Banjar language

This article is about the Malayic language of Indonesia. For the Indo-European language of India, see Banjari language.
Bahasa Banjar
بهاس بنجر
Native to Indonesia, Malaysia
Region South Kalimantan (Indonesia), Malaysia
Ethnicity Banjar people
Native speakers
3.5 million (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
bjn  Banjar
bvu  Bukit Malay
Glottolog banj1241[2]
Linguasphere 31-MFA-fd
Banjar language in a Jawi script sign of Lok Tamu village office in Mataraman subdistrict, Banjar Regency, South Kalimantan, Indonesia

Banjar (Banjar: Bahasa/Basa Banjar, Indonesian: Bahasa Banjar, Jawi: بهاس بنجر) is an Austronesian language used by the Banjarese people of South Kalimantan, Indonesia. As many Banjarese people are travelling merchants, they brought their language wherever they went all over Indonesia.

Language use

Especially on the island of Kalimantan, Banjarese can be considered as a lingua franca, as it is used widely in three of the five provinces of Kalimantan: South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan, with the exception of West Kalimantan and North Kalimantan, where proper Malay is more popular.

Relationship to Standard Malay

Although Banjarese is considered to be local Malay,[1] it is not particularly close to other Malayan languages.[3] It is divided into two major dialects; the upper river (Banjar Hulu) and down river (Banjar Kuala) dialects. The main differences of the two dialects can be found in phonology and lexicons, although slight differences in syntactic structure can also be noticed. Banjar Hulu has only three vowels, namely /i/, /u/, and /a/. When a word contains vowels other than these three, the foreign vowel will be replaced with one of them based on the closeness of height and other quality of the vowels.


For example, Banjarese speaker trying to pronounce the English word "logo" will sound like pronouncing the Indonesian word for innocent, "lugu". The Indonesian word "orang" for human will be pronounced "urang". The word "ke mana" (where) will be pronounced and even many times spelled "ka mana". Other distinctive characteristic of the Banjar Hulu dialect is that words beginning with a vowel are most likely to be pronounced with an /h/ sound in front of the words. The addition of the /h/ sound can also be noticed in the spelling.


A minor dialect, Bukit, is assigned a separate ISO code.

See also


  1. 1 2 Banjar at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Bukit Malay at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Banjar–Bukit Malay". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database
Banjar edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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