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Bahasa is the word for "language" in many South and Southeast Asian languages, which derives from the Sanskrit word bhāṣā (भाषा) meaning "speech" or "spoken language". In transliteration from Sanskrit or Pali, bhasa may also be spelled bhasa, basa, or phasa. In modern English, "Bahasa" alone is most often used as an abbreviation for "Bahasa Indonesia" (meaning Indonesian language) or "Bahasa Malaysia" (meaning Malaysian language).

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UsageEdit

The word "Bahasa" in English is sometimes used to refer specifically to the Malay language (especially its Indonesian variety), usually by Western expatriates and their English-speaking Malaysian-Indonesian associates. This usage is of colonial origin, has never gained currency in linguistic circles and is considered incorrect by some.[1] When Malaysian or Indonesian speakers refer to other languages, the non-capitalized word "bahasa" ("language") is used; for example, English and Italian are called bahasa Inggris and bahasa Italia respectively.

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