Known as the publisher for the most popular Malay-language dictionary in the country, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka is responsible for the development of the Malay language in the country. The leading institution when it comes to the Malay language, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka provides countless sources and materials to inculcate an appreciation for the language amongst Malaysians. Read more about Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the services it provides below.

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What You Need to Know about Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka

Those of us who grew up in Malaysia will be familiar with the Malay dictionary, ‘Kamus Dewan’. The dictionary was a loyal companion that accompanied many Malaysian students during their schooling days to assist students in learning the national language. The descriptive dictionary that is still widely popular even today is a publication of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Besides the well-known dictionary, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka also publishes many novels and workbooks to continue supporting the development of the Malay language amongst Malaysians.

A Brief Introduction to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka

Many Malaysians are unaware but Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka is more than just a publisher. In fact, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, translated as Institute of Language and Literature, is a government body that is responsible for coordinating the use of the Malay language and Malaysia literature in Malaysia. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka is also home to many talented local novelists that have produced many meaningful pieces of Malay literature. The most well-known Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka novelists are Siti Habsah Abdullah, Malardevi Margamuthu, and Syed Satahkatulah bin Mohamed Kalik.

Services Offered by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka

Being one of the more prominent Bahasa Malaysia language institutions in the country, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka offers a multitude of services that help to uplift the national language amongst Malaysians. Dewan Bahasa is a strong advocate of activities and initiatives that promote the development of the national language in the country, supporting Malay-language literary works and other initiatives. The extensive services provided by the institution include:

  • Author’s Biography: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka provides a complete list of Malay-language authors on their official website for anyone who is interested to know more about the author and the works produced.
  • Language Advisory Services: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka also provides a panel for experts to advise Malaysians and clarify any disputes and confusion that arise due to the national language. They also organise numerous language courses and activities to increase the learning process of Bahasa Malaysia.
  • Malay Language Guide: Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka also provides comprehensive guides, tutorials, and explanations about the intricacies of the Malay language to consumers. These guides are useful in clarifying misinterpretations and common mistakes made.
  • Malay Language Research Studies: Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka are also actively involved in research regarding the Malay language. The institution also has a comprehensive collection of research encompassing the areas of linguistic and sociolinguistic studies.
  • Multimedia for Schools: As part of its effort to develop the Malay language further amongst students and supporting the education of the national language, Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka provides an abundant supply of multimedia material for primary and secondary schools to assist teachers in facilitating Bahasa Malaysia lessons.
  • Malay Documentation Centre: The Malay Documentation Centre was established almost 50 years ago as an effort to obtain the largest collection of Malay literature written throughout the history of the country. The diversity of sources and references available in the archives can be used for research references and as an appreciation to Malay literature.
  • Vocabulary Section: Besides that, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka also provides a glossary section on its official website which explains the terms and words used in Malay literature. As some of these words are in classical style, they are not used often which might cause users to not understand them fully.

Activities Conducted by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka

The institution organises and supports multiple events every year such as writing competitions, poetry-recital contests, and so much more. One of its noteworthy events is the Bulan Bahasa Kebangsaan (National Language Month) event. The objective of the event is to promote unity amongst Malaysians and strengthen the position as a national language.

Recognition for the Local Literature Scene

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka also ensures that local writers and authors are recognised for their contribution towards the development of the Malaysia language in the country. The institution provides multiple awards for these individuals who are seen to have played a critical role in the development of the Malay literature scene. Amongst the awards given by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka include:

  • Anugerah Sastera Negara
  • Anugerah S.E.A Write
  • Anugerah Sastera MASTERA
  • Anugerah Tokoh Sastera Nusantara
  • Anugerah Kencana MABBIM
  • Anugerah Tokoh MABBIM
  • Anugerah Ilmuwan MABBIM
  • Hadiah Sastera MASTERA

Other awards given are by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to notable writers and novelists that have produced impressive work include:

  • Tokoh Anugerah Sastera Negara
  • Tokoh Anugerah S.E.A
  • Tokoh Anugerah Sastera Mastera
  • Tokoh Anugerah Sastera Nusantara
  • Tokoh Anugerah Kencana MABBIM
  • Tokoh Anugerah Ilmuwan MABBIM
  • Tokoh Hadiah Sastera MASTERA
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