Kendayan language

Native to Indonesia, Malaysia
Region Borneo
Native speakers
330,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 knx
Glottolog kend1254[2]

Kendayan, or Salako (Selako), is a Malayic Dayak language of Borneo. The exact number of speakers remains unknown, but is estimated to be around 350,000.[3]

The name Kendayan is preferred in Kalimantan, and Salako in Sarawak. It is sometimes referred to as Bahasa Badameà, particularly in Bengkayang Regency and the areas near Singkawang Town.[4] Other dialects of Kendayan include Ahe, Banana and Belangin. Speakers of any of the dialects can understand speakers of any of the others.

Language Context

Salako is spoken in Sarawak and West Kalimantan.[4] There are speakers in Sambas and Bengkayang Regencies and in Singkawang. Other dialects are spoken in the Pontianak, Bengkawang and Landak Regencies of West Kalimantan.

It is said that Singkawang in southern Sambas is the place of origin of Salako speakers.

Dialects spoken in West Kalimantan have been influenced by the Indonesian, which is the national language of Indonesia. This is the language used in official contexts, schools, the media and in church.[4] In Sarawak, the influence of Malay has been less significant, as it became the national language more recently.[4]

Kendayan is a vital language that is used in the community and at home. The Ahe variety is also spoken as a lingua franca among Dayak speakers.[4] However, younger speakers are typically educated through Indonesian away from the villages, which could affect language vitality in the future.[4]

Further reading


  1. Kendayan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kendayan". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Thomas, Joseph, J. B. Mangunsudarsono, Hery Suryatman and Abdussamad. 1985. Morfologi kata kerja bahasa Kendayan. Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa (Departmenen Pedidikan dan Kebudayan)
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Adelaar, K. Alexander. 2005. Salako or Badameá: sketch grammar, text and lexicon of a Kanayatn dialect in West Borneo. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

External links

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