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Malay (//; Malay: Bahasa Melayu, Jawi: بهاس ملايو) is an Austronesian language that is an official language of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and that is also spoken in East Timor and parts of Thailand. Altogether, it is spoken by 290 million people (including 260 million in the "Indonesian" literary standard) across Maritime Southeast Asia.
The language is pluricentric, several varieties of it are standardized as the national language (bahasa kebangsaan or bahasa nasional) of several nation states with various official names: in Malaysia, it is designated as either Bahasa Malaysia ("Malaysian") or also Bahasa Melayu ("Malay language"); in Singapore and Brunei, it is called Bahasa Melayu ("Malay language"); in Indonesia, an autonomous normative variety called Bahasa Indonesia ("Indonesian language") is designated the bahasa persatuan/pemersatu ("unifying language" or lingua franca) whereas the term "Malay" (bahasa Melayu) is domestically restricted to vernacular varieties of Malay indigenous to areas of Central to Southern Sumatra and West Kalimantan.
Malay, also called Court Malay, was the literary standard of the pre-colonial Malacca and Johor Sultanates and so the language is sometimes called Malacca, Johor or Riau Malay (or various combinations of those names) to distinguish it from the various other Malayic languages. According to Ethnologue 16, several of the Malayic varieties they currently list as separate languages, including the Orang Asli varieties of Peninsular Malay, are so closely related to standard Malay that they may prove to be dialects. There are also several Malay trade and creole languages based on a lingua franca derived from Classical Malay as well as Makassar Malay, which appears to be a mixed language.