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Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia; [baˈhasa indoˈnesija]) is the official and national language of Indonesia. It is a standardized variety of Malay, an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, with over 279 million inhabitants of which the majority speak Indonesian, which makes it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Indonesian vocabulary has been influenced by various languages, including Javanese, Minangkabau, Buginese, Banjarese, Arabic, Dutch, and English. Many borrowed words have been adapted to fit the phonetic, and grammatical rules of Indonesian.
|Over 1,300 Indonesian ethnic groups
|L1 speakers: 43 million (2010 census)
L2 speakers: 156 million (2010 census)
Total speakers: 300 million (2022)
|Latin (Indonesian alphabet)
|SIBI (Manually Coded Indonesian)
Official language in
|Language Development and Fostering Agency (Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa)
Countries of the world where Indonesian is a majority native language
Countries where Indonesian is a minority language
|This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Most Indonesians, aside from speaking the national language, are fluent in at least one of the more than 700 indigenous local languages; examples include Javanese and Sundanese, which are commonly used at home and within the local community. However, most formal education and nearly all national mass media, governance, administration, and judiciary and other forms of communication are conducted in Indonesian.
Under Indonesian rule from 1976 to 1999, Indonesian was designated as the official language of Timor Leste. It has the status of a working language under the country's constitution along with English.: 3 In November 2023, the Indonesian language was recognized as one of the official languages of the UNESCO General Conference.
The term Indonesian is primarily associated with the national standard dialect (bahasa baku). However, in a looser sense, it also encompasses the various local varieties spoken throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Standard Indonesian is confined mostly to formal situations, existing in a diglossic relationship with vernacular Malay varieties, which are commonly used for daily communication, coexisting with the aforementioned regional languages.
The Indonesian name for the language (bahasa Indonesia) is also occasionally used in English and other languages. Bahasa Indonesia is sometimes reduced to Bahasa, which refers to the Indonesian subject (Bahasa Indonesia) taught in schools, on the assumption that this is the name of the language. But the word bahasa only means language. For example, Korean language is translated as bahasa Korea, and the same applies to other languages, such as bahasa Inggris (English), bahasa Jepang (Japanese), bahasa Arab (Arabic), bahasa Italia (Italian), and so on. Indonesians generally may not recognize the name Bahasa alone when it refers to their national language.
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