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The Languages spoken in Brunei Darussalam

In terms of history, Brunei was a seat of power of the powerful Malay empire prior to the coming of the Europeans in the 16th Century. This being so, Brunei would categorically fall as Bahasa speakers, the same language widely spoken today in Malaysia and Indonesia. Officially, the language is called Bahasa Melayu or Standard Malay.  However, the current form of Standard Malay language to be heard from citizens of Brunei may stray a bit from their Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts. Standard Malay is used as a medium of instruction on most schools.

Another language that may be easily noticed in Brunei is Arabic. Arabic is the language of the Muslims’ holy book, the Koran. Being the state’s official religion, all followers of the Islamic faith have to learn some degree of Arabic to be able to understand the messages contained in the Koran.  The Arabic language is currently being taught in religious schools and as well as in schools of higher learning and so a great number of Brunei nationals would be proficient in Arabic.

The Chinese have also a minority status in this rich prosperous land. However, two Chinese people may not still understand each other as different districts in Brunei has different Chinese dialects, like, Hokkien is predominant only in the Brunei-Muara District while the Belait District have Cantonese and Hakka as the choice of language among the Chinese there. Hainanese, Hoisan and Fuchow are the other Chinese languages that are actively in use in Brunei.

Bruneians have also a high proficiency for the English language as they have appointed three British nationals who sit in Brunei’s appellate court. Aside from that, the expatriate community of Brunei is a bit large and so English would really be a common denominator.Local Services  

Brunei is proud of its wealth.  The world looks upon this tiny but powerhouse country.  One of the things that Brunei can be proud of is that they have great services which the people truly enjoy.

There are only 2 airports in Brunei both with paved runways.  The primary airport is the Brunei International Airport which is also the base of the Royal Brunei Air Force.  This international terminal handles 2 million passengers a year.  The other airport is the Anduki Airfield owned and operated by Brunei Shell Petroleum which supports offshore oil platforms.  There are also 3 Heliports in the country.

The country has almost 3,000 km of roadways and about 80% of those are already paved.  There is not much public transportation available in Brunei since most of the citizens have their own vehicles.  There are several bus lines that can take you around the city capital of Bandar Seri Begawan or around the region but there are hardly any at night.  Taxis are also available mostly during the day.

Communication is pretty easy in Brunei.  Telephone lines are clear especially if within the country.  There are about 80,000 land lines all over the country and about 400,000 mobile phone users.  International service is good to the Middle East, Western Europe, United States and Southeast Asia.  

There are radio broadcasts available, 1 AM and 2 FM.  There are 4 television broadcast stations which includes 2 UHF stations that broadcast a subscription service.

Many Bruneians are connected to the internet with about 15,000 internet hosts scattered across the country that have more than 200,000 users.


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