Malay was initially used by the appointed authorities of Sumateran Empire as the court’s chief language. That was around 9th and 14th centuries. Apparently it was an exclusive dialect known and spoken fluently in the historic Malay states around this time. Malay would later become the linguistic communication of the citizenry residing on either side of the Straight of Malacca, which typically dissects and separates Malay Peninsula and Sumatera from each other.
Later in the subsequent time period, the Straight of Malacca started becoming a very occupied sea route thanks to several travelers and merchants who would often utilize it en route to various destinations. Merchants would use Malay dialect in their day-to-day trading activities. The language was also incorporated by Muslims and Christians in spreading their gospel in the region. Eventually, the purported language started taking root as the sole lingua franca in the region.
When the Europeans, specifically the Netherlands, started taking control of the Indonesian islands around 17th century, it was not easy for them to introduce their Dutch language in the region since Malay had already taken root. They instead decided to adapt it for communication purposes with local communities.
During the early part of the 20th century, anti-colonial voice began taking another twist in the islands. Due to the variety of dialects and cultures, it wasn’t easy defining these islands as a self-independent state. For this reason, it was necessary to identify whatever the residents of the islands had in common for the purpose of bringing the much needed unity. A standardized form of Malay language would later come into being. That form of the Malay dialect would become known as the Bahasa Indonesia.
Today as we speak, Bahasa Indonesia is used by more than 250M individuals world over. Also, it’s an essential vernacular dialect common in most rural regions of Thailand. It’s also spoken in some sections of the Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Africa, among many other regions globally.
Besides speaking their national language, most Indonesians fluently speak over 700 endemic local dialects, such as the following:
Indonesian language offers an excellent opportunity for English-speaking people who wish to learn a second language. Contrary to many other languages of Asian origin, it utilizes Latin or Roman Script. Pronunciation, therefore, is quite simple for English speakers because it lacks complex grammatical issues.