Purba Negoro on the future of Javanese language, and learning some easy words and phrases.
Being a foreigner in Indonesia is indeed hard - but new friends are made instantly when you speak to them in their language - Indonesian. To an Indonesian it means a highly respected white values them enough to bother learning, what many Indonesians truly believe is a backward, provincial, idiotic language - in comparison to English or other European language.
Even more enamouring to the majority - 45%+ of Indonesians - and guaranteed to get you astonished faces and gasps you wish you could capture on film - is speaking some polite Javanese - or Kromo Inggil.
Many wrongly claim Javanese is extinct or dying. Actually - the complete opposite is true - we are finding many young people keen to learn. Sri Gusti Sultan Hamengkubuwana IX has vigourously re-introduced this ancient and beautiful language into his Kingdom - the minor Principalities following suit.
Javanese has been long part of the compulsory primary curriculum of Central Java - as have many regional languages like Batak, Sundanese, Balinese etc - even widely spoken Irian languages - even East Timorese language of Tetum (this is why it is alive still today). See we are not entirely evil.
In Central Java, street signs are becoming bi-lingual, house names - even Wikipedia in Javanese!
And I just bought as new Javanese dictionary to replace my ancient Dutch one - published 2008.
This is almost a complete reversal of Indonesian mindset - to elevate a perceived "kampungan" or provincial language. By all means - we must preserve all our ethnic languages- it is what makes us Indonesians so unique
Until about 1938 - Javanese was very much alive as a language - including a very widely circulated Surabayan newspaper printed entirely in Javanese script.
Tagalog has many Javanese loan words- like 'aso' (Javanese is: asuk) for dog.
So here are some very easy basic words that will garner you the affection of your beloved man/womans' all powerful Javanese mother - you speak this polite Javanse- "you are in like Flynn":
Note (e in Javanese is almost always the 'e' in "enam" or British pronunciation of 'example'.
I have spelt as pronounced.:
Yo wes. Cekap. Parang ya?