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. fullmoonflower says:

    @ Suryo

    according to Ramalan Jayabaya… saiki Indonesia lak wis koyo ngono…? hehehe 😛

  2. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Mas Suryo Kontho,

    My tai lalat is a sign of prophethood, just like nabi Muhammad pbuh who had tai lalat on his back. I believe I could be the Ratu Adil as foretold by Prophet Joyoboyo.

  3. fullmoonflower says:

    I believe I could be the Ratu Adil as foretold by Prophet Joyoboyo.

    wowwwww….. cool……! 😀

  4. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Aluang Anak Bayang Says:

    March 25th, 2009 at 9:55 pm
    Mas Suryo Kontho,

    My tai lalat is a sign of prophethood, just like nabi Muhammad pbuh who had tai lalat on his back. I believe I could be the Ratu Adil as foretold by Prophet Joyoboyo.

    Besuk yen wis ana kreta tanpa jaran.

    More like the missing horse.

  5. Pakmantri says:

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

    “hese” in bahasa Sunda mean “angel” in bahasa Jawa or “sulit/susah” in bahasa Indonesia.

    Salam.

  6. Pakmantri says:

    Duh, eta saha nu ngalangkung unggal enjing
    Nyeredet hate ningali sorot socana

    Oh, who’s that person walks by every morning
    My heart skips a beat looking at her eyes

    It must be you I saw, mbak Purnomosekar ………………… 😀 *gombal amoh!!*

    Sampun mboten ribet malih with your tax report, I see.

    Mongo pinarak.

  7. Lairedion says:

    Pakmantri,

    Bubuy bulan, very nice. Coincidentally I’m teaching my daughter Sundanese songs. Of course also Manuk Dadali:

    Mesat ngapung luhur jauh di awang-awang
    Meberkeun janjangna bangun taya karingrang
    Sukuna ranggaos reujeung pamatuka ngeluk
    Ngapak mega bari hiberna tarik nyuruwuk

    Saha anu bisa nyusul kana tandangna
    Gandang jeung partentang taya bandingannana
    Dipikagimir dipikaserab ku sasama
    Taya karempan ka sieun leber wawanenna

    chorus:
    Manuk dadali manuk panggagahna
    Perlambang sakti Indonesia Jaya
    Manuk dadali pang kakoncarana
    Resep ngahiji rukun sakabehna

    Hirup sauyunan tara pahiri-hiri
    Silih pikanyaah teu inggis bela pati
    Manuk dadali ngandung siloka sinatria
    Keur sakumna Bangsa di Nagara Indonesia

  8. fullmoonflower says:

    Sampun mboten ribet malih with your tax report, I see.

    whaaaaa… gombal saestu… 😀

    inggih sampun mboten patiko ribet, amargi PPh Badan sak meniko saged dipun laporaken tanggal tigang ndoso april. dados dalem saged mbagi wektu..

    but there are few tax art. 21 and personal income tax reports haven’t be signed by my clients yet, but it’s not a big problem. I’ll meet them today 🙂

    matur nuwun… 🙂

  9. Pakmantri says:

    @Lairedion,

    Manuk Dadali, very good song to be taught to the children it is about Garuda Pancasila and Bhineka Tunggal Ika. Diversity, tolerance, chivalry and loyalty.

    Very nice, thank you.

    *it give me goosebumps when I sing it*
    Maybe you could provide the translation for some of us here who does not understand bahasa Sunda, so that we’ll know what we (Indonesian) teach our children.

  10. fullmoonflower says:

    just noticed that Basa Walikan Yogya has been used since jaman revolusi in Yogya, as a secret language for Indonesian (Yogyakartans) soldiers…

    waa…. nice and funny language…

    yothe hire, dab? pahin? = kowe piye, mas? apik?

    dalad = mangan = to eat
    lodse = ngombe = to drink
    poya mothik = ora (ono) duwit = no money
    poya hoho = ora po po = nothing
    sahan = bapak = father
    pisu = ibu = mother

    and many more…

    *from komunitas basa walikan ngayogyakarta* ^_^

  11. Pakmantri says:

    Here you can figure Basa Walikan Yogja out yourself:

    1. ha na ca ra ka pa dha ja ya nya
    2. da ta sa wa la ma ga ba tha nga
    3. pa dha ja ya nya ha na ca ra ka
    4. ma ga ba tha nga da ta sa wa la

    Or just go to this site: Walikan translator.

    Monggo.

  12. Pakmantri says:

    Oops,

    1. ha na ca ra ka =======> pa dha ja ya nya
    2. da ta sa wa la =======> ma ga ba tha nga
    3. pa dha ja ya nya =====> ha na ca ra ka
    4. ma ga ba tha nga =====> da ta sa wa la

    That’s how it supposed to be.

    Nyuwun ngapunten.

