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This dictionary contains only those words that differ from standard Indonesian, following the lists compiled by Takaria & Pieter (1998), Devin, and Pattiasina, with orthography standardised between the three. Stress tends to be noticeably on the penultimate syllable, which plays a significant part in producing the distinctive Ambon accent. Many words are derived from Indonesian by applying the following substitutions:

  • Initial -e, -er syllables in grammatical prefixes become -a

    • berdiri → badiri, terbakar → tabakar
  • Final -n, -m modifiers become -ng

    • teman → tamang, asam → asang
  • Final -k, -h modifiers are dropped

    • anak → ana, bersih → barsi
  • Final -u syllable becomes -o

    • arus → aros, mabuk → mabo
  • Initial -e, -er syllables more generally become -a

    • mesin → masing, lentera → lanterna

ya’ila   (exclamation of pity, surprise or distaste)   interjection

yar   yard (unit of distance)   noun

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