Javanese Language

Sep 13th, 2006, in Society, by

Javanese language and script are dying and president Yudhoyono is one who is concerned.

In Semarang from the 10th to 14th of this month is being held the Fourth Javanese Language Congress, attended by about 800 people, at the Hotel Patra Jasa, with the congress having the goal of “Pemberdayaan Bahasa dan Sastra Jawa Melalui Pendidikan Dalam Rangka Penguatan Bhineka Tunggal Ika”, or energising Javanese language and culture through education with the aim of strengthening Unity in Diversity (the motto of Indonesia).

Various important people such as government ministers are in attendance. One person, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a native of Pacitan, a town deep in the backwoods of East Java, is unable to attend due to him being overseas but he nevertheless wrote a speech for the opening of the congress, read out by Education minister Bambang Sudibyo.

Javanese Numerals
Javanese Numerals, 0 to 9.

In his letter/speech Yudhoyono regretted the fact that the knowledge and use of old Javanese is gradually declining and urged that measures be taken to prevent ethnic Javanese youth from leaving behind their mother tongue. He noted that even in everyday discourse between friends or family the use of Indonesian, and even English, was becoming more common, among Javanese youth in Central and East Java, where Javanese is the native language. The disuse of Javanese, typically suggested the old fashioned Yudhoyono, also entailed the loss of the habits and customs of Javanese culture.

One measure that is going to be taken to “save” Javanese is the promulgation of a new education law, the Rancangan Undang-Undang (RUU) Bahasa, said Bambang Sudibyo, a law which seeks to promote the usage of English, for international communication, Indonesian, for national unity, and local languages such as Javanese, for uncertain purposes.

Bambang was also worried about the impending death of Javanese:

I’m really worried that many Javanese people have lost competence in writing Javanese script because they don’t use it, whereas they have graduated from primary school which means that they [should] be able to read and write in Javanese.
(Saya khawatir banyak sekali orang Jawa yang kehilangan kompetensi menulis huruf Jawa karena tidak dipakai, padahal mereka sudah lulus SD yang artinya sudah bisa menulis dan membaca aksara Jawa.)

According to this report two languages in the world die out every month, and one reason, seemingly relevant to the case in question here, suggested for their death is:

Language death most commonly involves bilingual speakers shifting from using two languages, to just using the socially dominant one. This often happens when the dominant language is more prestigious than the minority one. When people know they’ll only get respect or a good job if they speak the dominant language, there’s great motivation to dump the language that’s holding you back.

Such language extinction can often cause great stresses for the people affected, but, in the case of the Javanese it seems, people may well be content to see their old identity and its language and traditions subsumed into the wider, more powerful, Indonesian one, so long as the “Indonesian” construct holds together, that is.


129 Comments on “Javanese Language”

  1. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Bambang was also worried about the impending death of Javanese:

    I’m really worried that many Javanese people have lost competence in writing Javanese script because they don’t use it, whereas they have graduated from primary school which means that they [should] be able to read and write in Javanese.
    (Saya khawatir banyak sekali orang Jawa yang kehilangan kompetensi menulis huruf Jawa karena tidak dipakai, padahal mereka sudah lulus SD yang artinya sudah bisa menulis dan membaca aksara Jawa.)

    Shame he didn’t say it in Kromo Inggil then… might have carried more weight.

    He should be more worried about Sunda, at least us Javanese keep Nggoko, Madya and Inggil alive in voice if not the written word (aksara jowo), Sunda is having a real problem keeping Sunda alus alive.

  2. Cukurungan says:

    Wingi Suryo kelangan adapes karo landas’e ndek masjid mergakno gak sholat

    Arek malang lek sandale ilang di masjid biasanya sandal semua orang di mesjid di ambil semua dan dibuang di sungai

  3. fullmoonflower says:

    mesakno tenan…. mangkane ati-ati yen neng mesjid Cak…. mosok nganti kelangan pit karo sandal…
    malinge kreatif nemen… 😆

    poor Suryo 😆

  4. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Dulur Cuk lan Suryo… boso jowone njenengan-njenengan kok dho ngaco… aku seko kalimantan, nanging aku iso ngomong jowo luwih apik mbangane njenengan wong loro

  5. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Boleh saya memperbaiki dikit?
    Boleh?

