Malay, is part of the Austronesian family of languages. Also known as the “Malayo-Polynesian” languages. Now, Malay was not a borrowed language for it is a language that is unique to its own culture. However, anthropologists today theorize two places of origin for Austronesian speakers. Taiwan and Africa’s Madagascar. Taiwan, is where many of the Austronesian speakers have thought to originated from. Of course, there was no “Austronesian language”, but people simply spoke a series of Austronesian dialects with similar words that was influenced from the Chinese language. Since Malays, are thought to have originated from China in a kingdom called “Mo Lo Yu”, and then to Taiwan. The Negritos, from Africa’s Madagascar also came to the Malay Peninsula and Malay Archipelago which is why Taiwanese and Madagascar Africans are considered the “original Austronesians”. This is why Malay and the language from Madagascar and Taiwanese dialects are from the Austronesian family of languages. Javanese people also have a common origin with Malay, and they look like Malays too. A lot of people from southern China and Taiwan and you’ll notice they look like Malays. Vietnamese and Cambodians also are related to ethnic Malays.
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The term “Malay” is an English transliteration of what they call themselves in their language, “Melayu”. And its origins are thought to have come from a Chinese kingdom called “Malayu” or “Mo Lo Yu”.