The history of the Indonesian language

There are at least 200 million people in the world who speak the Indonesian language, which belongs to the Malayo Polynesian language family. It’s spoken in numerous parts of Southeast Asia in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei, as well as areas outside of Southeast Asia, such as The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

In Indonesia, the Indonesian language referred to as Bahasa Indonesia is the official language. The Malay language called Bahasa Malaysia is closely related to Indonesian. Both are regional variants of the same language with a long history.

If you require professional translations into or from Indonesian, you can count on our huge network of professional translators. We only work with experienced, native-speaking translators who know the language and its intricacies. Whether business or private documents, we translate texts in all areas and into all language combinations.

A language with a long tradition

The earliest testimonies and traditions of old Indonesian have survived from the 7th century. There were cultural and linguistic influences from Hinduism and Buddhism, and Islam also contributed through Arabic and Persian influences. In particular, these influences were felt in the writing of Indonesian, which was recorded in the Middle Ages only in Arabic characters.

When Europeans colonized Indonesia in their search for the Spice Islands, further influences had an effect on the Indonesian language. These influences included Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. Dominicans, for example, tried to complete very active missionary activities in Indonesia. The dominance of the Dutch and their linguistic influence remained in Indonesia until the beginning of the 20th century.

The Latin alphabet was introduced by the Dutch and adopted in the 1970’s for writing Malay. Our translators know the Indonesian language inside and out, and they translate your texts quickly and reliably. We can also translate in and out of more than 150 languages, including certified translations of official records, such a birth certificates in Indonesia. If you need such a document translated into English for the USCIS, you can count on us.

Contact us by telephone, or send us the text to be translated via email or via the request form. After a comprehensive analysis of the text, you will receive a no-obligation quote from us. We look forward to speaking with you about your project into or from Indonesian or other languages!


Erwin Vroom
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