6. Languages


One of the main problems faced by the traders was how to communicate with their Asian counterparts. The main language in Bantam was Malay, and in 1603 the Company produced its first Malay-English phrasebook entitled A true and large discourse of the voyage...to the East Indies. The pamphlet listed 52 Malay words and phrases including: how sell you? whither go you? and the words ship, boat, pepper, good and not good. A later publication entitled Dialogies in the English and Malaiane Languages was printed in 1614, and is pictured here.