In 1822 John Crawfurd, a medical doctor and British civil servant, published as a column in the appendix of a book an 81-item wordlist with the heading Malay of Champa , a designation that is essentially geographical. The existence of the list immediately brings up several basic questions: What language is it? That is, if it is Chamic, precisely which Chamic language is it? Once the language is identified, what can we learn from examining the wordlist? That is, what reliable information does it give us about that language in 1822? In addition, there are a number of minor queries about how to interpret Crawfurd s transcription. Crawfurd s background . Crawfurd himself was born on the island of Islay west of Scotland in 1783. He trained as a medical doctor at Edinburgh and at twenty he was given an appointment as a medical officer in India s North-West provinces. Crawfurd acquired Malay between 1808 to 1811 in Penang, learning not just the language but the culture. Between 1808 and 1816 he was part of the British presence in Java, including serving as the British Resident at the Court of the Sultan of Jogjakarta. He later served as Resident in Singapore between 1823 and 1826.