  13. Cukurungan 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

    Sampeyan yo kudu maklum yen boso jowoku ngawur….mergo profesiku jadi provokator lan dukun terbiasa ngomong bahasa yg bisa di mengerti sopo wae….dadi kanggo ku keindahan bahasa sudah tidak penting lagi yg penting pesannya bisa di mengerti siapa saja

  14. Suryo Perkoso says:

    fullmoonflower Says:

    March 26th, 2009 at 6:56 am
    just noticed that Basa Walikan Yogya has been used since jaman revolusi in Yogya, as a secret language for Indonesian (Yogyakartans) soldiers…

    waa…. nice and funny language…

    yothe hire, dab? pahin? = kowe piye, mas? apik?

    dalad = mangan = to eat
    lodse = ngombe = to drink
    poya mothik = ora (ono) duwit = no money
    poya hoho = ora po po = nothing
    sahan = bapak = father
    pisu = ibu = mother

    and many more…

    We have our own way of doing it down east….

    Kampes’e Schmerly suwe gak di umbah dadi mambune gak enak blass

  15. fullmoonflower says:

    @ Kang Mantri

    hehehe….
    matur nuwun… sak menika sedaya sami saged basa walikan…

    hmmmm…. pahin gedhadh… 🙂

  16. fullmoonflower says:

    @ Suryo…

    Kampes’e Schmerly suwe gak di umbah dadi mambune gak enak blass

    walah…. lagi moco wae wis langsung ilang selera manganku isuk iki… 🙁
    padahal mau wis arep nawani je :

    “dayi daladh, dab… lodse kopi menapa teh?”

  17. Suryo Perkoso says:

    fullmoonflower Says:

    March 26th, 2009 at 6:56 am
    just noticed that Basa Walikan Yogya has been used since jaman revolusi in Yogya, as a secret language for Indonesian (Yogyakartans) soldiers…

    waa…. nice and funny language…

    poya mothik = ora (ono) duwit = no money

    Try “saku kuruso”…..

  18. fullmoonflower says:

    @ Suryo

    Try “saku kuruso”…..

    Basa Walikan has it’s own way and it is Yogya people’s special language. It has been used since jaman revolusi kemerdekaan. It is such of a heritage of our warriors.

    But thank you anyway… 🙂

  19. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Not walikan….
    take another look.

  20. Pakmantri says:

    @ mas Suryo,

    Do you mean, “your pocket is skinny?” 😀

    Salam.

  21. Pakmantri says:

    Basa Walikan has it’s own way and it is Yogya people’s special language

    Den Ayu Sekar, Semarang ugo gadah basa walikan lho.

    A slightly different version of the Yogja walikan.

    Semarang walikan:
    ha = nga
    na = tha
    ca = ba
    ra = ga
    ka = ma
    da = nya
    ta = ya
    sa = ja
    wa = dha
    la = pa

    wedok = denyom
    rokok = gomom
    lanang = patang
    bapak = calam
    ibu = ngicu
    aku = ngamu
    kowe = mode

    Yogja walikan:
    ha = pa
    na = dha
    ca = ja
    ra = ya
    ka = nya
    da = ma
    ta = ga
    sa = ba
    wa = tha
    la = nga

    wedok = themony
    rokok = yonyony
    lanang = ngadhal
    bapak = sahany
    ibu = pisu
    aku = panyu
    kowe = nyothe

  22. fullmoonflower says:

    wow…. interesting… 😀

    matur nuwun Kang Mantri…
    nambah ilmu… ^_^

  23. Suryo Perkoso says:

    You’ve got it Pak M – you can even convince some bules that it is Japanese…
    Bit naughty that though.

  24. fullmoonflower says:

    sakukurata….

    hehehe

  25. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Mas Suryo Kontho,

    You and Sheikh Cuk need to polish up your boso jowo. It is awful. Any decent Javanese standing next to you two would be embarrased.

  26. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Awful as in nggoko? or awful as in well, awful?

    We can’t all have blue blood and tai lalats you know?

  27. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    It is not even nggoko. You had mixed up nggoko with bahasa and madurese. My family were from Nganjuk and Kediri, and yet I speak proper Javanese.

  28. diego says:

    I guess “Shyaik Yer Chuckie” is more fluent in arabic.

  29. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Nganjuk, my God, you aren’t related to that nasty policeman who stands near the hutan jati everyday are you? just after the railway line crosses the road?

    My dear fellow, If I had my girt big Kromo Inggil dictionary a my side, then I would too.

    I suppose we do absorb what we are immersed in, thus bit of madurese (that’s the Jember in me) and of course a bit of BI (you did mean bahasa indonesia didn’t you?)

    Got to differ with you a bit, you fall over with Inggil and Madya from time to time (but then, don’t we all?)

    I think a discussion with PakM might sort out the men from the boys, and I’ll stay firmly out of the way, with my crappy old nggoko,madura,”bahasa” mix.

    Little test – perceraian, permisahan, pegatan, talak, but what is it in Inggil? no trick questions, I just can’t remember

  30. Suryo Perkoso says:

    diego Says:

    March 26th, 2009 at 10:18 pm
    I guess “Shyaik Yer Chuckie” is more fluent in arabic

    And Ayunan Arek Payung in Hindi…

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