Sri Lankan Creole Malay – Bahasa Melayu

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Sri Lankan Creole Malay – Anyone ever wonder why the Malay language spoken in Sri Lanka is different or you may say not the same as they use in Indonesia or Malaysia…?

If you don’t know the answer this is why it’s not. At the time we copied the article from Wikipedia the page said it was last updated on 4th January, 2016 but some data like Malay population not be accurate. Let’s see what Wikipedia teaches us on Sri Lankan Creole Malay.

Sri Lankan Creole Malay (also known as Sri Lankan Malay and Bahasa Melayu) is an Austronesian creole language formed through a mixture of Sinhala and Tamil with Malay. Sri Lankan Malay is a restructured vernacular of Malay base spoken by at least five different communities in Sri Lanka, which has evolved to be significantly divergent from other varieties of Malay due to intimate contact with the dominant languages of Sinhala and Tamil.

Sri Lankan Creole Malay originated as a means of communication between the incoming Malays and the Sri Lankan people in the 13th century. It is now exclusively spoken by Sri Lankan Malays, whose ancestry include exiles and labourers brought by the Dutch and British, as well as soldiers in the Dutch garrison. They now constitute 0.3% of the Sri Lankan population, some 46,000.

Sri Lankan Malay survives mostly through oral contact. However, there have been rare instances when it was written in Sinhala or Tamil alphabet. In the 19th century, Sri Lankan Malay was written in the Gundul alphabet, which was based on the Arabic alphabet with similarities to the Jawi alphabet. Although there have been attempts to revive the written form of Sri Lankan Malay, it is in decline because many Malay youth are starting to adopt Sinhala or Tamil and English at home.

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TIP – You can learn more regarding Sri Lankan Creole Malay from Sri Lankan Malay – A Unique Creole by Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya (Click HERE to download PDF file)

Share aims to bring together the Sri Lankan Malay community on to one platform, focusing on our shared cultural aspects that keep the ethnic group connected, such as history, cuisine,fashion, music, and language etc. In addition, the portal introduces channels via social media and blogs, which will create a more interactive dialogue among members of the community.

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