Never let your fun lose though it’s been Monday. And those who’re still on Sunday, enjoy your holiday. For today, I’d like to give you some fun facts, related to my national language, bahasa Indonesia or called Indonesian. I don’t know why many Westerners just simply named it ‘Bahasa’ and it’s been identical, though the word itself derived from Sanskrit ‘Bhasha’.
Okay, let me start
1. It is a standardized form of High Malay, and named Bahasa Indonesia after 28 October 1928 on Youth Congress in Jakarta which issued the famous Youth Vow (Sumpah Pemuda).
2. It has changed spelling for three times. Started from Ophuysen spelling (Dutch based) between 1900-1947, Suwandi spelling (Mixed-based) 1947-1972, New spelling (Ejaan Yang Disempurnakan) 1972-present.
3. Bahasa Indonesia became trully official language during Japanes occupation which banned Dutch for official matters.
4. Bahasa Indonesia is not just official language, but also unifying one for more than 500 ethnic groups.
5. Bahasa Indonesia is spoken widely by more than 250 millions. So it means monolingualism is very low and practically Indonesians are bilingual.
6. Grammatically, Bahasa Indonesia is quite simple language. There’s no verbal changes in present, past, perfect and future. Just add time adverbs, you can express time.
Saya membeli kelapa – I buy coconut
Saya membeli kelapa kemarin – I bought coconut yesterday
Saya sudah membeli kelapa – I have bought coconut
Saya akan membeli kelapa besok – I’ll buy coconut tomorrow
Maria menulis surat – Maria writes a letter
Maria menulis surat tadi malam – Maria wrote a letter last night
Maria sudah menulis surat – Maria has written a letterMaria akan menulis surat besok – Maria will write a letter tomorrow
7. Bahasa Indonesia doesn’t use grammatical gender, and only selected words use natural gender. He/She will be translated into ‘Dia’, boyfriend/girlfriend just ‘pacar’. Some words have natural gender such as ‘putra’ (boy), ‘putri’ (girl), ‘pramugara’ (steward), ‘pramugari’ (stewardess), Sukarelawan (male volunteer), sukarelawati (female volunteer) etc.
8. Bahasa Indonesia, as other Austronesian languages is an agglutinative language.
9. Bahasa Indonesia knows repetitions for representing plural. Such as : kucing-kucing (cats), anjing-anjing (dogs), gadis-gadis (girls), rumah-rumah (houses), orang-orang (persons) etc. But for some words, it can be used ‘para’. Example ‘Para menteri’ (The ministers), ‘para gadis’ (the girls) etc.
10. Some words almost identic and it can be tricky especially for whose learning bahasa Indonesia. For example :
– kelapa (coconut) and kepala (head)
– masuk (enter) and mabuk (getting drunk)
11. Bahasa Indonesian versions can be listened in the following worldwide stations
– BBC Siaran Bahasa Indonesia
– NHK Siaran Bahasa Indonesia
– VOA Siaran Bahasa Indonesia
– ABC Australia
– Radio International Islamic Iran
– KBS World Radio (Korea)
– Deutsch Welle
– RTV Mustika Suriname
– RTV Garuda Suriname
– and many more…
*From various sources