7 factors to consider for Indonesian to Malay language translation services

The Indonesian language belongs to Indonesia which has 17508 islands. Indonesia is the world’s largest country in terms of Muslim majority. The population is up to 242 million. Indonesia is a diverse country with more than 300 languages in practice. Indonesian is the mother tongue of the country and is spoken by 7% of the total population. It is the second language of more than 200 million people.

While Malay belongs to Malaysia, however, this language has multiple variants. It is an Austronesian language and also holds the status of the official language of Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Malay has up to 290 million speakers. It is a pluricentric language that has multiple standardized national language variants.

Malay and Indonesian languages are quite similar, however share differences too. Malay to Indonesian translation services can be hectic for people who do not know this language fully. These are mutually intelligible and there is a variant of the Malay language that is common in Indonesia too known as Bahasa Melayu. The Indonesian people also speak the Malay language as one of the important languages. So both languages have a history and are not new for the speakers of each other. 

It is also important to mention that businesses as well as translation agencies should ensure they assign the language translation to translators who understand both languages and are proficient and well aware of certain facts before working on Indonesian and Malay translation services.

A few of the factors to consider while working on the Indonesian to the Malay language are mentioned below

  1. Dialectal Variation

Despite both languages belonging to the Austronesian language family, there is significant dialectal variation within both languages. Spoken Malay is particularly different comparatively. It is also interesting to mention that a rich history of linguistic change has been in practice for ages in these countries.

It is particularly imperative that translators understand these languages, are proficient enough, and can work on accurate and natural-sounding translations.

  1. Lexical Differences

A lot of words in both languages are similar to each other and there are many which seem similar but have different meanings. The Indonesian and Maly languages despite many similarities share lexical differences. The translators need to be alert while working on professional Malay translation services. They should ensure that they use proper and appropriate synonyms and are also aware of the right use of the original meaning and its context. They have to maintain the original intent of the game.

  1. Grammatical Structures

The main structure of the Indonesian and Malay languages are more or less similar. However, there are certain differences in its verb conjugations, nouns, and particle usage. All these are significant to position and properly put the sentence. Translators should be smooth on the grammatical nuances to produce grammatically correct and idiomatic translations. Moreover, some false friends exist in every language. The translators should check for these and their meanings and should only use where it is necessary and meaningful to add.

  1. Cultural Context

The significance of cultural context and appropriation is mentioned time and again. Language has deep roots and a connection with a culture. Indonesian and Malay languages are no different. These languages also share their respect for cultural context. The translators and target audiences must share a sensitive and mature approach towards one’s culture. They should be educated about cultural references and also should use idioms accordingly. Overall, it is important to show respect for each other’s culture. It helps in greater ways and also makes people take interest in learning the language of each other.

  1. Formal vs. Informal registers

Certain registers are used formally and others are mentioned informally. Likewise, these existing Malay and Indonesian languages too. The translators should consider the formal and informal tone and register with the relevant vocabulary and grammatical structures. When there is a formal text to translate from Malay to Indonesian or vice versa the translators should conduct a match test where they produce the appropriate and contextually more relevant and coherent translations.

  1. Technical terminology

There are technical and industry special jargon that comes with the languages to translate. The specialized terminology requires expertise in the source and target languages. Translators should always consult the original resources for relevancy and terminology databases to verify that accurate and consistent translations have been produced for the technical terms for Malay and professional Indonesian translation services. Consistency is particularly evident in the translation of the technical terminology. Using standard definitions and terms for similar phrases helps maintain consistency in language translation. 

  1. Evolving languages

Indonesian and Malay are dynamic languages that have evolved a lot over centuries and are also open to new influences. Translators need to stay updated with their language pair to keep themselves educated about linguistic developments and translations.


Indonesian and Malay are two neighbouring languages. These share great similarities and have groups of people who speak both languages. However, for the businesses to tap respective markets they need to hire translation services for both languages. Translators must consider certain factors to ensure the translation produced is accurate, precise, and consistent

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