Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Language Profile: Madurese

Today we're taking a brief look at Madurese, a member of the Austronesian language family. It does not hold official status in any country, but it is the fourth most spoken language in Indonesia after Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese.

Semeru, an active volcano on the Indonesian island of Java.
Madurese is the native language of the Madurese people, the third-largest ethnic group in Indonesia. They primarily live on the Indonesian islands of Madura and Java.

The language has several regional dialects and varieties. Kangean, a variety spoken on the Kangean Islands of Indonesia, has so little intelligibility with Madurese that some consider it to be a completely separate language. 

As an Austronesian language, Madurese is closely related to Sundanese and Javanese. It also has some vocabulary in common with the Filipino language.

Traditionally, Madurese was written using Javanese script, an abugida. However, it is now primarily written in a Latin-based script.