Malay, also known as Bahasa Melayu, is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. It is spoken by the native Malay people on both sides of the Straits of Malacca that separate Sumatra from the Malay Peninsula. Since the Malacca Straits have always been a busy sea route, travellers came into contact with the language of the Malay people.
Standard Malay is the official language of Malaysia and one of the four official languages of Singapore (along with English, Mandarin, and Tamil). It is also spoken in Indonesia, and Brunei, and is used as a working language in East Timor. It is spoken by 10.5 million people in Malaysia with a population total for all countries: of 15.8 million speakers of Malay as a first language with an additional 3 million second-language speakers.