An Overview of the Indonesian Language
Indonesian, also known as Bahasa Indonesia, is a registered version of Malay which is an Austronesian language. It is the official language of Indonesia and recognised as a minority language in East Timor. Considered as one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, it has 43 million native speakers and a second language to 156 million people.
The History of Indonesian
Indonesian is the standardised register of Malay. The old Malay language shows epigraphical evidence since the 7th century. It has been used as the language of the Indonesian archipelago. The traders and travellers made the language widely known throughout the islands of Indonesia and eventually became the lingua franca. In the 17th century, European rulers adapted Malay as the primary medium of communication instead of forcing Dutch. In 1928, Bahasa Indonesia was declared as the pre-eminent and unifying language of Indonesia. Finally in 1945, When Indonesia declared independence, Indonesian language was formally declared as the national language. Today, Bahasa Indonesia is the language and medium of instruction in educational institutions and the sole official language of government and business throughout Indonesia.
5 Interesting Indonesian Language Facts:
- The longest Indonesian word is composed of 31 letters. “ketidakbertanggungjawabannyalah” which means “it is his/her irresponsibility that (does something)”.
- The Indonesian language was greatly influenced by other languages which resulted in a significant number of loanwords. There were estimated 750 Sanskrit, 1000 Arabic, 125 Portuguese, 10000 Dutch and some English, Persian, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian and Chinese loanwords.
- Indonesian is also spoken in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, East Timor and southern provinces of Thailand. It can be understood by some people from southern part of the Philippines and by Malay descendants in Sri Lanka and South Africa.
- Indonesian has no tone but attaches different prefixes and suffixes to change the meaning of a word.
- The written Indonesian language before the 70’s has a big difference from today because it has changed its spelling system thrice in less than a century.
Learning how to speak the Indonesian language will open up the chance to meet the friendliest and most hospitable people as well as more job opportunities from the many countries that speak the language. Learning will be a breeze because research shows that Indonesian is one of the world’s most accessible languages and easy to learn because its system of grammar and vocabulary is not complicated.
Learning Indonesian with Overpass Apps
Travelling to Indonesia or reading Malay history will certainly be more enjoyable when you know the language, so that’s why Overpass has just released a language learning app called Learn Indonesian Bubble Bath which aims to provide fun and more practice of listening and reading Indonesian words and phrases. It consists of 63 language categories with over 600 vocabulary words spoken by a native Indonesian speaker, so you’ll know how each word is correctly pronounced.
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