basa Semawa
Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
(300,000 cited 1989)[1]
Latin, Lontara script (Satera Jontal variant)
Language codes
ISO 639-3smw

Sumbawa (basa Semawa; Indonesian: bahasa Sumbawa) or Sumbawarese is a Malayo-Polynesian language of the western half of Sumbawa Island, Indonesia, which it shares with speakers of Bima. It is closely related to the languages of adjacent Lombok and Bali; indeed, it is the easternmost Austronesian language in the south of Indonesia that is not part of the Central Malayo-Polynesian Sprachbund. The Sumbawa write their language with their own native script commonly known in their homeland as Satera Jontal and they also use the Latin script.[2]



Labial Dental/
Palatal Velar Glottal
voiceless p t͡ʃ k ʔ
voiced b d d͡ʒ g
Fricative f s h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Trill r
Lateral l
Approximant w j


Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e ə o
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

/i, u/ can also have allophones of [ɪ, ʊ].[3][4]


  1. ^ Sumbawa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Shiohara, Asako. "The Satera Jontal Script in the Sumbawa District in Eastern Indonesia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-24. Retrieved 2015-05-05 – via Linguistic Dynamics Science Project.
  3. ^ Sumarsono, Nadera & Made; Sunaryono, Basuki (1986). Morfologi dan sintaksis Bahasa Sumbawa. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.
  4. ^ Shiohara, Asako (2006). スンバワ語の文法 [A Grammar of Sumbawa]. University of Tokyo.