    Arek ngalam kelangang landas’e di masjid biasane landas’e wong-wong kabeh di masjid lan di jupuk landas’e kabeh di bengawan.

  6. fullmoonflower says:

    Suryo…

    your boso jowo has been involved by bahasa indonesia….

    “di masjid” is bahasa indonesia…. boso jowo = neng mesjid
    “di” is bahasa indonesia… “di” in boso jowo = neng (yogya/solo javanese), nang (central javanese), ndhek (east javanese)

  7. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Cuk karo sampeyan ngomonge nganggo horrible boso jowo Malang. Yen dipikir-pikir luwih becik sampeyan wong loro dibuang neng kali wae sak sandal-sandale sisan.

  8. Suryo Perkoso says:

    fullmoonflower Says:

    March 24th, 2009 at 10:57 pm
    mesakno tenan…. mangkane ati-ati yen neng mesjid Cak…. mosok nganti kelangan pit karo sandal…
    malinge kreatif nemen…

    poor Suryo

    Suwun mbak di atas perhatian.

    Biasane aku simpan di mburi masjid, mungkin ono asu sing erah sandalku sakai kono.

    Aku nggak duwe pedamelan sing berhasil, aku nggak entos membeli sandal maneh.

  9. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Aluang Anak Bayang Says:

    March 24th, 2009 at 11:25 pm
    Cuk karo sampeyan ngomonge nganggo horrible boso jowo Malang. Yen dipikir-pikir luwih becik sampeyan wong loro dibuang neng kali wae sak sandal-sandale sisan.

    Tenan Mas – Jualek, hehehe.

    Boleh nggak di ampil sepasang sandal’e?

  10. fullmoonflower says:

    huehehe…. 😆

    ki ono theklek seko mBlitar…. gelem po?

    *theklek (central javanese) = sentolop (east javanese) = wood sandal

  11. Suryo Perkoso says:

    fullmoonflower Says:

    March 24th, 2009 at 11:20 pm
    Suryo…

    your boso jowo has been involved by bahasa indonesia….

    “di masjid” is bahasa indonesia…. boso jowo = neng mesjid
    “di” is bahasa indonesia… “di” in boso jowo = neng (yogya/solo javanese), nang (central javanese), ndhek (east javanese)

    Rewel!
    You’re a hard woman to please. Kasihan bojomu.

    “nang masjid”

    Opo maneh?

  12. Suryo Perkoso says:

    March 24th, 2009 at 11:33 pm
    huehehe….

    ki ono theklek seko mBlitar…. gelem po?

    *theklek (central javanese) = sentolop (east javanese) = wood sandal

    Kawruh ! inggih, aku gelem….

  13. fullmoonflower says:

    hehehe….

    aku durung duwe ojob, Cak…
    as a tax consultant, I have to be rewel to the auditors and tax judiciary… if I am not rewel, I won’t win my case… so that’s why I never lose my case… hahaha… 😆

  14. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Sadurunge sampean mencari bojo, menghubungi aku biyen deh.

  15. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Oooh, just think, with my dodgy accounts and your kerewelan, we could make such sweet music.

  16. fullmoonflower says:

    😛

    I’m a happy single woman…. anyway, thank you for your offer

  17. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    @ Suryo Kontho,

    Grow a moustache.

    Bu prefers sexy, good-looking, successful and mature man like myself.

  18. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Shall I get a nice big tai lalat too?
    Actually, that thing is more like a tai kebo.

    Anyhow, how do you know I’m not berbrengos? or mrongos for that matter?

    @fullmoonflower – take no notice of that little Achmad, until your amputan have been amput2 by a real javanese gentleman (with dodgy accounts), you have never lived.

    PS, I have a feeling we may know each other my little daffodil.

  19. fullmoonflower says:

    😆

    hahahaha….
    lucu… lucu… apik… apik…

    ati-ati.. mengko sampeyan balang-balangan (sawat-sawatan) theklek karo Denmas AAB, nyasar neng sirahku, iso cilaka…
    aku ndelik ndhisik ya… 😀

    anyway, thank you for make me laugh today… 🙂

  20. Lairedion says:

    Interesting discussion, I guess.

