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Home > Brunei > Society and Culture > Languages

Brunei Languages


Brunei languages comprise of English, Malay, Iban, some varieties of Chinese as well as a number of local dialects. Malay is the official language of Brunei while English is used as a second language and is spoken and understood by majority of the population. Brunei or Brunei Darussalam as it is locally called has a literacy rate of 85 % to 95%which is quite impressive. The total number of languages that are officially listed for the state are 17. Each of these languages has survived till date and is used by some section of the population in the various parts of the country. The various languages, still in circulation in Brunei, include Bisaya, Brunei and Belait. The Chinese dialects used in Brunei include Chinese Min Dong, Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Min Nan Chinese Yue and Chinese Hakka. There are some minor languages well which include Melanau, Lundayeh, Western Penan, Eastern Penan and a couple of varieties of the Tutong dialect. It is worth noting the fact that Brunei, though a very small country, displays great linguistic diversity. It is a rich resource base for scholars and linguists of the field of Austronesian linguists. The emergence and popularity of the Brunei Malay is gradually taking its toll on the other languages. A tendency of code switching and code mixing between Malay and English is also affecting the local language.





Brunei
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