Iban (language)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spoken in

East Malaysia (Sarawak), Indonesia (Kalimantan Barat), Brunei
speaker About 1,000,000
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


ISO 639-3


Iban is a language spoken by the Iban Dayak ethnic group of the same name . The Iban live in the northwest of the island of Borneo in the Malaysian state of Sarawak , in the Indonesian province of Kalimantan Barat and in Brunei . The Iban language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family and is very closely related to Malay , from which modern Indonesian and Malay are descended. Early researchers even referred to Iban as a dialect of Malay.

In addition to the approximately 710,000 Iban who speak it as their first language, the language is also spoken as a second language by around 300,000 people who are not Iban themselves.



The Iban knows the following 6 vowels:

front central back
closed i [i] u [u]
medium e [e] ə [ɘ] o [o]
open a [a]


There are three numbers in Iban will : singular , dual and plural . In addition, there is dual and plural of inclusive and exclusive in the first person.


  • Nama berita nuan? - "How are you?"-
  • Sapa nama nuan? - "What is your name?"-
  • Dini alai ___? - "Where is ___?"
  • Ari ni penatai nuan? - "Where are you from?"
  • Datai ari ___aku. - "I'm from ___."
  • Selamat datai! - "Welcome!"

Our Father

The Lord's Prayer in Iban:
Apai kami di serega, kudus mih nama nuan, datai mih perintah nuan, jadi peneka nuan, baka ka dalam serega bakanya dalam bumi. Meri ka kami pengidup tiap ari. Ampunka penyalah kami, baka ka kami ti ngampunka urang ti salah ngelaban kami. Intu kami ari penguji, lepas ke kami ari penyai. Laban nuan ti bempu perintah, enggau kuasa enggau mulia. Dataika belama - lama iya. Amine.

In comparison in German:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Our daily bread Give us today. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ethnologue.com: Austronesian Languages ​​Family Tree , viewed November 12, 2008.
  2. ^ Edwin Gomes: Seventeen Years among the Sea Dayaks of Borneo. 1981, p. 40.
  3. Iban at Omniglot


  • Anthony Richards: An Iban-English Dictionary . Oxford University Press, Petaling Jaya 1981, ISBN 967-65-0647-8 .
  • Asmah Haji Omar: The Iban Language of Sarawak: A Grammatical Description . Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur 1975, OCLC 8585497 .
  • Otto Steinmayer: Jalai Jako 'Iban: A basic Grammar of the Iban Language of Sarawak . Klasik Publishing House, Kuching 1999, ISBN 983-9234-06-8 .

Web links