    Abdi teu teurang pisan euy, basa jawana. I put my money on mbakyu FMF as she’s from Yogya.

  21. fullmoonflower says:

    sumuhun Kang Lairedion…

    abdi teu teurang basa sunda atuh… kumaha euy?

  22. Lairedion says:

    Damang, neng, hatur nuhun.

    One can be very simple in approaching Sundanese and Javanese. Replace the a with the o and the other way around. 🙂

    What still surprises me is that informal Sundanese words are polite/formal in Javanese:

    To eat: dahar/dhahar. Formal Sundanese is tuang, informal Javanese is mangan.
    To sleep: sare. Formal Sundanese is kulem, informal Javanese is turu.

    Can cause a lot of confusion when Sundanese and Javanese are arguing. Attention is needed. Best to use the bule language Bahasa. 😕

  23. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Wong-wong kabeh, tiyang-tiyang sadaya, sinten kemawon

    I’ve tried replacing the ‘a’ in ‘dhahar’ but i’ll be buggered if I can make mangan out of it.

  24. fullmoonflower says:

    hmmmm… 🙄

    but I think sundanese and javanese are different…
    yes, only few words almost similar, but mot of them are different.

    come here = kadieu (sundanese) = mrene (javanese)
    sun = matahari (sundanese/bahasa) = srengenge (javanese)
    already = parantos / atos (sundanese) = uwis (javanese)
    take, pick = cokot (sundanese) = jupuk (javanese)

    but be careful, atos is “hard” in javanese, and cokot is “bite” in javanese.

    so, can you imagine if a sundanese ask a javanese to pick up a stone… there will be a funny conversation…

    Sundanese : punteun kang, mau minta tolong akang cokot batu
    Javanese : hah????? atos!!! edan po?
    Sundanese : oh, atos? mana eta batuna?
    Javanese : grrrr @#*(^#%&$?:>*^@!

    in English :
    Sundanese : excuse me kang, please pick up the stone
    (cokot = “pick” in sundanese, but “bite” in javanese)
    Javanese : hah????? it’s hard!!! are you crazy?
    (atos = “hard” in javanese, but “already done” in sundanese)
    Sundanese : oh, you’ve done it? but where is the stone?
    Javanese : grrrr @#*(^#%&$?:>*^@!

    *PEACE atuh Kang, sumuhun, nuwun sewu…*

    ^_^

  25. Lairedion says:

    LOL, mbak, I know. Sundanese and Javanese are quite different. I was just playing with the a and o difference.

    You gotta watch this video. A saja! So damn funny.



    Btw, matahari in Sundanese is panon (=mata) poe (=hari).

  26. fullmoonflower says:

    nuhun, Kang…

    yes… panonpoe… forget… thank you 😀

    “…panon hideung, hidung mancung, bibir merah… putri bandung… “

    😎

  27. Pakmantri says:

    Punten sadaya,

    Bubuy bulan, Bubuy bulan sangray bentang
    Panon poe, Panon poe disasate
    Unggal bulan, Unggal bulan abdi teang
    Unggal poe, Unggal poe oge hade

    Situ Ciburuy laukna hese dipancing
    Nyeredet hate ningali ngamplak caina
    Duh, eta saha nu ngalangkung unggal enjing
    Nyeredet hate ningali sorot socana

    Hatur nuhun, amit mundur.

  28. fullmoonflower says:

    Kang Mantri…
    more…more…!!!! 😀

    matur nuwun…

  29. Suryo Perkoso says:

    RAMALAN JAYABAYA

    or…One day there will be a cart without a horse.

