(What I think about Indonesian) : Some Facts About Bahasa Indonesia


Happy Monday!
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.

Ex :
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

11 Komentar

Filed under Bahasa, English, Opini, postaday, What I Think About Indonesians

11 responses to “(What I think about Indonesian) : Some Facts About Bahasa Indonesia

  1. I speak Dutch (well Flemish actually but that’s not really an official term), it’s funny how many Indonesian words resemble Dutch so much! It’s been very fun learning about your language, thanks for the instructive facts!

    • Hehehehe, you’re welcome. Is it little bit different right? between Netherlands Dutch and Flemish I mean.. Because of colonizations, we have absorbed many Dutch words up to now, though Anglicization has been massive coz of globalization

  2. Oh yes, Dutch and Flemish is very different, especially in pronunciation!

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