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Languages > Batak

Language Information

Batak is spoken on Sumatra, the westernmost of the major islands of Indonesia. There are about 2 million speakers, living mainly in the north-central part of the island, but also scattered along the eastern coast. The distinctive Batak alphabet consists of sixteen basic characters, each of which may be modified by the use of certain marks. It is rapidly disappearing in favor of the Roman alphabet, and relatively few people remain today who are able to read it. Batak belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages.

Batak is spoken/used in Indonesia

Language Family
Family: Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian)
Subgroup: Indonesian

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


When they got back to their village Adji Panurat stole away to the jungle; he is afraid to see his younger brother. Adji Pamasa told his balbal [spirit that can beat up people or other things] to head him off. "When you meet him drive him home. If he doesn't want to, hit him over the head but don't kill him, so be it," said Adji Pamasa. The balbal went to head (Adji Panurat) off. He met Adji Panurat. He led him (toward the house). He refused. Therefore he hit him over the head. Adji Panurat saw stars in front of him. Therefore he consented to go home.

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