Portuguese words in the Malay language

The conquest of Malacca in 1511 allowed the Portuguese to gain control over the Spice Road between Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf. In the 16th century, Malay was a widely diffused lingua franca of intra-Asian trade and communication. The presence of the Portuguese in Southeast Asia led to linguistic exchanges: some Portuguese words, which were mostly related to navigation and trade goods, entered the Malay language, and a certain number of Malay words found their way into the Portuguese vocabulary. Later on, the Malay language also adopted Dutch and English words.

Related Information

  • Author(s):
    Ahmat Adam
    16th century AD to 17th century AD
    Language of article:

    Malacca Seminar, 1991

    Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam

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