Manado Malay, or simply the Manado language, is a creole language spoken in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia, and the surrounding area. The local name of the language is ''Bahasa Manado'', and the name Minahasa Malay is also used, after the main ethnic group speaking the language. Since Manado Malay is used primarily for spoken communication, there is no standard orthography. Manado Malay differs from standard Malay in having numerous Portuguese and Dutch loan words as a result of colonisation and having traits such as its use of ''kita'' as a first person singular pronoun, rather than as a first person inclusive plural pronoun. It is derived from North Moluccan Malay (Ternate Malay), which can be evidenced by the number of Ternate loanwords in its lexicon. Simple Manado Malay sentences can be understood by speakers of standard Malay or western Malay dialects, albeit with varying degrees of difficulty.



The vowel system of Manado Malay consists of five vowel phonemes.


Manado Malay has nineteen consonants and two semivowels.


Most words have stress on the pre-final syllable: But there are also many words with final stress:





Possessives are built by adding "pe" to the personal pronoun or name or noun, then followed by the 'possessed' noun. Thus "pe" has the function similar to English "'s" as in "the doctor's uniform".

Interrogative words

The following are the interrogative words or "w-words" in Manado Malay:

Grammatical aspect

Ada ('to be') can be used in Manado Malay to indicate the perfective aspect, e.g.: *''Dorang ada turung pigi Wenang'' = "They already went down to Wenang" *''Torang so makang'' = "We ate already" or "We have eaten already" *''kita'' = ''"''me", "myself", "i" or "we", "us" *''torang'' = "we", "us".

Nasal final

The final nasals and in Indonesian are replaced by the "-ng" group in Manado Malay, similar with Terengganu dialect of Malaysia, e.g.: *''makang'' (Indonesian ''makan'') = "to eat", *''jalang'' (Indonesian ''jalan'') = "to walk", *''sirang'' (Indonesian ''siram'') = "to shower", etc.


"ba-" prefix

The ber- prefix in Indonesian, which serves a function similar to the English ''-ing'', is modified into ba- in Manado Malay. E.g.: ''bajalang'' (berjalan, ''walking''), ''batobo'' (berenang, ''swimming''), ''batolor'' (bertelur, ''laying eggs'')

"ma(°)-" prefix

° = ng, n, or m depending on phonological context. The me(°)- prefix in standard Indonesian, which also serves a function to make a verb active, is modified into ma(°)- in Manado Malay. E.g.: ''mangael'' (mengail, ''hooking fish''), ''manari'' (menari, ''dancing''), ''mancari'' (mencari, ''searching''), ''mamasa'' (memasak, ''cooking''), ''manangis'' (menangis, ''crying'').

Other words

Several words in standard Indonesian are shortened in Manado Malay. For example: ''pi'' (standard Indonesian: ''pergi'', "to go") :''mo pi mana ngoni?'' ("where are you people going?") ''co'' (standard Indonesian: ''coba'', "to try") :''co lia ini oto'' ("try have a look at this car") ''so'' (standard Indonesian: ''sudah'', "have/has done") :''so klar?'' ("have you finished?"), ''so maleleh?'' ("has it molten?"), ''so kanyang?'' ("are your stomachs full yet?") ''ta'' (standard Indonesian: ''awalan ter'', passive prefix) : ''tasono?'' ("fallen asleep") , ''tajatung?'' ("fallen"), ''tagoso'' ("being rubbed")



Due to the past colonisation by the Dutch and the Portuguese in Sulawesi, several words of Manado Malay originate from their languages.

Indonesian loanwords from Manado Malay

Several words in Manado Malay are loaned to standard Indonesian: * ''baku'' (which indicates reciprocality) e.g.: ''baku hantam'' (to punch each other), ''baku ajar'' (to hit each other), ''baku veto'' (to debate one another), ''baku sedu'' (to laugh oneselves off), ''baku dapa'' (to meet each other).


External links

Alkitab Bahasa Manado
the first Bible translation into Manado Malay (2017).
Manado Malay-English-Indonesian Dictionary
Webonary. {{DEFAULTSORT:Malay, Manado, Language Category:Agglutinative languages Category:Malay-based pidgins and creoles Category:Languages of Sulawesi