Written Indonesian vs written Malay


Senior Member
I would like to know if written Indonesian and written Malay are the same.

I am providing translations for a text and having to search for Indonesian, and was wondering if written Malay is the same as written Indonesian - I know that speech is different - but what about the written form?

If I was to supply the Malay translation would that be classed as Indonesian? Or would it merely be mutually intelligible.

  • No, written Indonesian and written Malay are not the same. Sure, there are some words that are identical in spelling and usage, but there are also many others that differ very much.

    Simple example: Birthing rooms/maternity ward:
    Indonesian: Kamar/ruang bersalin
    Malay (from what I've heard): Kamar korban laki-laki.

    These two are sister languages, but they are 2 different languages. Like spanish and portugese, I guess...