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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...

Bahasa Indonesia

Tempo doeloe ... A show of brotherly
affection in the halls of power ...
Indonesian rubbed shoulders with
Dutch for over 300 years.

Language information: Indonesian is the common language of all of Indonesia. It is based on Indonesian Coastal Malay varieties with influences from Javanese, Sundanese and other local languages, as well as from Indian languages, Dutch, Arabic, Minnan (Hokkien) Chinese and English.
     Indonesian has many native speakers and is used by many others as a second language.
     Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is basically a variety of Malay with Sundanese, Javanese and other Indonesian influences. As such it is largely mutually intelligible with other Malay varieties, including Malaysian Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) and also with Brunei Malay. The only occasional Indonesian stumbling blocks for other Malay speakers are Dutch loanwords which tend to correspond to Malay words or English loanwords in their varieties. Examples of these are Indonesian handuk (< Dutch handdoek) vs Malaysian tuala (< Portuguese toalha) ‘towel’, Ind. karcis (< Dutch kaartjes ‘cards’, ‘tickets’) vs Mal. tiket ‘ticket’, Ind. plafon (< D. plafond) vs Mal. siling ‘ceiling’, Ind. rekening (< D. rekening) vs Mal. bil ‘bill’, Ind. resleting (< D. ritssluiting) vs Mal. zip ‘zipper’, Ind. sekrup (< D. schroef) vs Mal. skru ‘screw’, Ind. tas (< D. tas) vs Mal. beg ‘bag’, Ind. mantel (< D. mantel) vs Mal. baju kot ‘(over)coat’, and Ind. arbei (< D. aardbei) vs Mal. strawberi ‘strawberry’. However, a number of Dutch loanwords in Indonesian came to be introduced to or at least accepted by Malaysian, such as bengkel ‘workshop’ (< Dutch winkel ‘shop’ < ‘nook’), kantor ‘office’ (< Dutch kantoor ‘office’), and (kacang) buncis ‘green beans’ (< Dutch boontjes ‘beans’, diminutive).
     In the days of Dutch rule it was not uncommon for Dutch residents of “The Islands,” especially for those that grew up there, to be proficient in Indonesian, Javanese, Sundanese or other Indonesian languages, while Indonesian house staff and public servants tended to be proficient in Dutch.
     Indonesian has long been written with the Roman script, though at times it used to be written using the Arabic script. Under Netherlands colonial rule (1602–1949), Indonesian was written with a Dutch-based orthography, using oe for u, j for y, and tj for c, for example. Soon after independence, Indonesians strove to create a non-Dutch-based orthography, and in more recent times they coordinated their system with that used for Malaysian.
     On rare occasions, far more rarely than in the case of Malay proper, Indonesian has been written using Pegon, a Malay adaptation of the Arabic script referred to as “Jawi” in Malaysia.
     Not only does Indonesian (and Malay in general) have numerous dialects but a good number of new language varieties have been developed from it as well, for example the following:
Ambonese Malay (Bahasa Ambon) Dutch- and Portuguese-influenced creole of Ambon Island as well as Buru, Seram, Geser-Gorom and South-West Maluku islands, Indonesia,
Baba Malay (Bahasa Baba-Nyonya) or Peranakan Malay (Bahasa Peranakan) Malay-based language varieties with numerous Chinese, Indic and Western elements, spoken by descendants of “Straits Chinese” in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (Baba Malay of Java has strong Javanese influences as as well.)
Bachanese Malay (Bahasa Bacan) Malay-based language with numerous admixtures used in the Bachan islands of Northern Maluku, Indonesia
Bandanese Malay (Bahasa Banda) Dutch- and Portuguese-influenced creole of the Banda Islands, Indonesia
Batavian Malay (Bahasa Betawi) mostly used by the Batavian (Betawi) people of Jakarta (formerly called Batavia), descendants of a conglomeration of Southeast Asians; considered a dialect of Indonesian
Bazaar Malay (Pasar Melayu, Bahasa Melayu Pasar) pidgin language, non-natively spoken simplified Malay varieties that have been developed for intercultural interaction (It is very often these varieties with which non-Malays learn to get around and then proclaim that Malay (including Indonesian) is “simple” and “easy.”)
Indonesian (Malay) (Bahasa Indonesia) Malay-based language specific to Indonesia, with Sundanese, Javanese and other substrata as well as numerous Dutch loans
Kupangese Malay (Bahasa Kupang) Malay-based language with numerous Portuguese and Dutch loans spoken in the western part of Timor Island
Larantukan Malay (Bahasa Larantuka) Pidgin language of Eastern Flores, Indonesia, based on Kupang Malay and containing numerous Portuguese loans
Malay of Papua and West Irian Jaya Papuan-influenced pidgin, also understood in parts of Papua New Guinea
Manadoan Malay (Bahasa Manado) Malay-based language with numerous Portuguese and Dutch loans spoken in Northern Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia
Penang Malay (Melayu Pulau Pinang) Malay variety greatly influenced by languages of numerous immigrant communities on Penang, Malaysia
Sarawak Malay (Melayu Sarawak) Malay variety greatly influenced by local Dayak varieties of Sarawak, Indonesia
Ternatean Malay (Bahasa Ternate) Malay-based language with numerous Portuguese and Dutch loans spoken on the Sulu Islands, Indonesia

Genealogy: Austronesian > Malayo-Polynesian > Western > Sundic > Malay > Eastern

Historical Lowlands language contacts: Dutch

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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