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Minangkabau language


Minangkabau language

Baso Minangkabau
باسو مينڠكاباو
Native to Indonesia, Malaysia
Region West Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, Bengkulu, North Sumatra, Aceh (Indonesia), Negeri Sembilan (Malaysia)
Ethnicity Minangkabau
Native speakers
6 million  (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2 min
ISO 639-3 Either:
min – Minangkabau
zmi – Negeri Sembilan Malay

Minangkabau (autonym: Baso Minang(kabau); Indonesian: Bahasa Minangkabau) is an Austronesian language spoken by the Minangkabau of West Sumatra, the western part of Riau, South Aceh Regency, the northern part of Bengkulu and Jambi, also in several cities throughout Indonesia by migrated Minangkabau.[2] The language is also a lingua franca along the western coastal region of the province of North Sumatra, and is even used in parts of Aceh, where the language is called Aneuk Jamee. It is also spoken in some parts of Malaysia, especially Negeri Sembilan.

Due to great grammatical similarities between the Minangkabau language and Malay, there is some controversy regarding the relationship between the two. Some see Minangkabau as a dialect of Malay, while others think of Minangkabau as a proper (Malay) language.

Minangkabau language in Arabic script on Minangkabau royal seal from the 19th century


  • Malaysia 1
  • Dialects 2
  • Example sentences 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6


Besides Indonesia, Minangkabau is also spoken in Malaysia, by some descendants of migrants from the Minang-speaking region in Sumatra (Ranah Minang, Tanah Minang, or Land of the Minang). Significant numbers of the early migrants settled in what is now the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan; this Negeri Sembilan Malay is known as Bahaso Nogori / Baso Nogoghi. More recent immigrants are known as Minang.


The Minangkabau language has several dialects, sometimes differing between nearby villages (e.g. separated by a river). The dialects are Rao Mapat Tunggul, Muaro Sungai Lolo, Payakumbuh, Pangkalan-Lubuk Alai, Agam-Tanah Datar, Pancungsoal, Kotobaru, Sungai Bendung Air, and Karanganyar.[3] In everyday communication between Minangkabau people of different regions, the Agam-Tanah Datar dialect (Baso Padang or Baso Urang Awak "our (people's) language") is often used and has become a kind of standard.

The Tapan language, spoken in the town of Tapan in southern West Sumatra province, is a recently discovered Malayan language which has been proposed as related to but not part of Minangkabau. Together, Tapan and Minangkabau would form a Greater Minangkabau subgroup.[4]

Example sentences

Baso Minangkabau: Ba'a kaba?
Indonesian/Malay: Apa kabar? or Bagaimana kabar anda?
English: How are you?.
Baso Minangkabau: Lai elok-elok se nyo. Sanak ba'a?
Indonesian/Malay: Saya baik-baik saja. Bagaimana dengan anda?
English: I'm very well. How about you?
Baso Minangkabau: Sia namo sanak?
Indonesian/Malay: Siapa nama anda?
English: What is your name?.
Baso Minangkabau: Namo ambo Ali
Indonesian/Malay: Nama saya Ali
English: My name is Ali.
Baso Minangkabau: Tarimo Kasih
Indonesian/Malay: Terima Kasih
English: Thank you.
Baso Minangkabau: Sadang kayu di rimbo ndak samo tinggi, apo lai manusia (expression)
Indonesian/Malay: Sedangkan pohon di hutan tidak sama tinggi, apalagi manusia
English: Even the trees in the jungle are not all of the same height, let alone the people.
Baso Minangkabau: Co a koncek baranang co itu inyo (expression)
Indonesian/Malay: Bagaimana katak berenang seperti itulah dia.
English: The way a frog swims, the way he does. (doing something without having a goal)
Baso Minangkabau: Indak buliah mambuang sarok disiko!
Indonesian/Malay: Tidak boleh membuang sampah di sini!
English: Do not dump rubbish here!
Baso Minangkabau: Ijan dipacik! Beko tangan ang* kanai api.
Indonesian/Malay: Jangan disentuh! Nanti tangan kamu terbakar.
English: Do not touch! Your will burn your hand.
(*the word ang can be considered rude)
Minangkabau: ciek
Indonesian/Malay: satu
English: one.
Minangkabau: duo
Indonesian/Malay: dua
English: two.
Minangkabau: tigo
Indonesian/Malay: tiga
English: three.
Minangkabau: ampek
Indonesian/Malay: empat
English: four.
Minangkabau: limo
Indonesian/Malay: lima
English: five.
Minangkabau: anam
Indonesian/Malay: enam
English: six.
Minangkabau: tujuah
Indonesian/Malay: tujuh
English: seven.
Minangkabau: salapan
Indonesian/Malay: delapan
English: eight.
Minangkabau: sambilan
Indonesian/Malay: sembilan
English: nine.
Minangkabau: sapuluah
Indonesian/Malay: sepuluh
English: ten.
Minangkabau: sabaleh
Indonesian/Malay: sebelas
English: eleven.
Minangkabau: duo baleh
Indonesian/Malay: dua belas
English: twelve.
Baso Minangkabau: salapan baleh
Indonesian/Malay: delapan belas
English: eighteen.
Minangkabau: duo puluah
Indonesian/Malay: dua puluh
English: twenty.
Minangkabau: saratuih
Indonesian/Malay: seratus
English: one hundred.
Minangkabau: duo ratuih
Indonesian/Malay: dua ratus
English: two hundred.
Minangkabau: saribu
Indonesian/Malay: seribu
English: one thousand.
Minangkabau: limo ribu
Indonesian/Malay: lima ribu
English: five thousand.

See also


  1. ^ Minangkabau at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Negeri Sembilan Malay at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Kajian Serba Lingustik : Untuk Anton Moeliono Pereksa Bahasa (2000)
  3. ^ Nadra, Reniwati, and Efri Yades, Daerah Asal dan Arah Migrasi Orang Minangkabau di Provinsi Jambi Berdasarkan Kajian Variasi Dialektikal (2008)
  4. ^ Santi Kurniati, Yessy Prima Putri, Søren Wichmann and David Gil (2011)." Tapan: An Exploration in Malayic Subgrouping". ISMIL 15 conference presentation.

Further reading

  • Nurlela Adnan, Ermitati, Rosnida M. Nur, Pusat Bahasa (Indonesia), Balai Pustaka (Persero), PT. 2001 - Indonesian-Minangkabau dictionary (Kamus bahasa Indonesia-Minangkabau), 841 pages.
  • Tata Bahasa Minangkabau, Gerard Moussay (original title La Langue Minangkabau, translated from French by Rahayu S. Hidayat), ISBN 979-9023-16-5.
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