung ('foliage language'). This language is not a symbol of sound but uses the leaves of plants as a symbol.[6][4]


English Indonesian Mandailing
one satu sada
two dua dua
three tiga tolu
four empat opat
five lima lima
six enam onom
seven tujuh pitu
eight delapan salapan
nine sembilan sambilan
ten sepuluh sapulu


English Indonesian Mandailing
what apa aha
how bagaimana songondia/biadoma
how many berapa sadia
where di mana idia
where to kemana tudia
dari mana tingondia/ngundia
mana idia
who siapa ise
why mengapa aso
when kapan andigan
wow kenapa maoa/mangoa



  1. ^ Mandailing at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Adelaar, K. A. (1981). Reconstruction of Proto-Batak Phonology. In Robert A. Blust (ed.), Historical Linguistics in Indonesia: Part I: Jakarta: Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. pp. 1–20.
  3. ^ a b c d Askolani Nasution (27 January 2014). "Kesusatraan Mandailing".
  4. ^ a b Nasution, Edi (2007). Tulila : muzik bujukan Mandailing (in Malay). Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books. ISBN 978-983-42834-4-5. OCLC 193840475.
  5. ^ Basyral Hamidy Harahap (17 November 2018). "Mengenal Bahasa Mandailing-bagian 1".
  6. ^ Basyral Hamidy Harahap (21 November 2016). "Mengenal Bahasa Mandailing-bagian 4". Retrieved 11 March 2018.