By indexer
24 days ago

Javanese: Indonesia's respectful language

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Javanese is a language spoken by about 75 million people but in a limited geographical area, namely the Indonesian island of Java. Odd as it might seem, although the capital of Indonesia and its largest city, Jakarta, is on Java, the official language of the country is not Javanese but Indonesian, which is a form of Malay.

Java was once a Hindu kingdom where in ancient times its language was Sanskrit, which was the classical language of India. Javanese – derived from Sanskrit - is known to have existed as a written language from early in the 9th century AD, and it has been written in three distinctive scripts, namely a simplified Indian form, Arabic, and the Latin alphabet.

Some European languages, such as French, use different words for “you” to distinguish the status of the person being addressed. Javanese goes much further than that and uses completely different verbs depending on the relative status of the person being addressed and the speaker. For example:

“Aku ngekeki kancaku buku” means “I gave my friend a book” – the two have equal status.

“Aku njaosi bapakku buku” means “I gave my father a book – the recipient has higher status.

“Bapak maringi aku buku” means “My father gave me a book” – the recipient has lower status.

(In these examples the word order is the same as in English)

One could say that Javanese is a language that has politeness built into its structure.

Indonesian Malay does not make such demands on the speaker/writer, which is one reason why it is gradually ousting Javanese as the preferred language of the younger generation living on Java.

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carmen3521 Nice one!😊
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Faith Nice and informative article
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Justin Very interesting
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soncee 👍 😃
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jessabumagat20 That's so beautiful picture.
Very informative article
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indexer @jessabumagat20 Thank you. I'm only responsible for selecting the picture, but I did write the article!
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jessabumagat20 Thank you for sharing .. I enjoyed reading it
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