Cocos (Keeling) Islands Languages

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Cocos (Keeling) Islands Background
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A population of around 600 people speak a dialect of Malay (Cocos Malay) as their first language. Students are engaged in learning English. English is the de facto language of communication in government. [1]

Cocos Malay is a post-creolized variety of Malay, spoken by the Cocos Malays of Home Island, Christmas Island, and those originally from the Cocos Islands. It is an oral language. [2]

Word List(s)

English Cocos Malay
Hi Hai
Good morning Selamat pagi
Good afternoon Selamat siang
Good evening/night Selamat malam
See you later Jumpa lagi
Goodbye Selamat tinggal / jalan
Goodnight Selamat tidur
Thank you Terima kasih
How are you? Apa kabar?
I'm fine Baik

Alphabet and Pronunciation


Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e ə o
Low a


Bilabial Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Plosive &
p       b t̪               d tʃ     dʒ k       g       (ʔ)
Nasal         m         n       ɲ         ŋ
Fricative s               ʁ       (h)2
Approximant         w       j

Language Aids and Dictionaries

Language Aids


  • Telecentre Association, Bahasa Pulu Cocos : a dictionary of language from Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cocos Keeling IslandsTelecentre Association, 2008 - Available at WorldCat

Online Dictionaries

Additional Resources


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Cocos (Keeling) Islands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 9 Jun 2021.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Cocos Malay," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,and%20those%20originally%20from%20the%20Cocos%20Islands, accessed 9 Jun 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Cocos Malay Vowels," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 9 Jun 2021.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Cocos Malay Consonants," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 9 Jun 2021.