    Besuk yen wis ana kreta tanpa jaran.
    Tanah Jawa kalungan wesi.
    Prahu mlaku ing dhuwur awang-awang.
    Kali ilang kedhunge.
    Pasar ilang kumandhang.
    Iku tandane yen tekane jaman Jayabaya wis cedhak.
    Bumi saya suwe saya mengkeret.
    Sekilan bumi dipajeki.
    Jaran doyan mangan sambel.
    Wong wadon nganggo pakaian lanang.
    Iku tandane yen wong bakal nemoni wolak-waliking jaman.
    Akeh janji ora ditetepi.
    Akeh wong wani mlanggar sumpahe dhewe.
    Manungsa pada seneng nyalah.
    Ora ngindhahake hukum Allah.
    Barang jahat diangkat-angkat.
    Barang suci dibenci.
    Akeh manungsa mung ngutamake dhuwit.
    Lali kamanungsan.
    Lali kabecikan.
    Lali sanak lali kadang.
    Akeh bapa lali anak.
    Akeh anak wani nglawan ibu.
    Nantang bapa.
    Sedulur pada cidra.
    Kulawarga pada curiga
    Kanca dadi mungsuh.
    Akeh manungsa lali asale.
    Ukuman ratu ora adhil.
    Akeh pangkat sing jahat lan ganjil.
    Akeh kelakuan sing ganjil.
    Wong apik-apik pada kepencil.
    Akeh wong nyambut gawe apik-apik padha krasa isin.
    Luwih utama ngapusi.
    Wegah nyambut gawe.
    Kepingin urip mewah.
    Ngumbar nafsu angkara murka, nggedhekake duraka.
    Wong bener thenger-thenger.
    Wong salah bungah.
    Wong apik ditampik-tampik.
    Wong jahat munggah pangkat.
    Wong agung kesinggung.
    Wong ala kepuja.
    Wong wadon ilang kawirangane.
    Wong lanang ilang kaprawirane.
    Akeh wong lanang ora duwe bojo.
    Akeh wong wadon ora setya marang bojone.
    Akeh ibu pada ngedol anake.
    Akeh wong wadon ngedol awake.
    Akeh wong ijol bebojo.
    Wong wadon nunggang jaran.
    Wong lanang linggih plangki.
    Randha seuang loro.
    Prawan seaga lima.
    Dudha pincang laku sembilan uang.
    Akeh wong ngedol ngelmu.
    Akeh wong ngaku-aku.
    Njabane putih njerone dhadhu.
    Ngakune suci, nanging sucine palsu.
    Akeh bujuk akeh lojo.
    Akeh udan salah mangsa.
    Akeh prawan tuwa.
    Akeh randha nglairake anak.
    Akeh jabang bayi lahir nggoleki bapake.
    Agama akeh sing nantang.
    Perikamanungsan saya ilang.
    Omah suci dibenci.
    Omah ala saya dipuja.
    Wong wadon lacur ing ngendi-endi.
    Akeh laknat.
    Akeh pengkhianat.
    Anak mangan bapak.
    Sedulur mangan sedulur.
    Kanca dadi mungsuh.
    Guru disatru.
    Tangga padha curiga.
    Kana-kene saya angkara murka.
    Sing weruh kebubuhan.
    Sing ora weruh ketutuh.
    Besuk yen ana peperangan.
    Teka saka wetan, kulon, kidul lan lor.
    Akeh wong becik saya sengsara.
    Wong jahat saya seneng.
    Wektu iku akeh dhandhang diunekake kuntul.
    Wong salah dianggep bener.
    Pengkhianat nikmat.
    Durjana saya sempurna.
    Wong jahat munggah pangkat.
    Wong lugu kebelenggu.
    Wong mulya dikunjara.
    Sing curang garang.
    Sing jujur kojur.
    Pedagang akeh sing keplarang.
    Wong main akeh sing ndadi.
    Akeh barang haram.
    Akeh anak haram.
    Wong wadon nglamar wong lanang.
    Wong lanang ngasorake drajate dhewe.
    Akeh barang-barang mlebu luang.
    Akeh wong kaliren lan wuda.
    Wong tuku nglenik sing dodol.
    Sing dodol akal okol.
    Wong golek pangan kaya gabah diinteri.
    Sing kebat kliwat.
    Sing telat sambat.
    Sing gedhe kesasar.
    Sing cilik kepleset.
    Sing anggak ketunggak.
    Sing wedi mati.
    Sing nekat mbrekat.
    Sing jirih ketindhih.
    Sing ngawur makmur.
    Sing ngati-ati ngrintih.
    Sing ngedan keduman.
