I am from Indonesia, live in Indonesia and genetically bilingual since I was younger. I am raised up speaking two languages naturally, natively but sometimes mix each other. Bahasa Indonesia and Javanese (Basa Jawa). English is my third language and others come one by one. This challenge reminds me something about my own language.
Indonesia was colonized by Dutch for centuries, and inevitably Dutch words have absorbed deeply into Indonesian languages. It has been so natural till Indonesians themselves do not recognize if what they speak daily is derived from Dutch. See, not just Dutch but other languages influence Bahasa Indonesia. However, I would like to emphasize Dutch first. Hundreds words of Dutch have been part of this Bahasa. Either used or obsolete. The simplest one like this.
Kantor (from Kantoor- Office)
Dongkrak (from Dommekracht)
Sepur (from Spoor – Train, spoken in Javanese)
Arloji (from horloge – watch)
Besuk (from bezoeken- visiting)
Dasi (from das – necktie)
Kalkun (from Kalkoen – turkey)
Kulkas (from Koelkast – refrigerator)
Laci (from latjes – deskdrawer)
Retsleting (from ritsluiting – zipper)
Rekening (from rekening- account)
and many more.
However, along the time, several Dutch words change from the original meaning. Example, when we say ‘besuk (bezoeken)’ our sense is visiting hospital. Ironically the Dutch pronouns like ‘Ik’ and ‘Jij’ have different sense. Why, because those words are spoken among transsexuals or shemales. For ‘Ik’, sometimes they say ‘ike’ (read ei-que). So intense till those pronouns have been identical with this society and it is sometimes used for creating funny effect in speech (with effeminate accent though not all). But I consider the transsexual community as one of the most linguistically creative communities. Lots of chants, slang and idioms they have created and it changes constantly even in the very fast time.
Kan ikke sudah bilang sama jij (I have told you)
Kalau nggak mau sama ikke ya sutra (It’s okay if you don’t want with me)
Jij udah dendong belom? (Have you made up?)
Jangan tangkap eike ya Pak Polisi (Please, don’t arrest me)
Language is so flexible and can be changed or even die out. Indonesians have got so various language manners and sometimes it is misunderstood by even other Indonesians (as you see, Indonesia has got between 500-700 languages and dialects). This is my first weekly writing challenge and I hope I can share all my experiences here.
3 May 2013
Pic is credited from here