The Info List - Malay Alphabet

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The modern Malay alphabet or Indonesian alphabet (Brunei, Malaysia
and Singapore: Tulisan Rumi, literally "Roman script" or "Roman writing", Indonesia: "Tulisan Latin") consists of the 26 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
without any diacritics.[1] It is the more common of the two alphabets used today to write the Malay language, the other being Jawi (a modified Arabic script). The Latin Malay alphabet is the official Malay script in Indonesia
(as Indonesian), Malaysia
(as Malaysian) and Singapore, while it is co-official with Jawi in Brunei. Historically, various scripts such as Pallava, Kawi and Rencong were used to write Old Malay, until they were replaced by Jawi with the introduction of Islam. The arrival of European colonial powers brought the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
to the Malay Archipelago. As the Malay-speaking countries were divided between two colonial administrations (the Dutch and the British), two major different spelling orthographies were developed in the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
and British Malaya
British Malaya
respectively, influenced by the orthographies of their respective colonial tongues. The Soewandi Spelling System (or the Republic Spelling System after independence), used in the Dutch East Indies and later in independent Indonesia
until 1972, was based on the Dutch alphabet. In 1972, as part of the effort of harmonizing spelling differences between the two countries, Indonesia
and Malaysia
each adopted a spelling reform plan, called the Perfected Spelling System (Ejaan yang Disempurnakan) in Indonesia
and the New Rumi Spelling (Ejaan Rumi Baharu[2]) in Malaysia. Although the representations of speech sounds are now largely identical in the Indonesian and Malaysian varieties, a number of minor spelling differences remain.


1 Letter names and pronunciations

1.1 Pre-1972 Spelling System

1.1.1 1927 Za'aba and 1947 Soewandi Spelling Systems

2 See also 3 References 4 External links

Letter names and pronunciations[edit] New Rumi Spelling (Malay: Ejaan Rumi Baharu), Enhanced Indonesian Spelling System (Indonesian: Ejaan Yang Disempurnakan, abbreviated EYD), also called the Perfected Spelling System (PSS).

Indonesian/Malay Latin alphabet

Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Upper case A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lower case a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

phoneme a b tʃ d e f g h i dʒ k l m n o p q~k r s t u v w ~ks j z

The names of letters differ between Indonesia
and rest of the Malay-speaking countries. Indonesia
follows the letter names of the Dutch alphabet, while Malaysia, Brunei
and Singapore
follow the English alphabet. Regardless of the letter names, however, the letters represent the same sounds in all Malay-speaking countries. The Malay alphabet has a phonemic orthography; words are spelled the way they are pronounced, with few exceptions. The letters Q, V and X are rarely encountered, being chiefly used for writing loanwords.

