Languages

Balinese, or simply Bali, is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by 3.3 million people (as of 2000) on the Indonesian island of Bali as well as northern Nusa Penida, western Lombok and eastern Java. Most Balinese speakers also know Indonesian. Balinese itself is not mutually intelligible with Indonesian but may be understood by Javanese speakers after some exposure.[citation needed]

In 2011, the Bali Cultural Agency estimated that the number of people still using the Balinese language in their daily lives on the Bali Island does not exceed 1 million, as in urban areas their parents only introduce the Indonesian language or even English, while daily conversations in the institutions and the mass media have disappeared. The written form of the Balinese language is increasingly unfamiliar, and most Balinese people use the Balinese language only as a means of oral communication, often mixing it with Indonesian in their daily speech. But in the transmigration areas outside Bali Island, the Balinese language is extensively used and believed to play an important role in the survival of the language.[4]

The higher registers of the language borrow extensively from Javanese: an old form of classical Javanese, Kawi, is used in Bali as a religious and ceremonial language.

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