    Sing waras nggagas.
    Wong tani ditaleni.
    Wong dora ura-ura.
    Ratu ora netepi janji, musna kekuwasaane.
    Bupati dadi rakyat.
    Wong cilik dadi priyayi.
    Sing mendele dadi gedhe.
    Sing jujur kojur.
    Akeh omah ing ndhuwur jaran.
    Wong mangan wong.
    Anak lali bapak.
    Wong tuwa lali tuwane.
    Pedagang adol barang saya laris.
    Bandhane saya ludes.
    Akeh wong mati kaliren ing sisihe pangan.
    Akeh wong nyekel bandha nanging uripe sengsara.
    Sing edan bisa dandan.
    Sing bengkong bisa nggalang gedong.
    Wong waras lan adil uripe nggrantes lan kepencil.
    Ana peperangan ing njero.
    Timbul amarga para pangkat akeh sing pada salah paham.
    Durjana saya ngambra-ambra.
    Penjahat saya tambah.
    Wong apik saya sengsara.
    Akeh wong mati jalaran saka peperangan.
    Kebingungan lan kobongan.
    Wong bener saya tenger-tenger.
    Wong salah saya bungah-bungah.
    Akeh banda musna ora karuan lungane.
    Akeh pangkat lan drajat pada minggat ora karuan sababe.
    Akeh barang-barang haram, akeh bocah haram.
    Bejane sing lali, bejane sing eling.
    Nanging sauntung-untunge sing lali.
    Isih untung sing waspada.
    Angkara murka saya ndadi.
    Kana-kene saya bingung.
    Pedagang akeh alangane.
    Akeh buruh nantang juragan.
    Juragan dadi umpan.
    Sing suwarane seru oleh pengaruh.
    Wong pinter diingar-ingar.
    Wong ala diuja.
    Wong ngerti mangan ati.
    Banda dadi memala.
    Pangkat dadi pemikat.
    Sing sawenang-wenang rumangsa menang.
    Sing ngalah rumangsa kabeh salah.
    Ana Bupati saka wong sing asor imane.
    Patihe kepala judi.
    Wong sing atine suci dibenci.
    Wong sing jahat lan pinter jilat saya derajat.
    Pemerasan saya ndadra.
    Maling lungguh wetenge mblenduk.
    Pitik angkrem saduwurane pikulan.
    Maling wani nantang sing duwe omah.
    Begal pada ndugal.
    Rampok pada keplok-keplok.
    Wong momong mitenah sing diemong.
    Wong jaga nyolong sing dijaga.
    Wong njamin njaluk dijamin.
    Akeh wong mendem donga.
    Kana-kene rebutan unggul.
    Angkara murka ngombro-ombro.
    Agama ditantang.
    Akeh wong angkara murka.
    Nggedheake duraka.
    Ukum agama dilanggar.
    Prikamanungsan diiles-iles.
    Kasusilan ditinggal.
    Akeh wong edan, jahat lan kelangan akal budi.
    Wong cilik akeh sing kepencil.
    Amarga dadi korbane si jahat sing jajil.
    Banjur ana Ratu duwe pengaruh lan duwe prajurit.
    Lan duwe prajurit.
    Negarane ambane sapra-walon.
    Tukang mangan suap saya ndadra.
    Wong jahat ditampa.
    Wong suci dibenci.
    Timah dianggep perak.
    Emas diarani tembaga.
    Dhandhang diandakake kuntul.
    Wong dosa sentosa.
    Wong cilik disalahake.
    Wong nganggur kesungkur.
    Wong sregep krungkep.
    Wong nyengit kesengit.
    Buruh mangluh.
    Wong sugih krasa wedi.
    Wong wedi dadi priyayi.
    Senenge wong jahat.
    Susahe wong cilik.
    Akeh wong dakwa dinakwa.
    Tindake menungsa saya kuciwa.
    Ratu karo Ratu pada rembugan negara endi sing dipilih lan disenengi.
    Hore! hore!.
    Wong Jawa kari separo,
    Landa-Cina kari sejodo.
    Akeh wong ijir, akeh wong cethil.
    Sing eman ora keduman.
    Sing keduman ora eman.
    Akeh wong mbambung.
    Akeh wong limbung.

    Selot-selote mbesuk wolak-waliking jaman teka.

  30. Suryo Perkoso says:

    isn’t “hese” in Sunda something like “kikir” in java?

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