Malay is a group of languages closely related to each other to the point of mutual intelligibility but that linguists consider to be separate languages. They are grouped into a group called “Local Malay”, part of a larger group called “Malayan” within the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. The various forms of Malay are spoken in Brunei, Indonesia (where the national language, Indonesian, is a variety of it), Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and southern Thailand.
Malay is an official language of Brunei and Malaysia, and is the national language of Singapore. The national language of Indonesia is Indonesian, formally referred to as Bahasa Indonesia which literally translates as “Indonesian language”. In Malaysia, the language is now officially known as Bahasa Malaysia (“Malaysian language”), though constitutionally it is called Bahasa Melayu. Singapore, Brunei and southern Thailand refer to the language as Bahasa Melayu (“Malay language”).
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