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Javanese language is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. There are also pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java. It is the native language of more than 75,500,000 people (more than 40% of total population in Indonesia).

Javanese is part of the Austronesian family, and is therefore related to Indonesian and other Malay varieties. Most speakers of Javanese also speak Indonesian: for official and commercial purposes, and to communicate with non-Javanese Indonesians.

Javanese is a Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian language. It is otherwise not particularly close to other languages and is difficult to classify, though not too dissimilar from neighboring languages such as Malay, Sundanese, Madurese, and Balinese.

The language is spoken in Central and East Java, as well as on the north coast of West Java. In Madura, Bali, Lombok, and the Sunda region of West Java, it is also used as a literary language.

Javanese is written with the Javanese script, Arabo-Javanese script, Arabic script (modified for Javanese), and Latin script.

Although not currently an official language anywhere, Javanese is the Austronesian language with the largest number of native speakers. It is spoken or understood by approximately 80 million people. At least 45% of the total population of Indonesia are of Javanese descent or live in an area where Javanese is the dominant language. Five out of the six Indonesian presidents since 1945 have been of Javanese descent. It is therefore not surprising that Javanese has a deep impact on the development of Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia, which is itself a modern development from Malay.

There are three main dialects in the modern language: Central Javanese, Eastern Javanese, and Western Javanese. There is a dialect continuum from Banten in the extreme west of Java to Banyuwangi in the eastern corner of the island. All Javanese dialects are more or less mutually intelligible.


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