The amazing Sejarah Melayu (Malay History) Library “is perhaps the largest public on-line collection of books and other documents on the history of the Malay archipelago and its surrounding region. Consisting of over 700 books and academic papers in electronic PDF format, the library is divided into seven broad sections”—General, Histories, Travelogue, and so on. The one of most immediate interest to me, of course, is Language; they have PDFs of A Dictionary of the Malay Language, A grammar of the Maguindanao tongue, A lexilogus of the English, Malay, and Chinese languages, A Vocabulary of the English, Bugis and Malay Languages, and dozens of other books. Via Macvaysia, and I second Jordan’s conclusion: “Do check out this fascinating (and free) resource if you’re interested.”


  1. The Lexilogus of English, Malay and Chinese is amazing, a kind of phrase book, but not very useful for tourists:) The Chinese is comprehensible enough, but it is a far cry from modern Mandarin. It also gives Hokkien and Cantonese.

  2. I think that’s not Mandarin, but a late form of literary Chinese. And it is an amazing book, and it’s great to see the Hokkien & Cantonese together with it.

  3. (it=the literary Chinese)

  4. There’s an interesting bit in the introduction to the Lexilogus: “The editor… and some other foreign students objected to some expressions, as being only English in a Chinese dress…. They were accordingly changed, but most of the original expressions have since been met with, in the progress of the Editor’s Chinese Reading. Foreign students are in danger, indeed, of rejecting many expressions, which are really Chinese, from their corresponding with idioms of their own language…” An astute observation.

  5. The expressions on page 10 seem to come from a disaster movie: “Shut the windows. The rice is all gone. There is no oil…. What does he say? Don’t stay long. Don’t make a noise. There is not quite enough. Where are you going?” and of course the inevitable “Don’t be afraid.”

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