Malay: Jawi script


New Member
Hello. I am interested in the Jawi (Arabic) script used to write Malay and in particular how both long and short vowels are marked.

I've noticed that in some old English Malay dictionaries that there was some variation in how Malay words were spelled in Jawi- sometimes a long vowel like ا or و or ي would get written where modern day Jawi spelling would leave it out (I assume that its because its a short vowel and normally Arabic scripts don't show the short vowel).

Has moden day Jawi spelling been standarized? Is there a rule book or standard dictionary which shows how Jawi Malay words should be spelled properly with long and short vowels differentiates from each other?

I've also seen a western Jesuit made map showing Malay written with vowel marking diacritics. Where it says "Malaica"

Like those markings used in Arabic religious texts like the Quran ِ َ ُ ّ رَبّ . Does Malay have a standard system of using these diacritics?

If someone knows of a dictionary which shows the official "standard" Jawi spelling please show it to me, and if anyone knows about the vowel markings (called fatha kasra damma in Arabic and zabar zer pesh in Persian) if they are used in Jawi, please write words with examples of the being used.

I've also seen a western Jesuit made map showing Malay written with vowel marking diacritics (kasra fatha damma) like those used in the Quran. Where it says "Malaica". The map is here.
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  • Delima

    New Member
    Hye.. glad to hear that you interested in malay written in arabic letters(jawi). Jawi is actually our(malay) first way to write.

    Sorry I unintentionally hit the send button while not yet finish typing. Malay that is written in jawi can be wrote without diacritics. Yes, we do have rules to spell words in jawi. And it also has been standardised(updated). Some words back then was spelled quite different compared to nowadays. Plus, in our examination(islamic education) at school, we get the questions in two way of writing which are rumi and jawi. Our textbooks for islamic education subject also are written in jawi. And, students can answer in any way of writing. We've been taught to write in jawi. If you come to malaysia(kelantan), you can find many words written in jawi. For your information, we also can write english words in jawi form. Very interesting to learn. do you know malay? If you know, you can google "belajar tulis jawi"(how to write malay in jawi).. you can find video and even facebook for it.
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