Letter Name (in IPA) Sound

Indonesia Malaysia, Brunei
and Singapore IPA English equivalent

Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore Indonesia

Aa a (/a/) e (/e/) /a/ a as in father

/ə/ - a as in sofa

Bb bé (/be/) bi (/bi/) /b/ b as in bed

Cc cé (/t͡ʃe/ or /se/) Cé (/cé/) /t͡ʃ/ ch as in check

Dd dé (/de/) di (/di/) /d/ d as in day

Ee é (/e/) i (/i/) /ə/ e as in tolerant

/e/ e as in hey

/e/ /ɪ/ e as in packet

/ɛ/ e as in get

Ff éf (/ef/) éf (/ef/) /f/ f as in effort

Gg gé (/ge/) ji (/d͡ʒi/) /ɡ/ g as in gain

Hh ha (/ha/) héc (/het͡ʃ/) /h/ h as in harm

Ii i (/i/) ai (/ai̯/) /i/ i as in machine, but shorter

/e/ /ɪ/ i as in igloo

Jj jé (/d͡ʒe/) jé (/d͡ʒe/) /d͡ʒ/ j as in jam

Kk ka (/ka/) ké (/ke/) /k/ unaspirated k as in skate

Ll él (/el/) él (/el/) /l/ l as in let

Mm ém (/em/) ém (/em/) /m/ m as in mall

Nn én (/en/) én (/en/) /n/ n as in net

Oo o (/o/) o (/o/) /o/ o as in owe

/o/ /ʊ/

/ɔ/ o as in bought, but shorter

Pp pé (/pe/) pi (/pi/) /p/ unaspirated p as in speak

Qq ki (/ki/) kiu (/kiu/ or /kju/) /q/ ~ /k/ q as in Qatar

Rr ér (/er/) ar (/ar/ or /a:/) /r/ Spanish rr as in puerro

Ss és (/es/) és (/es/) /s/ s as in sun

Tt té (/te/) ti (/ti/) /t/ unaspirated t as in still

Uu u (/u/) yu (/ju/) /u/ u as in rule, but shorter

/o/ /ʊ/ oo as in foot

Vv vé (/ve/ or /fe/) vi (/vi/) /v/ ~ /f/ v as in van

Ww wé (/we/) dabel yu (/dabəlˈju/) /w/ w as in wet

Xx éks (/eks/) éks (/eks/) /ks/ or /z/ x as in xylophone

Yy yé (/je/) wai (/wai̯/) /j/ y as in yarn

Zz zét (/zet/) zed (/zed/) /z/ ~ /s/ z as in zebra

* Many vowels are pronounced (and were formerly spelt) differently in Peninsular Malaysia
and Sumatra (where Malay is native): tujuh is pronounced (and was spelt) tujoh, rambut as rambot, kain as kaen, pilih as pileh, etc., [e] and [o] are also allophones of /i/ and /u/ in closed final syllables in peninsular Malaysian and Sumatran. Many vowels were pronounced and formerly spelt differently that way also in East Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. In addition, there are digraphs that are not considered separate letters of the alphabet:[3]

Digraph Sound

IPA Notes

Malaysia, Brunei
and Singapore Indonesia

ai /ai̯/ uy as in buy

au /au̯/ ou as in ouch

oi /oi̯/ /ʊi̯/ oy as in boy

gh /ɣ/ ~ /x/ similar to Dutch and German ch, but voiced

kh /x/ ch as in loch

ng /ŋ/ ng as in sing

ny /ɲ/ Spanish ñ; similar to ny as in canyon with a nasal sound

sy /ʃ/ sh as in shoe

Pre-1972 Spelling System[edit] 1927 Za'aba and 1947 Soewandi Spelling Systems[edit]

Malaysia, Brunei
and Singapore: 1927 Za'aba Spelling System

Upper case A Ă B C D E Ĕ F G H I Ï J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lower case a ă b c d e ĕ f g h i ï j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Indonesia: 1901 Van Ophuijsen Spelling System and 1947 Soewandi Spelling System

Upper case A B C D E É F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T Oe(1901)/ U(1947) V W X Y Z

Lower case a b c d e é f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t oe(1901)/ u(1947) v w x y z

Letter Sound Post-1972 Replacement

1927 Za'aba Spelling System (Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore) 1901 Van Ophuijsen Spelling System, 1947 Soewandi Spelling System (Indonesia) Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore Indonesia

ă /ə/ - e -

ch /t͡ʃ/ /x/ c kh

dh /d// - d -

dj - /d͡ʒ/ - j

dz /z/ - d -

e - /ə/ - e

/e/ - e -

/ɛ/ - e -

é - /e/ - e

- /ɪ/ - e

ĕ /ə/ - e -

ï /i/ (monophthong) - i -

j - /j/ - y

nj - /ɲ/ - ny

oe - /u/ - u

sh /ʃ/ - sy -

sj - /ʃ/ - sy

th /s/ - s -

tj - /t͡ʃ/ - c

See also[edit]

Jawi alphabet


^ Before a spelling reform in 1972, Indonesia
would disambiguate /e/ as é and /ə/ as e, and Malaysia
/e/ as e and /ə/ as ĕ. The spelling reform removed the diacritics and use e to represent both /e/ and /ə/. ^ Pusat Rujukan Persuratan Melayu (2014), Ejaan Rumi Baharu Bahasa Malaysia, retrieved 2014-10-04  ^ Omniglot.com

External links[edit]

Malay alphabet Omniglot Coba-coba(Cuba-cuba) Indonesian & Malay Pedoman Umum Ejaan Bahasa Melayu

v t e

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